Projects & Programs
New Self-Guided Maps!
We are pleased to launch a new project focused on self-guided tours of the Greenway! The maps are now available for downloading below. They include a Brunch Tour of the Greenway and an Arts Tour. Combine the two for a wonderful day on the Greenway!
Support for these two maps comes from the City of Minneapolis Great Streets Business District Support Program.
Brunch Tours of the Greenway:
Art Tours of the Greenway:
The Midtown Greenway Coalition's programming is designed to help fulfill our mission of protecting and enhancing the Greenway. Our main program areas are:
- Public Safety, which includes our Trail Watch bike patrol program and our Safety Task Force, which works to get more lights, cameras, and other safey measures in the corridor.
- Greening & Cleaning, featuring our GreenSpace gardening and greening committee, as well as our Adopt-A-Greenway program, Adopt-A-Garden program, and annual Arbor Day tree-planting activities
- Public Art, featuring our ArtSpace Committee, which focuses on bringing more temporary and permanent public art to the corridor. We also organize the largest annual arts festival on the Greenway -- the Greenway Glow.
- Transit Advocacy, which encompasses our advocacy efforts to bring a turf-track (off-wire) streetcar into the Greenway to better accomodate the transit needs of the surrounding community. We also support other current and proposed rail lines, such at the SWLRT and the Nicollet-Central Streetcar.
- Greenway Improvements, which includes advocating for improved trail crossings; improved signage; and more.
- Sustainable Economic Development, includng our efforts to help support and guide development along the corridor.
- Bike Advocacy and Community Outreach, which works to encourage use of the corridor for biking, walking, relaxation, and transportation. We support better bike facilities that connect to the Greenway, as well as protected bike lanes throughout the city. We partner with local agencies to engage families of color in activities that let them know the Greenway is for everybody.
2016 Programs and Accomplishments
Lake Street-Greenway Connections Study
We were a leading partner and funder (thanks to a Great Streets grant from the City of Minneapolis) for an in-depth study of how to better connect the Greenway to Lake Street and surrounding business nodes. The study recommends investments in wayfinding and placemaking; ways to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety; and strategies for engaging underserved communities in utilizing the Greenway.
The partners for this study -- Hennepin County, the Midtown Greenway Coalition, The City of Minneapolis, and the Lake Street Council -- have been meeting regularly in 2016 to discuss funding opportunities to implement the plan.
The Midtown Greenway Coaltion has successfully obtained two grants that are related to the plan: a grant to install a mural in the Greenway by a local artist of color; and a grant to implement outreach programming to bring underserved children to the Greenway for bike rides.
Reopen Nicollet Avenue Project and Midtown Greenway Streetcar Plaza
In late 2015 and early 2016, we partnered with the Whittier Alliance to host a series of five workshops to create a neighborhood-based vision for the reopening of Nicollet Avenue and development of the Kmart and SuperValu sites. The resulting plan reflects the Whittier neighborhood’s preferences for land use and development, and includes designs for a new streetcar station and plaza at the Greenway level. The plan also includes images of a streetcar in the Greenway, which we will use to advance our vision for a turf-track (turf-embedded rail), off-wire (i.e. battery operated) rail line in the corridor.
We continue to support the SWLRT to improve public transit options and connections. While we have taken no recent major action on the project, we monitor it closely, because line would connect to a future Greenway streetcar.
35W Transit/Access Project and New Connection to the Greenway
We are working to encourage a better design for the area of Lake Street under the proposed transit station. The current design looks a lot like the failed design for the Hiawatha-Lake intersection, which is dark and unsafe for bikes and pedestrians. Our concern regarding the design has been covered by the Star Tribune and the Southwest Journal. The project will also include a new ramp to the Greenway.
Harriet Avenue Apartments on the Greenway
We worked to convince the developer to remove the gates to the proposed public walkway along the Greenway, and to keep the walkway open 24/7 to enhance safety and create more “eyes on the Greenway.” We were pleased to partner with the Whittier Alliance on this project, which was successful. The developer agreed to remove the gates and keep the walkway open 24/7.
Rana Village at 29th & Pleasant
We provided feedback on plans for a new development at 29th and Pleasant along the Greenway. Early designs had a significant amount of shadowing on the Greenway. We are pleased to report that the final design, which we supported, provides much more solar access to the trail.
Greenway Repaving: Mill and Overlay
We asked Minneapolis Public Works to put the Greenway on the schedule for a full mill and overlay re-paving. We asked for and received a resolution from the Bicycle Advisory Committee Engineering sub-committee to recommend that the repaving be included in the capital improvements budget for the City of Minneapolis. And we testified at two hearings to get the repaving added to the budget. We are pleased to report that the repaving has been added to the 5-year budget. In the meantime, we consulted with Public Works on their project to fill in all the cracks in the trail and re-stripe/paint the Greenway.
29th Avenue Closure at the Greenway
We worked with neighbors and organizations from the Seward neighborhood to support a test closure of 29th Avenue at the Greenway, to calm traffic and create a safer connection to the Greenway. This project has generated much support and we have joined others in asking that the closure be permanent. So far, Public Works has not committed to the closure despite significant neighborhood and Greeway user support.
Stop Signs in Uptown
We worked with the East Isles neighborhood in support of an effort to remove stop signs for cyclists on the Greenway at the at-grade crossings between Hennepin and the Lakes, in order to improve safety and reduce uncertainty for bikes and cars. (This project has not advanced, but we will continue to advocate for this safety improvement.)
Minneapolis Park Board: Calhoun-Harriet Master Plan
Our Improvements Committee chairperson is a member of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee that has been working on improvements for Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet, including better bike facilities and better connections to the Greenway. We have submitted recommendations, and are supporting a CIDNA-led effort to get a new trail installed that would connect Lake Calhoun to Lake of the Isles.
We have nominated one of our board members to sit on this task force, which is working to create a new Greenway that would connect downtown to south Minneapolis, crossing the Greenway along 10th Avenue. The committee working on this project often meets in our offices, which are pleased to provide for this effort.
We are monitoring the developments at the proposed Water Yard at 28th, to see if any new buildings are being proposed or there are other impacts for the Greenway.
Our ArtSpace Committee meets regularly to discuss how to get more art into the Greenway. Recently, they helped write an MRAC grant that requests funding for a mural, which would be created by an artist of color from a Greenway neighborhood (focus on Midtown). They also manage the call for artists for the Greenway Glow.
Greenway Glow Arts Festival
We once again organized the Greenway Glow Arts Festival this year, which also included a 5K Run and a 10-Mile Bike ride. The Glow is the largest event on the Midtown Greenway and one of the largest outdoor arts festivals in the City. Close to two-dozen local artists installed glowing art and conducted live performances all along the corridor. Having events in the Greenway helps bring more people to the corridor, and the Glow helps people see the Greenway as a cultural corridor too.
Murals for the Greenway
We are partnering with MCAD and Little Earth to seek funding for a mural in the Greenway, created by youth from Little Earth, with mentoring from MCAD artists. We also have been awarded a challenge grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council and are currently raising funds to meet the challenge and obtain the grant to install a mural by a local artist of color.
Our Trail Watch volunteers patrol the Greenway several nights a week. Volunteers are always needed, so please contact the Coalition if you would like to join them!
Safety Task Force
Our Safety Task Force meets regularly to identify physical improvements for Greenway safety, including recommendations for a safer crossing at Minnehaha, locations for new lights, and Greenway pavement repairs.
GreenSpace volunteers have helped sustain several gardens in the Greenway, including the garden in the median at the 28th Street crossing.
We currently have 40 organizations that are part of our Adopt-A-Greenway program. They have conducted more than 70 Greenway clean-ups in 2016 so far.
We launched a new pilot program in 2015, offering garden space to organizations that agreed to plant native flowers and plants.
We helped plan and support the annual Midtown Greenway Arbor Day event, which has planted more than 5,000 trees and shrubs in the Greenway over the past 15 years.