Projects & Programs

Extend the Greenway!

We’re working to extend the Greenway over the river and CONNECT Saint Paul to Minneapolis! 

We’re making good progress:  Phase I of the new trail opened along Ayd Mill Road in 2020. 

Now we need to connect it (up and over the river) to the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis.

MAP of Project

To help support the project, we’ve brought together a group of 40 organizations:

Extend the Greenway Partners

We also published a study showing that the existing railroad bridge over the river could be re-habbed for bikes and pedestrians.

Bridge Report

This year we’ll be releasing a new report showing the equity and economic benefits the new trail connecting Saint Paul to Minneapolis would bring.  Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date:  https://www.facebook.com/midtowngreenway

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Programs

The Midtown Greenway Coalition's programming is designed to help fulfill our mission of protecting and enhancing the Greenway.   Our main program areas are:

  • Extend the Greenway:  Connecting Saint Paul to Minneapolis via a new “bicycle highway” trail over the Mississippi River.
  • Public Safety, which includes our bike patrol program and our efforts to get more lights, cameras, and other safey measures in the corridor.
  • Greening & Cleaning, featuring our Adopt-A-Greenway and annual Arbor Day tree-planting activities, which have planted more than 5,000 trees and shrubs in the corridor.
  • Public Art, which focuses on bringing more temporary and permanent public art to the corridor.  We also organize one of the largest arts festivals in Minnesota -- the Greenway Glow Arts Festival..
  • 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. 

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.

35W Transit/Access Project and New Connection to the Greenway

We worked to encourage a better design for the new 35W transit station above Lake Street, which includes a new bike-ped ramp down to the Greenway.  The orginal design looked like the failed design for the Hiawatha-Lake intersection, which is dark and unsafe for bikes and pedestrians.  Our concern regarding the design has was covered by the Star Tribune and the Southwest Journal. As a result of our work, and the work of the Lake Street Council and others, the designed was improved and new lights were added.  Best of all, the City commissioned a $250,000 art project for the plaza and ramp, which will enhance placemaking and wayfinding.

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 generated much support and Public Works agreed to make the closure permanent.

Minneapolis Park Board:  Calhoun-Harriet Master Plan

Our Improvements Committee chairperson was a member of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee that worked on improvements for Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet, including better bike facilities and better connections to the Greenway.   We submitted recommendations and supported a CIDNA-led effort to get a new trail installed that would connect Lake Calhoun to Lake of the Isles.

Southside Greenway

We 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.  

Water Yard

We are monitoring the developments at the proposed Water Yard and trying to assist with neighborhood efforts to improve the plan, including adding an indoor urban farm.

Greenway Glow Arts Festival

We once again organized the Greenway Glow Arts Festival this year.  The Glow is the largest event on the Midtown Greenway and one of the largest outdoor arts festivals in the City.  Close to three-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 as well as a bike trail.

Murals for the Greenway

We partnered with MCAD and Little Earth of United Tribes to install a mural in the Greenway, created by youth from Little Earth, with mentoring from MCAD artists. We also installed a mural at 11th Avenue, celebrating the African-American and East-African cultures.

Trail Watch

Our Trail Watch volunteers bike the Greenway several nights a week.   Volunteers are always needed, so please contact the Coalition if you would like to join them!

Adopt-A-Greenway program

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.

Arbor Day

We help 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.

 
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