Hennepin County is working with the City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to improve accessibility to the Midtown Greenway between Harriet and Garfield avenues.
This project is based in the plans and goals of the city, county and park district. A primary goal is to provide Whittier Neighborhood greenway access for all ages and abilities while preserving nearby amenities, including the Soo Line Community Garden.
The new ADA-compliant ramp at this location will provide a ramp at the proper grade and width for all people and more direct connections from the Midtown Greenway to nearby schools, businesses, housing, parks, and bike networks in the Whittier Neighborhood and surrounding areas. It will also allow trail users to avoid busy street intersections with high automobile traffic volumes.
The goals of the access improvement project are to:
- Improve connections between the Midtown Greenway and nearby areas for people of all abilities
- Address the existing 1.25-mile gap where there are no ADA connections to the Midtown Greenway from Whittier Neighborhood and other nearby areas
- Address the lack of ADA-accessible ramps to Midtown Greenway
- Provide more direct connections from the Midtown Greenway to nearby schools, businesses, housing, parks and bike network in the Whittier Neighborhood and Lyn-Lake area
- Help Midtown Greenway users avoid busy street intersections with high traffic volumes
- Come up with a design that preserves the integrity of the surrounding areas, including the Soo Line Community Garden
This location between Garfield and Harriet avenues was selected because it is in the middle of the 1.25-mile gap where no ADA access to the Midtown Greenway exists and is the best location where we can build ADA-compliant ramp access.
People already use an informal wood chip path at this location to informally access the Midtown Greenway. However, it is not ADA-compliant, and the nearest existing Midtown Greenway entrance ramps at Girard and Bryant avenues are also not ADA-compliant. The nearest ADA access points to the Midtown Greenway are the at-grade crossings at Humboldt and 5th avenues.
This site is in the Whittier Neighborhood, a racially and economically diverse neighborhood, underserved by the Midtown Greenway with limited entrance points. Full Greenway access at this location will enable more people across diverse cultural and racial communities and people of all abilities to use the trail and the parks system it connects.
Lack of ADA access to the Midtown Greenway for Whittier residents
Currently, there is a 1.25-mile stretch with no ADA accessible ramps and few opportunities for an accessible ramp because of private land ownership adjacent to the Greenway and significant grade differential (due to a trench where the Midtown Greenway lies). Effectively, residents living in Whittier (especially those with mobility issues or families who rely on strollers) have challenges accessing the Midtown Greenway.
Below is a map showing the existing Midtown Greenway access locations and how the new ADA ramp will improve connections for residents and Midtown Greenway users to their homes and nearby destinations.
Midtown Greenway access locations (JPEG)