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Midtown Greenway access improvement

Hennepin County, the City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, are working together to build a new Midtown Greenway ramp between Harriet and Garfield avenues. The goal for the new ramp access is to improve connections between the Midtown Greenway and nearby areas for people of all abilities, while preserving the integrity of the surrounding areas.

In 2021, project staff will engage with Midtown Greenway users and surrounding communities to identify challenges and opportunities of accessing and using the Greenway corridor today, prioritize needs and share initial designs.

Construction is anticipated to begin in 2023.

Project timeline showing the design phase planned from 2021 to 2022 and construction and project completion expected for 2023.
 
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Project goals

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 1.5-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

Site selection

View of the proposed project area for the Midtown Greenway access improvement project. The new access ramp will be located between Harriet and Garfield avenues.

This location between Garfield and Harriet avenues was selected because it is in the middle of the 1.5-mile gap where no ADA access to the Midtown Greenway exists and is the best location where we can build ADA-complaint ramp access.

People already use an informal wood chip path at this location to informally access the Midtown Greenway. However, it is not ADA-complaint, 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.

Constructing ADA-compliant ramp access at this location will provide many benefits including, more direct connections from the trail to schools, businesses, housing, parks and the bike network. It will also allow trail users to avoid busy street intersections with high automobile traffic volumes.

Thank you for your feedback

Thank you for your engagement and feedback on our initial discussions this summer for the Midtown Greenway access improvements project. We've received a lot of great comments and feedback from many of you about existing challenges and identifying needs that will help inform our initial designs that will improve connections between the Midtown Greenway and nearby areas for people of all abilities.

Below is a link to the summary of survey responses and comments below.

Midtown Greenway access improvements engagement summary - summer 2021 (PDF)

Upcoming outreach and events

There will be additional opportunities in the near future to provide your feedback as we want to continue to hear from Midtown Greenway users, Soo Line Garden members and visitors, and residents in the surrounding communities to identify current access challenges and opportunities for improvement.

Check back soon for other project updates and future events.

Past events

Virtual listening session and survey

On Wednesday, June 16, Hennepin County staff hosted a virtual listening session to provide an overview of the project, timeline of events and next steps. Following the presentation, attendees engaged with staff, asking questions and sharing comments.

View the recording of the listening session below.

 

The community survey closed on Wednesday, July 14. We want to thank everyone for taking the time to complete our initial community survey.

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