Temporary greenway draws praise and protest

- A  new approach has been paved to bring people together on Minneapolis’ north side: a temporary greenway bike path.

The brightly painted streets, park benches and plans run along the 3000 through 3500 blocks of Irving Avenue North between Folwell and Jordan Parks.

The test path has been in place for a month and some residents absolutely love it.

“It brings the neighborhood together,” said Irving Avenue North homeowner Ken Shaaf.

Wendy Muench, another Irving Avenue North homeowner said, “The kids love it and it’s finally giving them a place to play.”

The city hosted a temporary greenway grand opening Sunday afternoon.

The event was marked by a family friendly block party and proved the experiment serves as a celebrated commodity for some.

“It [has] reduced the speeding cars and the garbage and the fast food wrappers. The neighborhood is so much more quiet. All the boom cars are gone. We can finally sleep in peace,” added Muench.

For others, however, the street bike trail has created more hassle than harmony as many are now forced to park in the alleys and limits front yard access for guests.

“Every day an inconvenience, you know? Coming home, somebody’s parked in your spot, trying to leave you can’t get out,” said Carrie Carlson.

“One morning I woke up and it was just here,” said Irving Avnue North resident Taalibah Quatada Assiddiq.

“I can’t be picked up in front of my home,” she added, “I feel it’s intrusive, it feels like people don’t care about the people on the block, how they feel.”

Megan Puckett led a peaceful protest against the temporary greenway.

“The violence is such a problem up here the city really needs to start paying attention to that,” said Puckett.

Puckett and other protestors would rather see city dollars spent on outreach for young people living in North Minneapolis.

“We don’t need any more places to ride our bikes, there are plenty,” said Puckett.

Meanwhile, Shaaf hopes the naysayers reconsider.

“Give it a chance!” said Shaaf.

Other major concerns around the temporary greenway include increased loitering, access for the disabled and overall safety.

The temporary greenway will only be in place for up to a year.

City Council gets the final say on whether the path stays.

For information on the temporary greenway, click here. To learn more about the protest, follow this link

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