Committee presents 2 options for future of George Floyd Memorial

A aerial view of the memorial to George Floyd at 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis. (FOX 9)

Residents and businesses near the George Floyd Memorial at 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis may soon see a path forward for the future of the George Floyd Memorial. 

The city’s Public Works and Transportation Committee is trying to decide what’s next for the site. No through traffic makes it especially quiet in the area that has been barricaded for months now. That might change, however, after two options were presented to the committee.

One keeps the sculpture in place and allows for converging one-way traffic. The second option would move the sculpture to the northeast corner of the intersection and allow for two-way traffic in all directions.

Both plans include preserving a place for mourning and reflection, increasing safety and preserving public art and improving business, residential and transit access.

“We have an opportunity to rethink our infrastructure and our transportation services to lift people up, those who need it the most for racial equity,” said Robin Hutchinson, the director of Public Works.

A questionnaire sent to residents and businesses to see what they think included 929 responses. 65 percent want to reopen the street in some way, with 2-way traffic preferred over one-way because of bus service. 24 percent had a desire for justice first and 19 percent wanted to close the street indefinitely to private vehicles.

“The responses were not monolithic based on race or monolithic based on where people lived,” said Hutchinson. “For example, the desire to have better access wasn’t overrepresented by any one race and the same with the desire for justice.”

Businesses in the area support either plan, but have access and public safety concerns. They also support preserving the art and a long-term George Floyd Memorial.