Minneapolis asks for public’s help to ‘re-envison’ George Floyd Square
MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The intersection where George Floyd died, 38th and Chicago, or George Floyd Perry Square, has been a place of peace, protest and violence. Now, more than two and half years after Floyd’s murder, the City of Minneapolis is asking for the community’s input as it looks to the future of a space that many consider sacred.
The south Minneapolis neighborhood around the intersection remains a community in recovery. "A lot of still incomplete, unhealed trauma in this area still," Tommy McBrayer, who grew up in the area, told FOX 9. "This was literally a Black wall street. Everything around here was Black."
Alexander Kado, who serves as the city’s Transportation Planner, is overseeing the city’s process, which he calls a "redesign and reconstruction.".
"The murder of George Floyd changed the world, but nowhere have those impacts been more apparent than at the intersection of 38th and Chicago where the murder occurred," Kado said.
He’s imploring residents to weigh in.
"It’s an opportunity for all of us to redefine what that space should be. How do we want pedestrians to be in that space? Do we want vehicles back in that space? Do we want transit back in that space? Do we want bikes back in that space? How do all of these modes operate in a way that’s functional for the future?, "said Kado.
Kado says so far, concepts include a memorial space, a pedestrian mall and returning the intersection to the way it was before.
"We really hit on four themes, infrastructure, social justice, economic vitality and public safety," says Kado. Right now, concrete barriers shield a large memorial. Only one lane of traffic is open in each direction and there’s a makeshift roundabout and no access to metro transit.
Larry Cregg has lived in the community for more than 30 years. "Hell, chaos, what is another word? War, there’s been war in this community since I’ve been here," said Cregg. He’s critical of the city’s approach. "Imagine, why would you want to imagine stuff when you can get stuff done?," said Cregg.
McBrayer is more optimistic about the city’s approach. "I think it’s definitely needed, I think it’s definitely needed. And I think the community needs to be there not the ones that’s not from the community having a say so with what’s going on in the community," he says.
Kado understands why some people are skeptical. "I know there’s a lot of mistrust in government and I also know that this project is not going to restore all of that trust, but I hope that it can start to turn that tide and rebuild trust in the community," he said.
The City of Minneapolis will hold an open house for the 38th and Chicago RE-envisioned project this coming Saturday from noon until 2. It will take place Phelps Park.