MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The murder of George Floyd, and the social justice movement born out of it, have changed the world. But now, the future of George Floyd Square is up for debate.
"Some want buses, some don’t want buses. Some want car traffic, some don’t want car traffic. We’ve heard opinions that are all over the place," Mayor Frey told FOX 9 on Saturday. The Mayor was at the Phelps Recreation Center, where many community stakeholders gathered to share ideas for the intersection.
"There’s a mix of different opinions and ideas and that’s what makes this so challenging is how do we take all these ideas and opinions and coalesce those into something that actually works?" project manager Alexander Kado said.
Kado’s work will replace aging pavement, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, pedestrian ramps, lighting and utilities; it won’t design memorials, but it will construct everything with future memorials in mind. His team didn’t offer any design concepts on Saturday, and they plan to spend one year listening to the community.
"We have to move at the speed of community, so it’s a tentative schedule," Kado said. "Construction could occur in 2024, but it really is depending on the timeline and if that’s achieved."
Across the street from the intersection, Larry Cregg has lived on the corner since 1996. He calls the current state of the area a "disaster," and he feels the city is being held hostage by those who call the intersection a "sacred space."
"Sacred, for who? The gang members, yeah. The people that peddle drugs, yeah. The people that do the shooting and killing, yeah," Cregg said. "We’ve got weak leaders, we’ve got weak people running the city."
Cregg isn’t alone. Many residents there say the trauma of Floyd’s murder has been turned into a daily ordeal.
"For years we felt safe and now there’s carjackings, there’s killings, there’s all kinds of things in George Floyd Square," Carlotta Arredondo added. "No one for the past two years has wanted to do anything about it and it’s ridiculous... there were police officers charged, so why should we continue to live the trauma? We should not."
"I think there’s always a balance between getting community feedback and acting quickly," Mayor Frey reacted. "We want to make sure that there’s as diverse perspective as possible and then we can quickly move forward."
The second of two open houses to discuss the project is scheduled for Tuesday night, from 5 to 7:00 p.m,