Guests see a changing neighborhood at West Broadway Open Streets event

West Broadway Avenue is now open again after Open Streets wrapped up on a hot Saturday evening in Minneapolis.

The street was car-free and full of booths and vendors from within a five block radius of West Broadway, a great time for people to come out and check out the neighborhood and its resources.

Under the blazing September sun, basketball, jump rope and even a little two-step took over from Penn to Lyndale avenues as part of the weekly celebration.  

“It’s beautiful to me,” said Latoya Surrat, of North Minneapolis. “It just puts a smile on my face that I can bring her out here and we can have fun and we just have no worries.”

Surratt has been coming to Open Streets with her daughter I’monie for years.

“I came to see some cool stuff over here, and I’m burning hot,” I’monie Surratt said.

While hot, Latoya says it’s safe.

“Some days in certain areas, it’s not quite as carefree,” she said. “Like I go down here to Salvation Army for church, and it’s not care free. It’s disrespectful and inconsiderate. But when we come out here and be like this right now, it’s beautiful, it’s exciting.”

Some, like Shevvi Crowley say that carefree feeling is expanding.

“I’ve seen the up and down of this neighborhood, and it see it coming back,” Crowley said. “The people have always been here but to have businesses and community organizations support them locally.”

There are more populated storefronts and business expansions that are drawing more people from around Minneapolis to West Broadway.

“It’s the 14 bus route here, and I just ride past it, and I now realize that there are a bunch of businesses that I can patronize so that’s good,” Crowley said.

“I think Open Streets is a great opportunity for people to learn about the resources in the community. I think it’s a great time to see your neighbors, and catch up with people you haven’t seen in a while,” said Charles Kouame, a first-timer at Open Streets.

People came to catch up, shoot some hoops, jump rope or dance down the car-free street taking in the sunshine and all the nearby community has to offer.

The next Open Streets will happen on Sep. 23 on Nicollet Avenue. The following Sunday will be at the University of Minnesota.