We recently learned that a joint internal workgroup has been created to evaluate the USDOT Reconnecting Communities grant program and coordinate a joint application. The internal workgroup includes staff from the City of Minneapolis, City of Saint Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County and the Metropolitan Council.
This is big news and is directly a result of the hundreds of community members who have contacted City decision makers to ask them to take advantage of these federal funds to study the Twin Cities Boulevard.
The workgroup will meet for the first time on Thursday, August 18. Unfortunately, few details have been shared with the public about the workgroup’s membership and what specifically is being considered. There is no guarantee that an application will be submitted before the October 13 deadline, or that it will seek funding to study the Twin Cities Boulevard.
It is critical that an application is submitted this year. MnDOT’s Rethinking I-94 project continues to move forward and project alternatives will be revealed this winter.
Join us in asking these decision makers to apply for a Reconnecting Communities planning grant before the October 13 deadline and to use the funds to study the Twin Cities Boulevard, including:
- Hiring a firm with past experience designing highway-to-boulevard conversion projects to study a highway-to-boulevard conversion for Rethinking I-94
- Hiring researchers to holistically evaluate the impacts of highway removal
- Evaluating strategies to create wealth-building opportunities and prevent displacement & gentrification
You can take take action today in two ways:
- Call the offices of Mayor Frey & Mayor Carter and ask them to apply for a Reconnecting Communities grant this year to study the Twin Cities Boulevard. Phone numbers and suggested talking points are included below.
Office of Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey: 612-673-2100
Office of St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter: 651-266-8510
2. You can also send an email to I-94 decision makers here