Thank you to all who attended the Twin Cities Boulevard Accountability Forum on Tuesday, July 19!
The forum recording is linked here:
During the forum, updates were shared about community engagement efforts, MnDOT’s Rethinking I-94 project, and next steps for the Twin Cities Boulevard campaign.
Some highlights include:
- Together, we’ve knocked over 4,900 doors along the I-94 project corridor, including the Seward, Frogtown, Rondo Hamline-Midway, Union Park, and Cedar-Riverside neighborhoods
- The community response has been overwhelmingly positive. Over 95% of the people that we’ve spoken with supported the Twin Cities Boulevard as their preferred solution for the Rethinking I-94 project or as an option that MnDOT should fully evaluate.
- 425 people have completed the Twin Cities Boulevard community feedback survey. These comments directly inform our advocacy and the Twin Cities Boulevard vision.
Community Member Testimonials
We also heard from community members from the I-94 project corridor who shared powerful testimonials about why they support the Twin Cities Boulevard.
Catherine spoke about her experience door knocking and encouraged others to do the same. She recalled a conversation with a resident who talked about how his father would often talk about what the highway destroyed: “I met a man on Marshall Avenue who was sitting on his porch and listening to the Twins game. He said that he had grown up in the neighborhood and his father would tell him stories about all of the businesses that used to be there, the grocery stores, and the ways in which they could walk to the amenities of a neighborhood, and the economic development that was lost.”
Wako emphasized the need to push through the fear of change and focus on creating the best outcomes for our community: “We can make a new choice for our community and the health of our community and I believe that the Twin Cities Boulevard campaign is the best campaign when it comes to this highway.”
Zak highlighted the significance of the Rethinking I-94 project for climate and the need to consider the world that future generations will inherit. “It is just so important that we invest in changes and a system that’s not just focused on shoving cars through our cities”
Twin Cities Boulevard Campaign Update
During the forum, we also provided an overview of next steps for the Twin Cities Boulevard campaign. This included reiterating our ask of Minneapolis and Saint Paul City leaders to commit to applying for a Reconnecting Communities Program grant to study the Twin Cities Boulevard before the application deadline on October 13. More information about this grant program and its significance for the Twin Cities Boulevard can be found here.
We invited Mayor Frey, Mayor Carter and the Public Works directors from both cities to attend the public forum and speak about their plans regarding the Reconnecting Communities grant opportunity. Disappointingly, neither the mayors nor the directors chose to attend the meeting or send a representative in their place.
You can take action by calling the offices of Mayor Frey & Mayor Carter using the contact information and talking points below or by sending an email here.
The next Twin Cities Boulevard forum: Tuesday, 9/27 at 6:00 p.m.
At the conclusion of the forum, we announced the date of the next Twin Cities Boulevard accountability forum, which will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, September 27 at 6:00 p.m. This forum will focus on the October 13 Reconnecting Communities application deadline as well as the amended Purpose & Need documents for the Rethinking I-94 project that will soon be released by MnDOT and the Federal Highways Administration. Additional information and a registration link will be shared in the coming weeks.