The City of Saint Paul is still determining its plans for a Reconnecting Communities Grant
Last week, we met with representatives from the City of Saint Paul to discuss the upcoming application deadline for the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program and to reiterate our ask that the City apply for a planning grant to study the Twin Cities Boulevard.
We received the encouraging news that the City of Saint Paul will likely apply for a Reconnecting Communities grant this year. However, the scope of that application remains unclear. The City is currently considering if the application will seek funds to study solutions for repairing the highway’s harms in the entire Rethinking I-94 project corridor, or if the application will be limited to further studying a land bridge in the Rondo neighborhood. The City was also noncommittal about whether an application will include an evaluation of a highway-to-boulevard conversion.
It is encouraging that Saint Paul plans to apply for a Reconnecting Communities grant. But it is critical that they use it to study solutions for repairing all of the highway’s harms and to improve outcomes for people in the entire project corridor. This must include an evaluation of a highway-to-boulevard conversion, which we–and thousands of people we’ve spoken with in the project corridor–believe is the best solution for achieving these goals.
The City can submit a planning grant application that focuses on desired outcomes and evaluates multiple project strategies, including both a boulevard conversion and a land bridge.
The Rethinking I-94 project will impact tens of thousands of people. In every neighborhood along the corridor, the highway’s harms are disproportionately experienced by poor people and people of color. If an application leaves these communities out, or fails to consider major impacts like air pollution, transportation access, and climate and health disparities, these people will be further marginalized.
TAKE ACTION: Call & Email Saint Paul Decision Makers
The Reconnecting Communities application deadline is just a few weeks away!
Now is a critical time to contact decision makers and ask them to make a public commitment to:
- Apply before the October 13 deadline
- Seek funds to study solutions for repairing the highway’s harms in the entire project corridor, including a highway-to-boulevard conversion
Take action with two steps:
Call City Decision Makers
- Mayor Melvin Carter: 651-266-8510
- Public Works Director Sean Kershaw: 651-266-6100
- Chief Resilience Officer Russ Stark: 651-266-8511
Live in Minneapolis? Call Mayor Frey & Public Works Leadership
Unfortunately, the City of Minneapolis has indicated that they DO NOT plan on utilizing this critical opportunity to repair I-94’s harms. Take action by asking Minneapolis City leaders to join Saint Paul’s application and apply for a Reconnecting Communities grant this year.
- Mayor Jacob Frey: 612-673-2100
- Public Works Director Margaret Anderson Kelliher: 612-673-3071
- Planning & Programming Director Jeni Hager: 612-673-3625