Cities across the country and around the world are successfully removing and reclaiming urban freeways to make their communities better places to live. MnDOT’s Rethinking I-94 project is our opportunity.
The reality is that I-94 was never built for the communities adjacent to the corridor. The Twin Cities Boulevard is a reparative vision to convert I-94 between downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul into a multi-modal, community oriented boulevard and return the surrounding land to neighboring communities via a publicly held land trust.
This is a working, community-centered vision and your voice is needed. What do you want to see in a new boulevard?
Here’s how this vision comes to life.
The Boulevard Transforms Transportation in the Corridor
Over one in four households within the Rethinking I-94 project corridor do not have access to a car. The Twin Cities Boulevard would create faster, safer, healthier, more affordable and more accessible transportation options for everyone:
- Improved public transit service by adding a new, zero-fare rapid transit line with electric buses, dedicated lanes and heated shelters
- Fast and comfortable places to bike via protected bicycle “highways” that connect to neighborhoods along the entire corridor
- Wide, tree-shaded sidewalks with safe and comfortable crosswalks that implement best practices for people with disabilities
- Walkable access to new local businesses and neighborhood amenities like grocery stores, childcare and parks
- Safe, convenient traffic lanes and street parking for local drivers and freight traffic, adding only five minutes of travel time between downtowns
- A restored street grid to reconnect neighborhoods along the entire corridor like Rondo, Seward and Cedar-Riverside and Midway
The Boulevard Repairs the Highway’s Harms and Invests in Economic Justice
To repair the harm caused by I-94, the Twin Cities Boulevard seeks to reverse the impacts of racist and classist policies that dictated the freeway route and shaped the current economic and environmental realities of neighborhoods along the corridor.
This vision includes a community benchmarks and policy platform for MnDOT and its partners to integrate into the Rethinking I-94 project. View these benchmarks here.
- Placing reclaimed freeway land and adjoining parcels of publicly owned land in a community land trust that encompasses the entire project corridor
- Establishing a commercial land trust to prioritize opportunities for local BIPOC entrepreneurs and business owners
- Create a local business support fund to support existing businesses throughout the construction process
- Implement robust anti-displacement policies within the corridor, including rent control, TOPA, “right-to-cure”, inclusionary zoning and a rental assistance fund, among others
- Setting clear goals for inclusive hiring and project labor hours, prioritizing people from surrounding neighborhoods, people of color, women and people with a cognitive and/or physical disability
- A transparent and accessible planning process with clear benchmarks for public engagement and community consent
Want to help make this vision a reality?
Join your neighbors. Add your voice. “Rethink” I-94 for people, not traffic.
We have one chance to create the future we want and the movement is growing every day.