Why Support the Twin Cities Boulevard?

The Twin Cities Boulevard would create faster, affordable and accessible transportation options for everyone

  • The Twin Cities Boulevard will drastically improve transportation options in the corridor by adding:
    • A new rapid transit line for people using public transit
    • A tree-lined protected bikeway along the entire corridor for people biking
    • Wide sidewalks with safe, comfortable crossings for people walking and rolling
    • Adequate car traffic lanes for people driving
  • This will drastically improve transportation access for the 28% of households in the project corridor who do not have access to a car
  • The Twin Cities Boulevard will only add a few minutes of driving time between downtown Minneapolis and Saint Paul

The Twin Cities Boulevard would reduce traffic, air and noise pollution and create cleaner, quieter and healthier communities

  • Less car traffic on the corridor means:
    • Less toxic air pollution and fewer health impacts like asthma, cancer, heart disease, dementia and premature death
    • Less traffic noise
    • Healthier and happier people

The Twin Cities Boulevard is a repartative investment in racial and economic justice that prioritizes those who have been most impacted by the freeway

  • MnDOT right-of-way that was taken to build I-94 will be returned to a community land trust
  • In addition to the boulevard, this land can be used to build housing, space for local businesses and greenspace
    • This land will be used to prioritize local residents as well as people who have been displaced their descendants
    • Black, Indigenous and people of color have been disproportionately impacted by the freeway, and thus will be prioritized throughout the process to reclaim it

The Twin Cities Boulevard would put the well-being of Minneapolis and Saint Paul residents first

  • I-94 was built to facilitate long-distance commutes and suburban development
  • The Twin Cities Boulevard aims to repair the damage caused by the freeway and will return investment without displacement to communities along the corridor
  • The Twin Cities Boulevard vision includes robust anti-displacement and community benchmarks to prevent potential gentrification and ensure that the Rethinking I-94 project benefits those who experience I-94’s harms daily

The Twin Cities Boulevard would support the creation of good-paying jobs and wealth-building opportunities for local residents

  • All too often, transportation projects promise community benefits that never materialize. When I-94 was first planned, highway planners sold the project to concerned residents by promising that the freeway would create economic vitality. Instead, the highway displaced hundreds of locally-owned businesses and allowed job opportunities to move into the suburbs
  • The Rethinking I-94 project workforce must at least reflect the demographics of our neighborhoods, and should go further to address hiring disparities in the construction industry
  • The Twin Cities Boulevard vision includes robust labor demands to ensure that local workers and businesses are prioritized in the project workforce
  • Our vision also includes the creation of a small business incubator program and support fund to accompany the community land trust
  • This will be used to ensure that local residents and entrepreneurs have the resources they need to successfully start a small business
  • The fund will also be used to support existing small businesses in the broader project corridor during the construction process

The Twin Cities Boulevard would restore and expand walkable access to businesses and neighborhood amenities

  • New businesses on reclaimed freeway land will make it easier to access core businesses and services like grocery stores, pharmacies, healthcare and childcare.

The Twin Cities Boulevard would reconnect neighborhoods along the entire Rethinking I-94 project corridor

  • The I-94 freeway trench is a physical and mental barrier in the neighborhoods that it runs through
  • By restoring the corridor to grade-level and reconnecting the severed street grid, the Twin Cities Boulevard will stitch every neighborhood in the project corridor back together

The Twin Cities Boulevard is a critical strategy for addressing climate change and creating a sustainable transportation system

  • We are in a climate crisis and transportation is Minnesota’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions
  • The Twin Cities Boulevard will make it easier to take clean, low-emission transportation options like walking, biking and transit, which is necessary to achieve City, County and State climate goals
  • In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing car usage is also critical for reducing the dependence on the destructive mining of copper, nickel and lithium that are necessary for electric vehicle batteries 

The Twin Cities Boulevard would reduce traffic deaths and improve safety for all users

  • Every year, people are killed and permanently injured in traffic crashes on I-94 and feeder streets
  • The Twin Cities Boulevard will make sure that everyone traveling gets to their destination safely

The Twin Cities Boulevard would continue a growing list of successful highway-to-boulevard conversion projects

  • There have been dozens of highway-to-boulevard conversion projects in the US and dozens more are planned
  • Whether in San Francisco, Milwaukee or Seoul, concerns about traffic impacts after highway-to-boulevard projects have always been short-lived as traffic permanently declined after the project was completed
  • In fact, there has never been a freeway removal project in the United States or abroad that wasn’t successful

The Twin Cities Boulevard would generate new tax revenue and will be more cost-effective to maintain

  • The 284 acres currently occupied by I-94 doesn’t generate tax revenue
  • This represents an opportunity cost of hundreds of millions of dollars that could be used to fund our schools and essential public services
  • The I-94’s pavement, retaining walls and bridges also cost hundreds of millions of dollars to maintain
  • A land bridge would cost hundreds of millions to construct plus tens of millions more to maintain
  • For these reasons, highway to boulevard conversion projects in cities like Detroit were determined to be the most cost effective solution