News Ticker

Asian Voices in North Minneapolis – Greenway Project

David Kang

In 2015, the City of Minneapolis, with the help of 17 community organizations, continued its exploration and outreach for a potential greenway in north Minneapolis (or the “Northside”), to help share information and collect feedback from community members.

Among the organizations working on greenway education and engagement efforts were three organizations focusing on Asian community members on the Northside. Based on Minnesota Compass – a social indicators project that measures progress in our state, Asian Americans made up approximately seventeen percent (17%) of the North Minneapolis community in 2013.

Hmong American Partnership, in collaboration with Hana Media & Development, concentrated on outreaching to Hmong community members in the area, while Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota shared information and collected surveys from Lao community members in and around north Minneapolis.

Asian Engagement Results

Although all the 2015 survey and outreach data has yet to be analyzed, early results of over 130 Hmong community members surveys shows that 49% of respondents prefer a full greenway design, 32% prefer a half-and-half design, 12% prefer a bike boulevard, 3% were not sure, and 2% were not interested in a greenway.

Of those interested in using the potential greenway, a majority of people (69% average) would like a greenway in north Minneapolis for exercise such as biking and other forms of physical activities. Some other uses of the greenway for Hmong respondents were interested in using it for transportation, gardening, meeting friends, and as a play space for children.

Despite much positive feedback regarding the Northside greenway, community members expressed many concerns associated with the development project. The top six concerns in descending order are: safety (65%), access for people with disabilities (65%), access for emergency vehicles (56%), parking (52%), greenway maintenance (41%), and cost of construction (39%).

After completion, the published report will be uploaded to the City of Minneapolis’ north Minneapolis Greenway page.

No final decisions have been made about the proposed greenway, and this phase of gathering community input is important because it will inform future decisions. The City is also conducting a feasibility study, which will also help inform future decisions. A community-based Northside Greenway Council is leading outreach efforts, and a Technical Advisory Committee is overseeing the feasibility study. The Departments of Public Works and Health are collaborating on this project.

Photo: Teng Vang (Left) and Bonnsy Vue (Right)