Tell MnDOT and Olson Memorial Highway decision makers to Bring Back 6th!
September 28 Update:
Share your support during the October 5 Policy Advisory Committee meeting!
The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is hosting the next Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting for the Olson Memorial Highway Project on Thursday, October 5 from 4:30 - 6:00PM. The meeting will be held virtually via Zoom (get the meeting link here).
During the meeting, MnDOT will discuss the project's "purpose and need" which will play a major role in shaping the initial project options for the Olson Memorial Highway corridor. While we initially thought the project options would be presented, that timeline has shifted and they are expected to be unveiled in the coming months.
There are two ways to take action:
- Take action by sending an email and sharing your support for Bring Back 6th with decision makers before the meeting
- Use this form to sign-up to speak during the meeting's public comment period
This project is an opportunity to make the Bring Back 6th vision a reality! Get involved to help shape this vision. These same government agencies came together to intentionally destroy, displace, and harm the Near North community for 90 years. It is time they come together to repair it. Send an email today!
About Bring Back 6th:
Olson Memorial Highway, or Highway 55, is an urban highway running through North Minneapolis. It is one of many urban highways that divides communities, pollutes the environment, and creates a hazardous environment for nearby residents. Olson Memorial Highway has a uniquely devastating history, as the construction of the highway was at the expense of a thriving Black cultural corridor along 6th Avenue N that was home to dozens of shops, businesses and music venues.
Some of these concerns were to be addressed with the construction of the Blue Line Light Rail Extension on Olson Memorial Highway. The light rail project was set to bring modest but much needed traffic safety improvements as well as robust public transit service. However, after years of planning and development, the Metropolitan Council re-routed the Blue Line Extension and planned safety and transit improvements disappeared. Harrison and other Near North neighborhoods are now left to deal with the negative impacts of this broken promise.
Our Streets Minneapolis and the Harrison Neighborhood Association are leading a campaign to address the harms of Olson Memorial Highway and reclaim the highway land to reconstruct 6th Avenue N.
Send a letter to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, the Metropolitan Council, and relevant elected officials and partners to share your support for the Bring Back 6th! vision. This includes the following outcomes:
1. The Implementation of ALL Phase 1 safety improvements and for these changes to remain in place until the corridor is fully reconstructed. These include:
- Restripe the roadway to reduce lane widths and add dedicated transit and bike lanes
- Lower the posted speed limit to 25 mph
- Improve lighting for pedestrians
- Mark crosswalks at all intersections and mid-block crossings
- Mark crosswalks with artist designed crosswalks, employing local Northside artists
- Add leading pedestrian intervals and adjust walk signal timing so everyone, including people who are mobility impaired and parents with small children, have adequate time to cross the street
- Use paint and bollards to add pedestrian bump-outs on cross streets
2. Restore Olson Memorial Highway to 6th Avenue North
We are asking the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, the Metropolitan Council and the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority to collaborate on the restoration of 6th Avenue North.
The new street should include:
- Wide sidewalks
- 24/7 zero-fare bus lanes
- Protected bike lanes
- Two car lanes to promote safe speeds, with left turn lanes where necessary
- Crosswalks painted with artwork from local artists
- Universal design features to improve access for people of all ages and abilities
- The preservation of mature trees in the center median
The remaining highway land and adjacent parcels of publicly owned land should be designated for:
- Public housing that meets the needs for truly affordable housing
- Affordable commercial spaces that are designated for local Northside businesses and entrepreneurs
- Community gardens and parkland
3. Public Commitment to Housing & Community Engagement Benchmarks
We are asking for a public commitment from City and County officials, as well as MnDOT to publicly commit to restore 6th Avenue North and implement all housing and community engagement benchmarks.
- A robust community engagement plan that includes door-to-door engagement and publicly meetings during accessible hours
- Equitable community-driven development
- A local business incubator program
- Inclusive hiring goals
- Universal design features to ensure accessibility
- Construction impact mitigation plan
- Anti-displacement policies and tenant protections