Having access to safe, reliable, and clean public transit is crucial for so many Ward 10 residents and visitors. Multiple deep societal crises, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the housing and opioid crises, have made serious issues in our society visible in public spaces such as on our buses and trains, and at our transit stops and stations. The Uptown Transit Station has not been an exception.
The Uptown Transit Station serves routes 6, 17, 21, 23, 114, and 612 and has about 1,500 daily boardings. It’s a very busy and important transportation hub for Ward 10, the city, and the metro area.
My aides and I are working hard to address the ongoing issues at the Uptown Transit Station, and we expect to start seeing progress soon. Several months ago the Ward 10 office teamed up with Metro Transit to start to bring together a large group of stakeholders for regular meetings to develop concrete action plans.
These meetings include participation from the Ward 10 office, the Ward 7 office, Metro Transit, the City’s Office of Neighborhood Safety, the Lowry Hill East and East Isles Neighborhood Associations, MPD, Metro Transit PD, and representatives from several important stakeholders near the Uptown Transit Station including the Walker Library and the YWCA.
Together we’ve developed an initial work plan, which we review and update each time we meet. We’re confident that this commitment to coordination and action across a wide group of stakeholders will bring changes that so many of us have been wanting to see.
Here are some of the plans that are already implemented or will soon be implemented:
• Metro Transit staff are increasing their presence at the Uptown Transit Station with increased visits and maintenance routine. Metro Transit’s Homeless Action Team and Hennepin County social workers connecting with people to provide scheduled wraparound services (i.e. mental health, addiction & housing).
• Increased security presence from Metro Transit, MPD, as well as Walker Library security on their property.
• East Isles Neighborhood Association is doing safety walks including litter pick up.
And there will be more to come.
The Hennepin Avenue Reconstruction Project will have a major impact on the Uptown Transit Station. There is already utility work beginning on Hennepin Avenue between Lake Street and 26th Street. In 2024 as construction progresses, Hennepin Avenue will remain partially open, but the plan is for buses to be rerouted to neighboring streets for periods of time, and the Uptown Transit Station will be closed during those times. We will continue to work closely with Metro Transit and the other neighborhood stakeholders during that process.
We deeply appreciate Metro Transit’s willingness to help lead this process with us to work on improving the situation at the Uptown Transit Station and in the surrounding neighborhood.
We all understand that there is not a simple solution to issues like unsheltered homelessness and other issues that have become visible on our transit system. We can’t just police our way out of it; without funding and proactively making available dignified shelter and culturallysensitive treatment and other social services, people just get criminalized and pushed around from one place to another. We want to address the situation in a way that addresses the social problems that have become visible on our transit system, rather than just moving them somewhere else for another community to then also struggle to address.
greenway access project
The Midtown Greenway Access Improvements project team is hosting an open house for you to learn about the project, ask questions and share your thoughts about the coming accessibility improvements on Thursday, November 16 from 5:00-7:00pm at the Whittier Recreation Center (425 West 26th St.). The project presentation will begin at 5:30 p.m. The space is accessible for those with mobility devices. To request accommodations such as larger print materials or other accessibility needs, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our office has received a significant amount of feedback on this County project, so we hope community members are able to attend this open house.
Background: Hennepin County is working with the City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to improve accessibility to the Midtown Greenway between Harriet and Garfield avenues. This project is based in the plans and goals of the city, county and park district. A primary goal is to provide Whittier Neighborhood greenway access for all ages and abilities while preserving nearby amenities, including the Soo Line Community Garden. The new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant ramp at this location will provide a ramp at the proper grade and width for all people to access the Greenway. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2024.
Information from the regular Ward 10 e-newsletter.