Construction on the Light Rail Bottineau Transitway Blue Line Extension is set to begin in 2018, continuing from Minneapolis through Golden Valley, Crystal, Robbinsdale, Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park. The transitway project, estimated to cost about a billion dollars is likely to have billions more in future investments and economic development for neighborhoods along its corridor.
Over 50,000 African Americans and other communities of color reside in these cities, yet few have had an opportunity to weigh in and benefit from projects and policies that directly impact their lives. The African American Leadership Forum (AALF) and Northwest Community Building (NWCB) are conducting a rigorous campaign to ensure that African Americans have an opportunity to learn about the impending project, and offer input for designing neighborhood plans.
Over the next several weeks, open houses and neighborhood planning sessions will be held at strategic locations in each city along the Blue Line corridor. Attendees will be able to design and view current neighborhood design sketches, speak with city officials and offer input on the plans. A final Brooklyn Park Community-wide Wrap-up meeting will allow community members to see the final draft of recommendations and provide additional feedback on Thursday, November 4th.
Reva Chamblis, from the Northwest Community Building non-profit has been engaging communities from several northern cities and gathering their feedback for light rail station area planning. African American Stakeholders who are residents, ministers, educators, students and business owners have helped develop design concepts leading to a proposed ethnic market, plans for multi-housing developments, and spaces for gathering, entertainment and convening. NWCB and AALF want to safeguard our communities by developing profitable cultural assets in Minneapolis and Northwest Suburbs. Similar Transitway projects like the Green Line in Minneapolis and St. Paul have been successful for the University Avenue corridor, as well as Frogtown and Rondo Avenue communities. We have big plans for ensuring the same success along the Bottineau corridor. The Station Area Planning process will continue through the winter. We will need leaders to be active throughout in helping shape policy and system recommendations ensuring inclusion and equity for all communities of color.
Chamblis will present at several of the upcoming meetings. The schedule is as follows:
Monday, November 2: 6:30pm-8:30pm:
Crystal Community Center, 4800 Douglas Drive North, Crystal
Wednesday, November 4: 6:30pm-8:30pm:
Community Activity Ctr, 5600 85th Avenue North, Brooklyn Park
Thursday November 5: 6:30pm-8:30pm:
Rockford Road Library, 6401 42nd Ave. N, Crystal
Email Reva Chamblis at AALF.LRT@gmail.com. Web at: https://www.facebook.com/Northwest-Community-Building Twitter at: @NWCBImPACT @AALFTwinCities