Preventing displacement, maximizing community benefits of the Blue Line Extension
Partners seeking proposals to lead anti-displacement workgroup
Making sure the Blue Line Extension light rail project benefits corridor residents and businesses is a priority for project partners. This once in a generation investment will connect people to jobs, education, healthcare, and opportunities. It can also drive investment and advance neighborhood visions for community and economic development. These opportunities can invigorate neighborhoods and allow area residents and businesses to build wealth in place. They can also contribute to concerns of displacement.
During our engagement efforts our Community partners have highlighted the potential for displacement as a top priority as planning for the Blue Line Extension continues. Project staff and partners have heard and share this concern.
To address this complex issue and for the first time ever, Hennepin County and the Metropolitan Council are convening an Anti-displacement Workgroup that will center community voices and bring together a variety of partners and stakeholders to develop robust anti-displacement strategies for implementation that will help ensure the value of light rail will benefit corridor residents, and minimize physical, cultural, and economic displacement.
To advance this work, BLRT partners released a request for proposals for an individual or organization to convene and coordinate the work of the Anti-displacement Workgroup. Proposals are due July 27, and the group is expected to get to work in September. This work will be ongoing throughout the life of the project and beyond with a focus on both short- and long-term solutions.
Learn more at www.hennepin.us/blrt-anti-displacement
Visit the Hennepin County Supplier Portal to review the RFP and submit a proposal by July 27.
New revised route options for the Blue Line Extension are now available for public input. These routes represent the best apparent options for light rail that connects communities from Minneapolis northwest to Brooklyn Park based on the community input, technical considerations, and past project work. The route is expected to remain the same on the northern end of the line in Brooklyn Park. For the middle section between Brooklyn Park and Robbinsdale, the best option is to move the route from the rail corridor onto Bottineau Boulevard (County Road 81). On the southern end of the corridor, project partners have identified Lowry Avenue and West Broadway as good potential routes to consider.
These revised route options are intended to continue a conversation aimed at identifying a single community-supported route by the end of 2021. This single route option will then be advanced to environmental review and engineering work in the coming years.
The need to find a modified route was announced in summer 2020 because BNSF Railway has remained unwilling to allow LRT to operate on their property as initially planned.
This is your light rail line, and your input is critical to ensure it meets the needs of your community and creates opportunities for you and your neighbors.
Visit http://BlueLineExt.org to take a survey by April 30, provide general comments, ask questions, and attend an upcoming virtual meeting.
To support robust and inclusive community engagement around route selection, Hennepin County is contracting with multiple local community and cultural organizations.