Hennepin County’s Webber 44 project planned for the 2020 reconstruction of CSAH 152 in North Minneapolis, including 44th Avenue, Webber Parkway, and Lyndale Avenue. Planning for this project meant considering many variables. The project area has a diverse population, including many demographics traditionally underrepresented in planning processes – low-income households, people of color, renters, youth, and students. Trails, freight routes, and transit routes also run through the area.
The Webber 44 engagement strategy operated under one guiding principle: instead of bringing the community to the project team, bring the project team to the community. Through this idea, project members ranging from Hennepin County to Juxtaposition Arts student apprentices wove into the community through engagement at important places, such as farmers markets, community groups, schools, and gathering spaces. Whether participants were taking a project bike tour, sharing improvements using voting blocks, or making custom-made bicycle smoothies after a survey, they could be themselves and voice ideas in a familiar and comfortable space. Participants also provided feedback with online tools like comment mapping and Facebook questions.
These engagement techniques formed a unique community solution shaped by as many demographics as possible, totaling more than 10,000 interactions.
Minnesota Department of Transportation – 2019 Environmental Stewardship for Innovations in Public Engagement