The discussion goes public next week over how to inject racial and economic equity into the city’s beefed up street paving program.
The city will hold a meeting Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at Minneapolis Central Library to discuss potential equity criteria to supplement the more typical public works parameters in selecting street projects for the accelerated paving program that begins next year.
The idea of bringing fairness into paving regardless of income or racial makeup of an area was mandated by the City Council in April. It directed that when it approved spending $21.2 million more annually to stem declining street conditions.
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, which will get $11 million more annually under the spending deal between the board and City Hall, led the way on equity criteria. Superintendent Jayne Miller proposed a spending program for park rehab money that funnels the first five years of money to parks in racially concentrated areas of poverty. That recommendation reflected a series of criteria including poverty, racial makeup, population density and safety surrounding parks.
“We’re not going to end up too much different,” Kathleen Mayell, of the Public Works transportation planning and programming division, told the city’s bike advisory committee this week.
Whatever equity criteria are adopted will supplement a ranking of projects that also relies on more traditional factors such as pavement condition and age, a street’s compatibility with current design standards, transit projects, outside funding opportunities, volume of use and geographic balance.
The revamped list of projects isn’t going to be ready for the Aug. 10 budget presentation by Mayor Betsy Hodges, according to Public Works staff. They said it should be ready for the department’s budget presentation to the City Council this fall.
Steve Brandt • 612-673-4438