Stay in the Loop

North Loop to get Welcome Monument

By Mike Binkley, North Loop Neighborhood Association

As traffic volume has increased into this area of downtown, the North Loop Neighborhood Association has been actively trying to persuade local government agencies to address safety concerns along Washington and 3rd Avenues North.

That’s where drivers exiting I-394 get backed up by left-turning drivers who don’t allow space for others to get around. The bottlenecks often lead to short tempers and aggressive driving, and many close calls have been reported by pedestrians, cyclists, scooter riders and other drivers.

Getting a solution has been difficult, though, because three different agencies share jurisdiction over the intersection: MnDOT, Hennepin County and the city of Minneapolis.

While we at the North Loop Neighborhood Association have heard the many complaints and continue to reach out to these agencies to call attention to our concerns, we have taken action on one aspect of the intersection that we do have some control over: the roadside landscaping.

With the help of volunteers and a MnDOT grant, we turned what used to be an overgrown strip of land littered with trash into a well-maintained Welcome Park that will soon have a colorful steel monument with LED lighting, welcoming people to the North Loop.

Fundraising efforts are now underway to pay for the 13-foot monument from Minneapolis sculptor James Brenner. Approximately 30% of the $60,000 needed has been pledged so far.

In the video above, Mark Huting and Tim Bildsoe of the North Loop Neighborhood Association give more details about the park and monument.

If you’d like to make a donation to help pay for the monument, please send a check to the North Loop Neighborhood Association, PO Box 580672, Minneapolis, MN 55458.