Apply for 2017 Open Streets Minneapolis Routes and/or Hosts

Release date: August 30, 2016
Application due date: October 10, 2016
Contact: Ethan Fawley, Executive Director
Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition
[email protected]
(612) 964-8902

For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats please contact Matthew Dyrdahl, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for the City of Minneapolis, at [email protected]. People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000. TTY users call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700 - Rau kev pab 612-673-2800 - Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.

Application Summary

The City of Minneapolis and the City’s 2017 Open Streets event organizer, the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition (Coalition), seek interested parties to apply to suggest a desired route or host a route during the 2017 season of Open Streets Minneapolis.  

A primary intention of this application is to increase local participation in the overall Open Streets Minneapolis initiative and to add to the sustainability and reach of the initiative through the individual routes.

Everyone is encouraged to respond to this application with ideas for routes. Organizations can also share their potential interest in being a Local Route Host. Those applicants whose proposed route meets the goals of Open Streets Minneapolis and show local support will be considered, and will be contacted to further discuss interest and qualifications by late-October.

Successful applicants will have an Open Streets Minneapolis route in their area in 2017, but will not receive monetary compensation from the City for their role.

Introduction and Background

Since 2011, Open Streets Minneapolis events have transformed major city corridors into car-free places to give people an opportunity to enjoy the street on bicycle, foot, wheelchair, skateboard or roller skates and experience the city in a new way. Each event is programmed with many complementary activities such as bicycle repair, cultural activities, and temporary street infrastructure demonstration projects (e.g., pop-up protected bike lanes and pedestrian bump-outs). Open Streets Minneapolis events are free and provide an opportunity for people to engage in physical activity, meet their neighbors, and discover businesses in neighborhoods throughout the city.

Each year since 2011, the series of one-day events has built upon the last and the number of events and reach has grown. The 2016 season of Open Streets Minneapolis has commenced and will have eight events throughout the city. It is anticipated that the 2017 season will have up to eight events.  

Open Streets Minneapolis is one of a growing number of Open Streets initiatives throughout the United States as cities and towns of all sizes seek innovative ways to achieve public health, environmental, social, and economic goals, and fulfil residents’ desires to experience their streets in a new way.

Characteristics of Open Streets Routes

Open Streets Minneapolis events have occurred in neighborhoods across the city, and routes have been chosen based on many important shared attributes. Open Streets Minneapolis events often:

  • Occur on major urban corridors that primarily serve motorized traffic, which typically include streets that act as business and commercial corridors

  • Connect multiple neighborhoods, especially neighborhoods that may feel isolated from each other based on land use patterns and high-volume roadways

  • Encourage the discovery of businesses along the route and support local economic vitality

  • Have strong destinations (such as parks, major businesses, areas of programming, etc.)

  • Occur over many blocks of city streets—ideally over two miles in length

  • Are designed in different arrangements, including: linear, in a loop, or in a configuration that combines a loop with a linear street extension   

Goals of Open Streets

  • Grow community connections, civic pride, and community engagement

  • Celebrate the diversity of Minneapolis

  • Inspire healthy living

  • Stimulate local business

  • Promote active transportation

Organizational Roles for the
2017 Open Streets Minneapolis Season

The 2017 season of Open Streets Minneapolis will be organized by the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition in partnership with the City of Minneapolis. There will be up to three lead parties involved in each of the events that comprise the 2017 initiative: the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, the City of Minneapolis, and the Local Route Host (or Hosts), as applicable. A Local Route Host is an organization (or organizations) that serves as a partner with the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition and the City of Minneapolis to organize and effectively hold a particular Open Streets event. Not all successful routes have a Local Route Host. See more about the role of the Local Route Host here. Additionally, each event will involve participation from local partners supporting planning, engagement, programming, and/or promotions.

Selection Process

Everyone is encouraged to respond to this application with ideas for routes. Organizations can also share their potential interest in being a Local Route Host.

All respondents are strongly encouraged to contact the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition to discuss their interest and ask any questions before they submit an application for a route idea or for being a Local Route Host. Interested parties can reach Ethan Fawley at [email protected] or 612-964-8902.


Informational meeting

The City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition will host a meeting for those parties interested in being a Local Route Host to learn more about the selection process. All respondents are strongly encouraged to attend. This will be an opportunity to ask questions, learn more about the application, and understand if hosting an Open Streets Minneapolis event is a potential good fit for the 2017 season. 

            Date:               September 13, 2016 

            Time:               6:00pm – 7:30pm

            Location:         Minneapolis Central Library, Doty Board Room (300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55401)


Selection criteria

The City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition will evaluate proposed routes based on these key factors: The route’s compatibility with the characteristics of typical Open Streets Minneapolis routes; The route’s effectiveness of achieving/supporting the goals of Open Streets Minneapolis; and The local support and committed capacity (organizing or financial support) to support the proposed route. Additionally, the City and Coalition are interested in selecting routes that reach different parts of the city.