Rejuvenate the river

Development of the Minnesota River can help make it usable for more people.

by Daily Editorial Board

In Minneapolis and the surrounding areas, one doesnâÄôt often hear how dirty and polluted the Minnesota River is. In cities south of Minneapolis, not much is done to acknowledge that it even exists, much less make use of it.

But finally, many of those cities are making plans to invest billions of dollars into make the Minnesota riverfront a beautiful, accessible place residents can enjoy and be proud of.

The plan in Burnsville, Bloomington and Scott and Dakota counties is to develop urban villages along the riverfront and increase access points where there are currently few.

Trails for both pedestrians and bicyclists are in the works as well. The idea to add a badly needed bike path over the Cedar Avenue Bridge (a structure which already requires much attention in itself) is also being considered.

While a plan that brings the river closer to everyone in the community is a commendable one, planners do need to take in the concerns of skeptics. Kicking out owners of private property along the river front without fair treatment is the wrong way to go about development.

City planners and officials must find a way to work together with land owners to develop the riverfront into a space that everyone involved can be proud of. Cleaning the Minnesota River and developing its riverfront in a sustainable way can help many more Minnesotans enjoy this important natural resource.