By David Schuman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Some people feeling unsafe in the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis street have put up barricades at both ends of their street to block traffic from getting through.

In less than two weeks, neighbors say their community near Lake and Cedar has transformed.

“We were terrified to be just walking,” Maria Perez said. “We were like no, we prefer to be inside.”

Neighbors say that’s all changed now thanks to the blockades.

They put them up about 10 days ago.

Before, they say crime was out of control with drug dealing and prostitution happening out in the open.

Perez says there was a lot of violence and shootings.

“People [were] being robbed at gunpoint,” said Rachel Glover, another neighbor. “Our children couldn’t play outside because there were used needles everywhere.”

Neighbors say the barricades have caused some trouble with Minneapolis Traffic Control, and police came out Wednesday, but they seem to have reached at least a temporary peace.

“We’ve been getting support from the officers,” said Abdi Hassan, a neighbor. “When we called, they knew what we were doing and they were very supportive and I want to tell them thank you.”

Glover said someone affiliated with the Minneapolis Police Department initially suggested the blockades.

Five to seven people rotate for neighborhood watches too, which MPD supports.

“This problem has been giving us a strength because now we are together,” Perez said. “We’ll be fighting for a better place to live, stay and work because nobody else is doing anything for us.”

Several people on the block feel their city council member, Alondra Cano, has failed them in letting it get to this point.

She didn’t get back to WCCO with a comment on the situation.

Neighbors hope to work with the city on a more permanent road closure.

David Schuman