MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The City of Minneapolis is moving forward with plans to memorialize George Floyd at 38th and Chicago, and open the intersection back up to traffic.
It became a place to mourn, gather and heal after the death of George Floyd at that location. Memorials and art filled the area, ways to release the pain, to spark conversation, and honor Floyd.READ MORE: 'We Look At Our Protest As Art': Future Of George Floyd Square Becoming Clearer
But it’s been closed to traffic since late May, and more recently that’s become a different barrier.
“The truth is the situation at hand is not sustainable. We are united in this understanding,” Mayor Jacob Frey said.
Access is limited to first responders, and people living nearby are worried about crime.
“Many of our neighbors in that community feel that they’ve suffered, the businesses, the residents and visitors, and so I cannot allow that to happen,” police chief Medaria Arradondo said.
So the city is moving forward with a plan to thoughtfully reopen the intersection, while keeping a permanent and protected memorial as a space for people to gather. There are two options, one includes keeping the fist sculpture in the intersection, the other moves it to Chicago just off 38th.
They both keep the greenhouse and garden while opening to two-way traffic.
Pastor Curtis Farrar has kept his church there open, and says it’s time to return to some normalcy while preserving the site.
“The memorial is a good idea there to talk to others about healing and love and racism and all of the issues we face every single day in our lives,” Pastor Farrar said.
Rodney Lewis grew up near the intersection and still lives close by.
“They can do two things and keep everybody happy I think, because there are other business around other and they need to have a chance too,” Lewis said.
A community-wide survey will go out in the next few weeks where people can vote on which of the two options they like.
City officials says the intersection will remained closed to traffic through the upcoming trial of Derek Chauvin. They acknowledge it will be an important gathering spot during that time.