Racial Equity Framework for transportation

Public Works is finding new ways to achieve equity in transportation. We're creating a framework to do this work.

Overview and connection to on-going City work

The draft goals of the Racial Equity Framework for Transportation (REF) are to:

  • Build organizational capacity

  • Lead with a racial equity approach

  • Build trust and partnerships with communities of color

  • Create data-driven results and accountability

Existing plans that inform the development of the REF include: 

In July 2020, the Minneapolis City Council declaried racism a public health emergency. The resolution explains ways to reverse hundreds of years of racist policies and practices in the city. 

The REF will guide the planning, designing and building transportation projects, plans and initiatives and can contribute to an anti-racist culture in the City of Minneapolis. This framework will help make these connections clear.


The City of Minneapolis has City Council adopted definitions of equity and racial equity.

Equity - fair and just opportunities and outcomes for all people.

Racial equity - the development of policies, practices and strategic investments to reverse racial disparity trends, eliminate institutional racism, and ensure that outcomes and opportunities for all people are no longer predictable by race.

Work to define equity specific to transportation was advanced through the planning efforts of the 20 Year Streets Funding Plan (2016 and 2018) and has been an on-going conversation and guiding force for transportation work in the City since that time. The Transportation Action Plan advanced the conversation through the creation of the equity goal, the Progress Section and many actions that aim to advance transportation equity.

Why a Racial Equity Framework for Transportation

A few examples of the racial inequities that exist in Minneapolis include: 

  • 20% of residents live below 100% of the federal poverty line; this number is 41% for black people, 34% for people of color and 12% for white people 
  • 26% of residents live in high poverty neighborhoods; this number is 48% for black people, 38% for people of color and 17% for white people
  • 31% people of color households do not have access to a car; this number is 12% for white households
  • Average commute times for white workers is 22 minutes versus 24 minutes for people of color workers and 27 minutes for black workers
  • Native American residents are 1% of Minneapolis population, but are 4% of people killed in traffic crashes. Black residents are 19% of Minneapolis population, but are 26% of people killed in traffic crashes.

Top 4 datasets from the 2017 National Equity Atlas. Bottom data source: NHTSA Fatality and Injury Reporting System Tool for 2009-2018 and Unites States Census Bureau 2010-2018.


The City is working with the Cultural Wellness Center on engagement for the Racial Equity Framework. The City is engaging on this work through the creation of a Community Equity Workgroup (CEW). We’ll be out talking to community members at 2022 Open Streets during the summer.

Racial Equity Framework

Community members enjoying street art.

Community members enjoying street art.

Contact us

Kathleen Mayell

Transportation Planning Manager

Public Works