Transportation accounts for more than 27 percent of the energy used in the United States—and if we are going to reduce demand for oil and gas we must make it easier for people to walk, bike, and use transit to get where they need to go.
In 2010, Fresh Energy helped lead the charge as part of the Complete Streets coalition for a statewide policy to make roads safer for everyone, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, people with disabilities, and drivers. The policy, signed into law by then Governor Tim Pawlenty, directs the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) to promote implementation of Complete Streets by reevaluating how the agency plans, funds, and builds roads in order to make sure that it works for non-drivers as well as drivers. Since then, Fresh Energy and other Minnesota Complete Streets Coalition allies have partnered with Mn/DOT to support the process across the state.
Five years later, with transportation once again a key point of debate at the legislature, Fresh Energy revamped the Complete Streets website to provide updated resources for leaders and advocates in communities across Minnesota. The site includes success stories from communities that have transformed outdated infrastructure into 21st Century streets that accommodate transit, biking, and walking. While the progress made is exciting, work is far from over. Long-term funding and planning are necessary for cleaner transportation to truly take hold throughout Minnesota.
We’re hopeful that the local examples, model policies, and other resources available at the Minnesota Complete Streets Coalition site will help move long-term transportation solutions in the right direction.
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