As the legislative session gets underway, there has been growing demand from local leaders around the state calling for the legislature to pass a sustainable, long-term funding package that supports all transportation options, from biking and walking routes to public transportation and road repair.
As part of Transportation Forward, a coalition representing 57 groups around the state, Fresh Energy is pushing for a sustainable funding solution to pass this session. Every community will have slightly different demands on their local infrastructure. For smaller metro areas around the state like Rochester, Duluth, and St Cloud a well rounded transportation system is crucial in order to attract new businesses and the young families they are hoping to recruit. For regional hubs like Bemidji, it’s about maintaining a system of bike routes, public transportation options, and safe roads for residents as well as tens of thousands of tourists and visitors a year. What they all have in common is the need for smart investments that can provide options for people in their community.
While the details of the proposed funding package are likely to change throughout the session,the overall goal is to develop a transportation system that provides Minnesotans with safe and efficient options to get from point A to point B. Everyone from students to seniors should have the ability to safely bike to class or take the bus to their doctor appointment. Parents should be able to walk their kids to school on the way to work. A system that provides these kinds of options will not only reduce wear and tear on our roads, it will improve the livability of our communities and reduce our reliance on imported fuels.