I’ve spent a lot of time on the road recently as the Transportation Finance and Policy Division is hosting a series of field hearings. It can be difficult for people to travel to the Capitol, so the committee went directly to community members in St. Cloud, north Minneapolis, Savage, and Blaine. I appreciated the opportunity to listen and learn about local transportation challenges and look forward to hearing from folks in Mankato on Friday.
Transportation Field Hearings
I presented three bills during the public hearing at Blaine City Hall. The first (HF 1310) is a proposal for road safety improvements on Highway 47, also known as University Avenue. It also conducts an engineering evaluation of the roadway, which extends from Columbia Heights to Coon Rapids. Many residents, myself included, have seen or heard of the many incidents along this stretch. We must act to make University Avenue safer and prevent more fatalities.
I also introduced legislation (HF 1697) to put a full interchange at East River Road in Coon Rapids. I grew up in this area, so I’ve taken this stretch of road quite often, and I believe this project would be a great way to finish the Highway 610 corridor and make it more accessible.
Drivers should be paying attention all the time, but it’s particularly important in work zones where driving conditions can change. My final plan (HF 1408) would require drivers to follow the instructions of flaggers and use their cell phones in a hands-free mode in work zones, protecting vulnerable construction workers and drivers.
Thank you to the many community members who made it to the hearing. If you weren’t able to come, you can watch the entire event here.
Freedom to Drive
Minnesotans packed the hearing room and the overflow room last Thursday for the first public hearing of Driver’s Licenses for All (HF 1500). This would allow all Minnesotans to get a driver’s license without proving legal immigration status. When you’re driving on the road, your immigration status doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’ve been trained, licensed, and insured.
Ensuring everyone has access to driver’s licenses would make our roads safer and grow the economy. I voted in favor of the bill with the majority of the Transportation Finance and Policy Division. Video of the public hearing is available here.
I always appreciate hearing from constituents, so please feel free to contact me with questions or concerns.