I hope you and your loved ones have been able to enjoy the beautiful weather we’ve had recently! Fall is my favorite time to get outdoors and visit all the great places in our community and across Minnesota.
National Walk and Bike to School Day is just around the corner! This annual event is a great opportunity for students and families to walk or bike if possible and to promote safety in our community. It will take place on Wednesday, October 6 this year. You can learn more at walkbiketoschool.org.
In recognition of this upcoming event, I’m going to highlight the Transportation budget legislators approved a few months ago. You can find more information about other bills we passed on my legislative webpage.
Our Transportation budget will help Minnesotans travel within and between communities safely and efficiently. It contains funding to repair roads and bridges, make safety improvements, improve and expand public transit, and develop bike and pedestrian infrastructure across Minnesota.
One of the highlights of this budget is the investments that will help keep students safe as they go to school in the morning and return home in the afternoon. House DFLers worked hard to secure $5 million to help cities, towns, and counties ensure students can walk or bike to school safely. We also provided funding to install cameras on school bus stop arms. This will help catch individuals who violate stop arm laws and protect kids when they’re getting on and off the school bus.
The budget also includes measures to protect water and air quality in Minnesota. Legislators voted to invest in liquid deicing chemicals to reduce the use of road salt, which can permanently contaminate lakes, rivers, and drinking water. We also instructed Metro Transit to develop a zero-emission transit vehicle transition plan that will reduce carbon emissions and pollution.
My colleagues and I will keep working to make our transportation system safe, convenient, and accessible for all Minnesotans. This was a good start!
Many of the transportation issues Minnesotans experience can be reported to the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT). Here are links to report some common issues:
Newtrax provides daily transportation to and from work to more than 600 Minnesotans with disabilities in the northeast metro. Merrick and PAI, two nonprofit organizations that offer vocational opportunities and services to adults with disabilities, founded Newtrax in 2011 to transport clients more effectively. Since then, Newtrax has reduced congestion on local roads, vehicle emissions, and costs for the organizations. Most importantly, it’s helped hundreds of Minnesotans access opportunities to enrich their lives. You can read more about their work at newtrax.org.
Please feel free to email or call me if you have any questions or feedback that you’d like to share. You can reach me at email@example.com and (651) 296-3018.