The Minnesota Department of Transportation has approved funding for a Planning Assistance contract to help with long-range planning.  Thirteen communities across the state are included on the list to get their share of $400,000 in consultation support.  And while the majority of these funding grants are settled near the Twin Cities Metro or to the south of us, one Twin Ports project was included.

MNDOT's Active Transportation Program was created in 2018 to "provide grants for planning, education, engineering studies, and infrastructure investment relating to walking, biking, and rolling".  Together, those focus areas help to support the "Minnesota Strategic Highway Safety Plan" by "making these activities easier and more accessible".

The long range goal is for improved roadways for stakeholders - from taxpayers to general drivers.  MNDOT Commissioner Nancy Daubenberger explains:

"Providing these technical assistance opportunities offers communities the chance to envision and ultimately implement improvements that make active transportation safe and convenient for people in the places where they live, work, and play.  These also help reduce the amount of vehicle miles traveled and improve local transportation options."

The grant money for 2022 was awarded to communities for projects that were divide out in five different usage categories: Community Active Transportation Plan, Update Active Transportation Plan, Corridor Plan, Parks and Trails Master Plan, and Other Planning.

Locally, a corridor study that St. Louis County is doing for Howard Gnesen Road made the list.  The corridor study was called for in the Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Bikeways Plan.  Once finished, the corridor study will connect the surrounding "mixed-income neighborhood to an elementary school, Hartley Park, and the Kenwood shopping hub".

To learn more about the Active Transportation Program, look for details on the homepage for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

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