MnDOT updates Statewide Multimodal Transportation Plan

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 12:05 PM CST
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ST. PAUL, MN. (Northern News Now) - The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) announced Monday the agency has updated its Statewide Multimodal Transportation Plan (SMTP) for 2022-2041.

The plan will help strengthen the agency’s commitment to providing a convenient, safe, reliable, and affordable system that works for everyone, according to MnDOT leaders.

The SMTP is updated every five years and is the highest policy plan for transportation in Minnesota.

The plan outlines objectives, performance measures, strategies and actions to help advance MnDOT’s vision of a multimodal transportation system that maximizes the health of people, the environment, and the economy.

The document is a statewide policy plan for all users, all modes, and any jurisdiction that has a role in Minnesota’s transportation system.

“Everyone deserves transportation options that work for them and their needs,” said MnDOT Commissioner Nancy Daubenberger. “The SMTP is a cornerstone to the important work that MnDOT and our transportation partners need to do in the near- and long-term to ensure our investments continue to deliver on our commitments to safety, economic vitality and livability. We look forward to working with partners statewide to implement the goals laid out in this updated plan.”

The SMTP evaluates the state’s entire transportation system, considers trends affecting transportation, and provides direction for the next 20 years.

The updated 2022-2041 plan focuses on six objectives: transportation safety, system stewardship, climate action, critical connections, healthy equitable communities and open decision making.

As the agency is actively preserving the system, the SMTP includes new opportunities and emphasis areas including climate, equity, and health.

Shifting to a climate-friendly transportation system requires that the transportation system look, feel, operate, and be maintained differently in future decades.

The SMTP includes the following climate action commitments:

  • Decrease annual greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector by 80% by 2040.
  • Ensure that all new light duty vehicles registered in Minnesota are zero emission vehicles by 2035.
  • Reduce the number of vehicle miles traveled across Minnesota per capita 14% by 2040.
  • Integrate vulnerability identification and resilience into planning and programming.
  • Develop system and asset resiliency measures.

The process used to update the SMTP included several activities that embedded transportation equity into the planning approach.

As a result, equity is integrated throughout the policy direction.

The SMTP update includes the following equity commitments:

  • Build internal capacity to advance transportation equity.
  • Enhance analysis and evaluation for transportation equity in project selection and project development.
  • Co-create stories about transportation in Minnesota in collaboration with communities.
  • Collaborate with partners to evaluate and address equity impacts of transportation fees, fines and fares.
  • Develop a measure of how much household income is spent on transportation.
  • Develop measures for transportation equity.
  • Use a newly developed transportation equity statement of commitment to inform ongoing work.

According to the press release, when transportation works well, it improves health outcomes and reduces disparities.

The SMTP includes the following public health commitments:

  • Adopt a Safe System approach to transportation safety.
  • Increase the percent of Minnesotans who walk or bicycle at least weekly to 60% by 2040.
  • Develop resources to mitigate urban heat islands.
  • Develop measures for walking, bicycling and taking transit at a project- and program-level.

The plan is the result of collaboration during the last two years between MnDOT, partners, stakeholders, and the public.

You can find the final plan here.