After a year of talking with residents and others who rely on the state’s transportation system, MnDOT has an outline of how all the pieces fit together. But MnDOT also acknowledges there likely won’t be enough revenue coming in to maintain the system in its current condition, or improve it.
The Minnesota Statewide Multimodal Transportation Plan 2012-2031 is a policy framework for maintaining and building Minnesota’s transportation system over the next two decades. The plan is available online.
In a departure from the past, officials say the plan aims to approach all the different ways people and goods move around – highways, local streets and roads, transit, railroads, aviation, ports, waterways and bicycle and pedestrian facilities – as part of a larger whole that works together as one system.
Tom Sorel, MnDOT commissioner, says integrating the different modes of transportation into one vision will address the needs of the state’s residents in the future, “with the intent of improving Minnesotans’ quality of life.”
To formulate its new transportation vision, MnDOT looked at things like data on the average speed, crash rates and incidence of fatalities, pavement and bridge condition and the age of transit vehicles — to gauge how well the system is running and spot what works and what doesn’t.
Based on recent revenue projections the agency says “it will not be feasible to maintain all infrastructure in its current condition or better over the near to medium term.”
So, with ever-shrinking infrastructure budgets, MnDOT says the new plan will help it maximize the state’s infrastructure investments by targeting work where it’s most needed.
In Greater Minnesota, that may mean focusing on problem intersections or extending transit service both in terms of area and hours of service. In the Twin Cities, it might mean the development of a managed lane system.
For more information about MnDOT’s performance measures, see the 2011 Annual Minnesota Transportation Performance Report at www.dot.state.mn.us/measures/ .