Category Archives: Policy and Planning

New Project: Advancing Equity in Accessibility and Travel Experiences: The Role of Gender and Identity

In the early 1990s, Minnesota became the first state in the nation to prohibit discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity. Yet the state continues to use male-female categories when investigating the role of gender in transportation issues such as travel behavior and transportation accessibility. Since a person’s identity can have a significant influence on their own and others’ behavior and experiences, excluding gender diversity in this type of transportation research could result in an incomplete understanding of the issues and perceptions about quality of life.

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New Project: Maximizing Transportation Assets by Building Community Connection Through Innovative Development of Rights of Way and Airspace

Transportation agencies throughout the United States are focused on repairing the damage that highway construction has caused in communities.

MnDOT seeks partnerships with communities, businesses, and government entities to better utilize state highway lands and airspace.

These partnerships aim to enhance economic wellbeing and quality of life. Projects like highway caps and development of spaces underneath highways can increase equity, reduce disparities, and limit environmental impacts.

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New Project: Enhancing Managed Lane Equity Analysis

Managed lanes, like Minnesota’s E-ZPass express lanes, are designed to improve mobility and travel time reliability for transit users, carpoolers and other motorists during peak travel hours. The lanes provide many societal benefits such as increased transit ridership, higher vehicle occupancies, more reliable travel options, and reduced traffic congestion and pollution.

However, because the lanes use pricing to deliver these benefits, they must be designed, constructed and operated equitably. The key is striking a balance that’s fair for everyone.

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New Project: Improving Transportation Equity for All by Centering the Needs of Marginalized and Underserved Communities

Government policies often prioritize the needs of the dominant group or culture, resulting in systems and services that benefit some people more than others. To better address the transportation needs of underserved communities, transportation agencies must first understand people’s lived transportation experiences. Listening is a critical first step toward mitigating the effects of marginalization and discrimination in transportation.

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New Project: Assessing the Effects of Highway Improvements on Adjacent Businesses

Highway improvement projects in metropolitan areas can offer a variety of benefits, including greater safety for travelers and increased activity for businesses near the roadway. However, improved roads may also negatively impact long-standing businesses as new retailers and chain stores displace them.

A greater understanding of the effects of highway improvements on businesses in the Twin Cities’ commercial corridors will help MnDOT deliver projects more successfully.

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‘Expanding the Transportation Workforce’ project creates tools for local agencies

Local transportation agencies in Minnesota are facing a growing workforce shortage. In a recent project, Minnesota LTAP led the creation of tools to help expand the transportation workforce and fill open positions—today and tomorrow.

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Transition to Distance-Based Fees: Where do we go from here?

This article was originally published in Catalyst, August 2021.

As vehicles switch from gas-fueled to electric and revenues from the gas tax begin to decline, experts in the transportation industry are looking for alternative ways to fund roadways. Distance-based user fees (DBUFs) have been gaining political traction as a possibility.

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New Project: MnDOT Haul and Detour Routes – Impacts on Local Roads

When local roads are temporarily used as haul roads or as detour routes, MnDOT compensates local agencies. However, local agencies believe the compensation model is outdated and inadequate, especially for local roads not built for large volumes of heavy vehicles. The methodology also has not been updated to reflect that local agencies have invested more local property and sales tax revenue into their systems beyond the gas tax.

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New Project: Identifying and Optimizing Electric Vehicle Corridor Charging Infrastructure for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Trucks

Transportation is the number one emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in Minnesota and medium to heavy duty trucks contribute to about 40% of transportation carbon pollution.

While electric cars and buses are becoming more common, medium and heavy duty electric trucks are still in their infancy, and the nationwide infrastructure needs to support them still has to be determined.

In a new study, MnDOT will identify the electric charging infrastructure needed along Minnesota highway corridors to support clean freight transportation.

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