February 21, 2020
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The new Pathways to Decarbonizing Transportation in Minnesota compiled and issued by the Minnesota Department of Transportation aims to get the state on track to meet future goals for reducing greenhouse gas or GHG emissions in accordance with the 2007 Next Generation Energy Act, which seeks to cut statewide GHG emissions 30 percent by 2025 and 80 percent by 2050.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is critical to MnDOT’s vision of maximizing the health of people, the environment and our economy,” noted Margaret Anderson Kelliher (seen at podium in above photo), the agency’s commissioner, in a statement.

“I’m proud of the proactive efforts our team has taken to engage the public and other agencies in this discussion, and develop meaningful actions and recommendations that will help Minnesota achieve a low-carbon transportation future,” she said.

Photo by Minnesota DOT

The Pathways report includes a number of action items that the Minnesota DOT plans to pursue, including: the creation of a Sustainable Transportation Advisory Council; regional collaboration on the creation of electric vehicle corridors; and analyzing GHG emissions in transportation projects.

Anderson Kelliher also proposed a combination motor fuels tax increase/debt service fee that would raise state gasoline prices anywhere from 13 to 15 cents per gallon to pay for what she called “badly needed” transportation improvements.

“There is a real need in this community to address not only the transportation movement of cars and transit, but people want to bike safely and they want to walk safely,” she explained during a meeting with the Rochester Post Bulletin on September 16. “And to be able to do that, you actually need more resources.”

Anderson Kelliher added that the debt service fee would be used to pay off outstanding bonds that are consuming more of the department’s budget, which she estimated will be at $275 million in a few years.

editor@aashto.org

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