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MnDOT seeks public input Monday in Willmar, Minn., for statewide bicycle planning study

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ST. PAUL -- The public, local government officials and transportation supporters are invited to provide input for Minnesota's statewide bicycle planning study at meetings statewide, including a meeting Monday in Willmar.

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The meeting will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday at Willmar Municipal Utilities, 700 Litchfield Ave. S.W. Attendees should plan to stay the entire time. The event will begin with a brief project description followed by a series of group discussions.

Those unable to attend in-person may join a statewide webinar discussion from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 22. Webinar details will be posted at www.dot.state.mn.us/bike/study.html.

"Minnesota is often recognized as one of the top bicycle-friendly states in the country, and the best way to continue improving is to learn from constituents who use the highways, bike lanes and shoulders to bike," said Tim Mitchell, MnDOT bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, in a news release.

Participants will provide input on:

* What is working to make bicycling a safe and usable transportation option

* What needs to be improved to make bicycling a safe and usable transportation option

* Ideas for future bicycling accommodations on Minnesota roads

* Barriers to making improvements

All feedback will help MnDOT improve and develop consistent policies and practices for including bicycle components, such as wide shoulders or bike lanes, on future highway and bridge construction projects. It also will help MnDOT develop a new electronic and printable statewide bicycle map. Future public comment opportunities will take place as the project moves forward.

The public also may submit written comments on the project website, email greta.alquist@state.mn.us or mail to Greta Alquist, MnDOT Office of Transit MS 315, 395 John Ireland Blvd., St. Paul, MN, 55155

To request an ASL or foreign language interpreter, or other reasonable accommodation, call Janet Miller at 651-366-4720 or 1-800-657-3774 (Greater Minnesota); 711 or 1-800-627-3529 (Minnesota Relay). Alternatively, send an email to janet.rae.miller@state.mn.us. Please request at least one week in advance.

Meetings have been conducted in other cities over the past several days, and other upcoming meetings in addition to Monday's session in Willmar are Tuesday in Detroit Lakes, Wednesday in St. Cloud and Thursday in Duluth.

For more information on the project and details on any of the meetings, visit www.dot.state.mn.us/bike/study.html.

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