Commentary: Minnesota needs this plan for transportation
No matter where you look in Minnesota, our transportation system is failing to keep pace with our growth and economic needs. Neither rural nor metro communities have benefited from previous battles over transportation at the State Capitol. In fac...
No matter where you look in Minnesota, our transportation system is failing to keep pace with our growth and economic needs. Neither rural nor metro communities have benefited from previous battles over transportation at the State Capitol. In fact, past fights have left us with a growing transportation problem in communities statewide, one that requires a statewide solution now.
As county commissioners from Greater Minnesota and the Twin Cities, we're reaching across geographic boundaries to understand each other's transportation challenges and achieve a statewide solution. Recently, we joined elected officials, business leaders and others on a tour and discussion of transportation concerns in Meeker and McLeod counties and other parts of the state.
These meetings were part of an ongoing effort among policymakers across Minnesota, and they provided a compelling look at how the inability to complete important projects.
The state of Minnesota has primary responsibility for developing and funding transportation. That's why we are actively working with a diverse coalition of local governments and business, agricultural, environmental and other groups to call on the governor and state Legislature to enact a comprehensive and much-needed transportation funding bill this year.
Statewide transportation funding must be a top priority this session. We must focus on the following principles to develop a solid long-term transportation plan for Minnesota:
- Take a balanced approach. We need to invest in both transit and roads in Greater Minnesota and the metro area.
- Focus on safety. We need to improve dangerous roads and bridges.
- Efficient spending for effective projects. Transportation funds must be spent wisely and allocated to projects that deliver the greatest benefits.
- Dedicate new revenues to transportation projects. Any new transportation revenues must be dedicated to upgrading Minnesota's highways, roads, bridges and transit systems.
Such a plan is now making its way through the Legislature. Now is the time to contact your legislators and the governor. Ask them to turn this plan into law and ensure that our transportation investments secure continued business and economic growth, well-paying jobs and the great quality of life Minnesotans expect and deserve.