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With Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan, the Opportunity to Build a Better Future

What a week. Many of us are hunkered down in our kitchens, unsure of how much food to stock up on or how we will juggle our work and our kids in these unusual and uncertain times. Some are facing unknowns about employment and how to pay the bills. Others—from our doctors and nurses to bus drivers, grocery workers, and cleaning crews—are out there on the front lines doing their best to keep essential services going. There’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting all of us one way or another.

Yet even as we worry about our day to day, we know we must continue to keep an eye on our future. And not just our future next week, but our future five, ten, twenty years down the line. Move Minnesota’s work has always been about that long view, about building a just and sustainable society that reflects a deep care for each other and our planet. If the current health crisis is showing us anything, it’s how interdependent we all are. And when we come through the other side, we’re going to need a better new normal.

Released just last week, the City of Minneapolis’s draft Transportation Action Plan (TAP) is one important way to support immediate and long-term positive change in our community.

The TAP has clear potential to reduce the amount of money Minneapolis residents are forced to spend on transportation each year and reduce the amount of pollution they generate. (See more on the numbers below.) With a focus on redesigning streets and improving transit, biking, and walking, the plan lays out a compelling path for increasing those affordable, climate-friendly trips and in turn cutting down on solo car trips over the next 10 years.

There is a lot to like in this plan. A few of the things we’re most excited about:

Some ways the plan could be even better:

Overall, this Transportation Action Plan is a huge opportunity to advance mobility, equity, and climate action throughout Minneapolis. We are excited by the draft and excited to work with the City to improve it—with your help.

We know there’s a lot on everyone’s minds right now. At the same time, your voice is still incredibly important in this planning process. Public comment on the Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan is open now through April 22. To create a better future, all of us need to speak up for great transit and safe streets that put people first. We need to show that this matters and that we care. Please make your voice heard by commenting through the TAP website or sharing feedback at an upcoming online event. You can also tell us what you think of the plan! We’ll be continuing to engage the City and refine suggestions over the coming weeks—we’d love to hear from you.

TAP by the Numbers:

  1. The breadth of the plan’s impact on the city’s landscape and operations is enormous: streets occupy a full 22% of the land area in Minneapolis, and the TAP addresses every square inch.
  2. The average Minneapolis household spends 19% of its income on transportation, while Minneapolis households at the federal poverty income level spend an astounding 41% of their income on transportation.
  3. Related: 68% of all trips in Minneapolis are currently taken in a car, and we know cars are expensive to own and maintain.
  4. 24% of the city’s climate pollution comes from transportation—totaling around just over one million metric tons of emissions generated by about 2.4 billion miles driven each year.
  5. Even at half capacity a single 40-foot standard city bus is incredibly efficient at moving people. An astounding bit of math reveals the same number of people traveling 25 miles-an-hour in a single lane of cars would stretch for a full mile!