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2009 Legislative Rundown: The Good and the Bad


From Dave Van Hattum, Policy and Advocacy Program Manager




Transit Funding

1) Transit Operating: Funding to prevent fare increases and Service cuts
Bill: Transportation finance (Chapter 36)
Avoiding severe cuts and a fare increase was an important success, no long-range funding plan for transit operating was implemented.
2) Transit Bonding for metro transitways and high speed rail

Bill: Omnibus bonding (Chapter 93)
Unprecedented state bonding for metro transitways and high speed rail.
3) High Speed Rail

Bill: Omnibus bonding (Chapter 93)
Quick action to compete for new federal funding.

Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety

1) Photo enforcement of red lights

Bill: Transportation policy (HF928)
Bike and pedestrian safety is too important not to adopt new rules for careless auto drivers.
2) Complete Streets: Bike/pedestrian accommodations on bridge projects

Bill: Transportation policy (VETOED)
A good attempt to move modal equity forward -- watch for complete streets study and legislation in 2010.

Land Use/Development

1) Building Sensible Communities: Local and regional planning to reduce car travel

Bills: Transportation Finance Bill (Chapter 32 Law), Transportation Policy Conference Committee Omnibus Education (Chapter 96)
Coalition efforts to broadly support more transit-friendly development achieves important first steps (i.e. Metropolitan Council Study and change to current sprawl-inducing school siting rules).

Miscellaneous (not officially in Transit for Livable Communities Legislative Agenda)

1) Mn/DOT Transportation Goals: More specificity of sustainability goals

Bill: Transportation policy (VETOED)
Mn/DOT reform is overdue. Without measurable goals, we can't track if we are increasing access for all.


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