House Transportation Finance and Policy: HF 677 Notes (Feb. 7, 2023)

Chair Rep. Frank Hornstein moves that House File 677 be laid over for possible inclusion in the House Transportation Finance Omnibus Bill. 

  • Says that some of HF677’s policy might end up in a separate House Transportation Policy Omnibus Bill
  • Says the bill is named for Bill Dooley who died in 2022

Chief Author Rep. Steve Elkins (DFL – District 50B) offers an A1 Amendment 

  • Says that two speed limit provisions are being taken out of the bill

No discussion on the amendment. No opposition to amendment. Amendment prevails. 

Rep. Elkins introduces the bill

  • Briefly introduces himself and passes the bill introduction on to Dorian Grilley, Executive Director of the Minnesota Bicycle Alliance

Dorian Grilley 

  • Begins by talking about the late Bill Dooley, describes him as a hub for which conversations around bicycling revolved around, and as a community leader 
  • “Thank you for entering his name into the permanent record of the Minnesota State Legislature.” 
  • Begins by discussing Article 2 of the proposed bill. “Perhaps the most important part and I think Bill would have thought so too.” 
  • Article 2 is related to school-safety active transportation and would require schools provide bike education pedestrian safety education to students 
  • In the past the MBA had worked with BCBS Center for Prevention and MNDOT to develop a school-safety curriculum for walking and biking. “Since then we have contracted with MNDOT to implement the curriculum and we’ve been working with schools and public health professionals to train educators to use it.” 
  • Says they’ve trained about 1000 educators to teach the Walk Bike Fun curriculum and it’s been taught to approximately 100,000 students per year
  • Discusses the health and safety impacts of biking and walking for young people, and related statistics 
  • Article 3: “active transportation policy stuff” 
  • Requires that MNDOT provide active transportation assistance to local governments. “We think MNDOT is doing a pretty good job of this right now. We just want to make sure that that’s the case well into the future.”
  • Article 3 also re-inserts the Active Transportation Advisory Committee as an advisor on the state bike route system – committee had been sunsetted and is re-authorized later in the bill
  • Article 3 also establishes the Mississippi River Trail and the Jim Oberstar Route, now known as the Northstar Route, as state bike routes
  • Article 3 also lays out laws around passing a bicycle and makes a technical correction
  • Article 3 also makes other logistical and best practices-related changes
  • Article 3 would also require that the first $500,000 appropriated be aimed at a developing and implementing actively transportation curriculum for youth and for MNDOT to have the capacity to implement such a curriculum 
  • “I’ve previously said we think the return on investment in education is very, very high. Infrastructure costs millions of dollars. Educating people how to safely use the existing infrastructure in our community costs an order of magnitude less.”
  • Article 4 focuses on appropriations, with $10 million for Safe Routes to Schools and $25 million for active transportation as an ongoing appropriation. 

Attend an Event