The Minnesota Department of Transportation has earned a National Planning Achievement award from the American Planning Association for its work on the Mississippi River Trail, a bikeway that closely folows the Mississippi River from its origins at Lake Itasca near Bemidji in northern Minnesota to the Iowa border.
Primarily located on shoulders of paved roads and on low-traffic roads, the 620-mile route also includes relatively long segments of scenic state and regional trails. It passes through or near 70 cities such as Grand Rapids, Brainerd, Little Falls, St. Cloud, the Twin Cities, Red Wing and Winona. It also passes through 20 counties, 90 townships and two tribal lands.
During 2010, MnDOT worked collaboratively wiht stakeholders to establish, market and create bicycle friendly communities along the route, which is the state's first contribution to the United States Bicycle Route system. MnDOT also developed a marketing tool kit available to communities and offred assistance to help local governments and businesses promote the bikeway.
"This effort required contributions from private businesses, elected officials, bicyclists, and state and local road and trail authorities."
MnDOT is one of 12 agencies the received the award given for good planning work. The APA will honor the winners during its national conference April 13 to 17 in Chicago.
Photo credit: MnDOT