Transportation Policy Conference Committee Reaches Agreement
St. Paul, Minn. – Senator Jim Carlson (DFL – Eagan) served as a member on the transportation policy conference committee. The committee agreed to a compromise bill that will keep Minnesota’s roads and transit systems safe and efficient.
“This bill promotes public-private partnerships on transportation projects to decrease costs to tax payers and spur economic growth,” Senator Carlson said. “It improves our quality of life by connecting Minnesotans to their jobs, shortening commutes, and relieving congestion across the metro area.”
Provisions in the bill include prohibiting school bus drivers from using their cell phones while driving, prohibiting car parking in designated bike lanes and providing more disability parking in all public lots.
“These are common sense provisions to improve our transportation system. The House and Senate came to agreement quickly and I’m proud to have this bill go forward,” Senator Carlson added.
The bill puts into statute the position of a transportation ombudsperson and provides disability access to the Central Corridor Light Rail in downtown St. Paul. Senator Carlson introduced legislation for both of these provisions.
“The transportation ombudsperson is a position very few people know about, but is incredibly important. The job provides an important service to the public. The ombudsperson is a resource for dispute and issue resolution between the public and the department of transportation and disseminates information to the public.”
The transportation finance bill is still working through the Senate. The finance bill outlines the spending for both metro and Greater Minnesota transportation.
“Transportation and transit are critical to growing Minnesota’s economy in the short and long-term. With our roads continuing to degrade, it is important that we find a sustainable funding mechanism going forward. By 2040 the metro region is predicted to add almost 900,000 residents and 570,000 jobs. We need to start planning now in order to handle the increase in the future.”