Rochester makes offering driving alternatives a priority

As Minneapolis releases its 10-year vision for transportation the city of Rochester is continuing to make driving alternatives a priority.

Posted: Mar 11, 2020 3:42 PM
Updated: Mar 11, 2020 6:06 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - A transportation reported released by Minneapolis this week shows while driving is the most frequent way to travel for most many people say they'd like to be able to walk or ride their bikes more often.

For those that live, and even those who visit, Rochester having alternatives other than getting around in a car is important.

Iowa resident Laurie Buyert says she visits Mayo Clinic a few times a year and appreciates how walk-able the city is. She said, "I feel safe here walking, I've walked to the hospital before and I like to be outdoors."

As Minneapolis releases its 10-year vision for transportation the city of Rochester is continuing to make driving alternatives a priority.

Mayor Kim Norton explained, "We are right in line with the same concepts; making Rochester more walk-able, more bike-able, more sustainable is definitely something the city council and our city departments have been working on."

Norton says the city council has in its long-range comprehensive plan a goal to have more commuters on the transit system and fewer people using personal vehicles as the city expands.

"That growth means that's more people on transit, more people walking, more people biking more people using scooters to get around shorter distances downtown so we are creating the environment in our community similar to Minneapolis and St. Paul," said Norton.

Norton says while sustainability is a focus the city will also work to maintain roadways to ensure those who need to drive can do so safely.

She added, "Many of the senior citizens in particular are saying, 'I'm not going to walk long distances, I can't. It's difficult for me. I need a place to park close to where I need to go downtown.' So, it's really meeting the needs for both groups of people."

Other Rochester sustainability efforts include bike and scooter sharing as well as a move to introduce electric buses.

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