Woman biking on MRT

Mississippi River Trail

Timeline

Mn/DOT volunteers evaluating route

PREVIOUS WORK

  • Mississippi River Trail is established south of St. Louis, MO as an economic development strategy for the Delta Region (1996 to 2000).
  • Route extension embraced by the northern five states to the river’s headwaters (1999).
  • MnDOT, in partnership with the Department of Interior, partially signed the route for 72 miles throughout the Twin Cities within the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (2009).

RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS (SUMMER 2010 – FALL 2011) 

Community Engagement Report (summary of the work below)

  • Reviewed and refined the route based on collaborative statewide meetings;
  • Conducted evaluation rides to confirm route decisions made in the meetings;
  • Introduced the concept of bicycle-friendly communities along the route;
  • Prepared and posted a GIS-interactive MRT map and a series of printable maps on MnDOT’s website;
  • Developed a marketing toolbox to enhance local marketing efforts and promote the MRT.
  • Completed a signing plan for segments located on state highways.

NEXT STEPS
(2011-SPRING 2012)    

MnDOT is working on the second phase of its two-year effort to revisit the route to cooperatively evaluate and refine what makes a great bicycle route.  Work includes:

  • Convene additional statewide meetings to improve the alignment and coordinate activities and expectations amongst MRT’s road and trail authorities.  Concentrate on: 2010 areas needing additional review; the National Park Service’s Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA) in the Twin Cities; and on developing recommended design guidance for off-road segments in MNRRA; 
  • Implement marketing and outreach.  Encourage formation of mutually beneficial marketing partnerships within the public and private sectors and within select communities facilitate local marketing action plans and bicycle-friendliness recommendations;
  • Complete a signing plan for road and off-road segments not located on state highways;
  • Post improved GIS-interactive and printable maps on MnDOT’s and other’s website for the 2012 bicycling season.  Evaluate the need for hard-copied maps for general distribution;
  • Develop and implement cooperative MRT management with road and trail authorities.

WRAP UP (FALL 2012 and Beyond)    

  • Upgrade access to WEB based maps.
  • Print maps (as appropriate).
  • Install comprehensive signing throughout MRT.
  • Install MRT orientation kiosks in select communities.
  • Other