Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Sustainability and Public Health

Public Health

A group of children riding bikes on a bike trail and wearing helmets. The child in the foreground is wearing a blue jacket and khaki pants and braids and has a big smile on their face.Two people walk on a wide sidewalk in a small urban downtown business corridor. There are street trees, shade from awnings, parked cars and some sidewalk signs. Municipal buildings and traffic signals and streetlights are visible in the distance.A vendor picks up a container of cherry tomatoes from a large selection of vegetables on a table at a farmers market. They are holding a plastic bag in their other hand to place the produce into.

Transportation affects the health of people, the environment, and the economy. Safe, convenient, and affordable transportation options help people connect with schools, jobs, friends and family, and essential needs like healthy food, recreation and health care.

MnDOT recognizes that healthy communities make healthy people. The Sustainability and Public Health Division was created in 2019 to lead and support efforts to promote public health in transportation. The following are examples of this work.

Complete Streets

MnDOT was one of the first state DOTs to adopt a Complete Streets Policy. Streets are designed to prioritize safety and access for everyone, including people walking and biking, transit, cars, and freight and commercial vehicles. Updates to the policy and supporting resources will be available in 2022.

Equity and Health Assessment Pilot

MnDOT created a pilot Equity and Health Assessment (EHA) in 2021 as part of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Hwy 252/I-94 corridor in Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center and Minneapolis. The goal is to better understand and address community concerns around transportation, equity and health. MnDOT will apply lessons from the pilot to future work. The EHA is expected to conclude in 2023.

Transportation Research Synthesis

MnDOT is working with the University of Minnesota on The Health and Transportation Nexus research project to understand how transportation and partner organizations prioritize public health. Research results will be available in December 2021.

Active Transportation Resources

Technical assistance and funding opportunities for bicycle and pedestrian-related activities like the Active Transportation Program and Safe Routes to School (SRTS) promote transportation options that help people stay physically active.

Health Impact Assessment

In 2016, MnDOT partnered with the MN Department of Health (MDH) on the Connecting Health and Transportation Health Impact Assessment (HIA). The HIA helped MnDOT integrate health into the 2017 Statewide Multimodal Transportation Plan (SMTP) and will inform the 2022 SMTP update.

Sustainability

MnDOT’s efforts to advance sustainability and reduce carbon pollution prioritize equitable solutions that improve the health of our people and environment. This includes activities like reducing salt use, accelerating electric vehicle adoption, and increasing solar energy generation on MnDOT buildings and properties.

MnDOT & MDH Interagency Agreement

MnDOT and MDH signed an interagency agreement in 2015 to collaborate and integrate health into transportation decisions. MnDOT also participates in MDH-led groups such as the Healthy Minnesota Partnership  and the Minnesota State Suicide Prevention Task Force.