The MPCA serves as an advisor and technical resource for a wide range of transportation planning and funding efforts across the state to ensure that transportation planning in Minnesota supports air quality improvements. Transportation planning can have a big impact on vehicle emissions by promoting investment in infrastructure that supports alternative modes of transportation and by developing roadways and traffic controls that reduce congestion and idling.
The MPCA works closely with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the Twin Cities Metropolitan Council, local governments, and others to ensure that plans for transportation investments will not cause or contribute to violations of the national air quality standards and that they work toward our mutual goals of reducing congestion and improving air quality.
Cars that are idling or get stuck for long periods of time in congestion burn more fuel and emit more pollution. Vehicles such as trains, buses, and carpools that carry multiple passengers reduce the amount of emissions per person per trip and also reduce overall congestion by reducing the number of vehicles on the road. The MPCA works with its regional partners to develop innovative ways to lower the number of vehicles on the road. Programs that make more efficient use of the regional transportation system such as encouraging flexible work hours, telecommuting, and ridesharing reduce the number of vehicles at peak travel times.
Walking and biking create no emissions. The MPCA works with our transportation planning partners to encourage land-use planning that provides the opportunity for people to live within walking or biking distance of the places they need to get to every day — work, shops, schools, parks, and transit stops. Planning mixed-use development allows people to live where they work, shop, and play.