2023 Legislative Agenda
BikeMN’s 2023 Legislative Agenda
(Stay tuned for the actual bill numbers in January)
The Legislature adjourned in May of 2022 without passing a transportation finance or policy bill. BikeMN will be working with authors in the House and Senate to pass some of the things that had been previously proposed as well as some new things. There are several policy changes and funding opportunities that BikeMN feels will make things safer for people walking and biking. The first is encouraging the bike policy bill that passed the House 122 – 0 in 2019, was never granted a hearing by the Senate, and was introduced again in 2022 by Representative Lillie and Senator Howe.
Another major concern is the challenges faced by school districts and local governments trying to lower speed limits on county roads and state and U.S. highways that are adjacent to schools. BikeMN also supports requiring schools to provide walking and biking safety training in addition to the already mandated bus safety training. BikeMN also supports the Bicycle Safety Stop (AKA: Idaho Stop, Stop as Yield) which is now law in 9 other states, using the original Idaho Stop language as a starting point. Finally, BikeMN supports a statewide e-bike rebate program. These things and several more policy and funding issues will be addressed in a 2023 Omnibus Biking and Walking Improvements Bill similar to the ones introduced by Representative Bernardy and Senator Johnson Stewart in 2022. BikeMN also supports a bill that would allow a pilot program for implementation of speed camera enforcement near work sites being led by the Minnesota Safety Council.
You can check the last year’s bills described below and read the full text here (Hint: use this format in your search HF1908 – leave no space)
The Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (BikeMN) supports and is working with House and Senate authors on:
- Bike Policy Bill – Currently being redrafted for 2023 (Lillie/Carlson)
- Bill Dooley Bicycle Safety Act – HF 677 (Lillie) SF 912 (Morrison) – the comprehensive/omnibus policy and funding bill that includes all but the e-bike rebate program.
- $10 million in bonding for Safe Routes to School infrastructure in a bonding bill. Currently there are two $10 million bonding bills. SF 283 (Nelson/Housley) and HF 669 (Lee)
- HF 677 and SF 912 include $25 million for active transportation and $10 million for safe routes to school per year as part of MnDOT’s base budget. This would allow MnDOT a lot of flexibility regarding funding programs in addition to infrastructure and to even use some for the local match to the ongoing federal funding.
- E-bike rebate program – This is being drafted as a stand-alone bill that will provide a $750 credit for prequalified low-income e-bike purchasers and $500 for everyone else.
- BikeMN also supports other bills related to:
- 1. A sales tax in the Metro Area and an ongoing appropriation for Greater Minnesota for transit, biking, and walking;
- 2. Increased funding for ongoing trail maintenance and repair;
- 3. Specific bonding bills for trail projects including ones for the Gitche Gami State Trail and the Minnesota River State Trail from Mankato to St. Peter. Please watch for updates with specific bill numbers for these and other bills that are of interest on our 2023 Legislative Agenda website page.
2023 Bill Dooley Bicycle Safety ActOmnibus Biking and Walking Improvements Bill (H.F. 677 (Elkins) S.F. 912 (Morrison 677):
This 2023 omnibus bill (a bill comprising several items) is named in memory of BikeMN’s long-time advocacy chair and board member Bill Dooley. It includes language from many of the previous bills BikeMN supported that did not pass. The 2023 effort will continue to push for items not yet passed in years prior, both policy and funding provisions. House Transportation Committee Chair Frank Hornstein successfully added some one-time safe routes and active transportation funding in the 2021 Omnibus Transportation bill. In 2023, BikeMN is asking for MnDOT’s base budget to be increased from $1.5 million for Safe Routes to School to $10 million and the Active Transportation Program to be increased from $0 to $25 million. The other items in HF 677/SF 912 include:
- Requires MnDOT to allocate at least 110% of the federal authorization for Transportation Alternatives to that program.
- Appropriates $10 million to safe routes to school infrastructure grants from a bonding bill.
Article 2, School-Related Related Active Transportation
- This provision (also a stand-alone bill, HF 678 (Elkins) SF 911 (Morrison) requires bike/walk education to be taught in schools. It was introduced as a separate bill because it will be sent to the education committee. The other provisions in HF 677/SF 912 only need to be heard by the transportation committee. Currently, school districts and nonpublic schools that transport students by school bus at public expense MUST provide bus safety training and MAYalso provide student bicycle and pedestrian safety education for students enrolled in kindergarten through fifth grade. BikeMN supports changing this MAY to MUST. Many school districts, including those with one or more of the 1,000 educators have been trained statewide to teach the Walk! Bike! Fun! elementary school safety curriculum, is already exceeding this requirement. We want to ensure that all students receive bicycle and pedestrian safety information, even if it is at a lower level than Walk! Bike! Fun!
- The local authority to set school speed limits originally in this bill will be addressed in a separate bill also authored by Representative Steve Elkins.
Article 3 – Active Transportation Policy
- The first part of this article requires MnDOT to continue to lead by providing active transportation design guidelines, active transportation planning assistance, and technical assistance to local governments.
- The next section formally establishes the Mississippi River Trail and the Jim Oberstar (now known as the North Star Route) as State Bikeways.
- The next section is about passing a bicycle. It resolves the differences between 169.18 Subdivisions 3 and 5 saying that the passing distance when overtaking bicycles requires at least three feet or half of a vehicle’s width when passing.
- the poorly understood as far to the right as practicable language ins changed to as far to the right as the bicycle operator determines is safe. This complies with national best practices.
- Following that the law makes it legal for bicyclists to proceed straight through an intersection from a right-hand turn lane without turning right.
- Section 7 is the stop as yield for bicycles (also referred to as the Idaho Stop)
- Section 8 reauthorizes the MNDOT Active Transportation Advisory Committee (
- Section 9 requires the first $500,000 appropriated for active transportation to be spent to develop, maintain, and implement active an transportation safety curriculum for youth ages five to 14 years old, and if remaining funds are available, for (1) youth ages 15 to 17 years old, (2) adult active transportation safety programs, and (3) adult learn-to-ride programs. The curriculum must include resources for teachers and must meet the model training materials requirements.
Article 4 – Appropriations for Active Transportation
- Appropriates $10 million/year for Safe routes to school and $25 million for active transportation as an ongoing appropriation from the state general fund. This is done with the intention of funding much of the match for the federal Transportation Alternatives program and increasing program as well as infrastructure investment.
Bike Policy Bill – HF ??? (Lillie) and SF ??? (Carlson in 2023)
This bill (currently being redrafted for 2023) was introduced for the past few years in a row. It has passed the House each year but last year the Senate Transportation Committee did not schedule it for a hearing in years prior. There are several policy changes in it that BikeMN feels will make things safer for people biking. It is exactly the same bill that passed the House 122-0 in 2019. Many of the changes were recommended as best practices by the National Conference of State Legislatures and the League of American Bicyclists. It makes the following changes:
- Centralizes and makes consistent the definition of Bikeway.
- Clarifies that traffic laws apply to those riding on the shoulder and that bicycles in a crosswalk have the rights and duties of a pedestrian.
- Resolves the differences between 169.18 Subdivisions 3 and 5 saying that the passing distance when overtaking bicycles requires at least three feet or half of a vehicle’s width when passing.
- Changes the poorly understood as far to the right as practicable language to as far to the right as the bicycle operator determines is safe.
- makes it legal for bicyclists to proceed straight through an intersection from a right-hand turn lane.
Safe Routes to School Bonding
Safe Routes to School Bonding HF 1108 (Murphy) and SF 1223 (Senjem) the stand-alone bonding bills for $10 million for SRTS. There will be similar bills in 2023.
Omnibus Traffic Safety Bill
The Minnesota Safety Council is proposing, among other things, a limited pilot program for speed camera enforcement implemented along work sites.
Metro Sales Tax for Transit, Biking, and Walking
The Sierra Club drafted a letter, which BikeMN and MoveMN helped initiate calling on the Governor to implement a Metro Area sales tax of one cent with 10% dedicated to biking and walking and $187,000 million of other dedicated funding for Greater Minnesota transit, biking, walking initiatives, programs, and funding support. Another 15-20 organizations have signed on to the letter through the Minnesota Environmental Partnership’s sign-on process.
Bicycle Safety Stop (AKA Idaho Stop)
The only policy provision in our Omnibus Bill that is not in the stand-alone policy bill. We believe this would need to go to the public safety committee. Read more about the policy language here.
Help keep Minnesota walk, bike, and transit-friendly by joining us on Thursday, February 9, 2023 for the Minnesota Walk Bike Summit!
2022 Legislative Agenda
2021 Legislative Agenda
The 2021 Summit was entirely virtual and free. You can view the entire playlist on our YouTube page here.
2020 Legislative Agenda
- Support including $10 million for Safe Routes to School infrastructure grants in the bonding bill and an allocation from the General Fund for Active Transportation grants in the budget bill
- amending current Minnesota Statutes (Chapter 123B.90 (e)
- -School District Powers and Duties) to change that May to Must to require inclusion of
- biking and walking safety training in addition to requiring school bus safety training?
- Amend Minnesota Statutes to change May to Must require inclusion of biking and walking safety training in addition to requiring school bus safety training
- Support giving local authorities the power to lower speed limits on all roads adjacent to school property
- Update the electric-assist bicycle definition and operation statutes to reflect the national best practices for the three classes of E-bikes currently being sold
2019 Legislative Agenda
- Support the inclusion of $30 million for Active Transportation grants in the budget and/or bonding bill with a minimum of $1 million per year for planning, education, and other program-related activities
- Support $6 million for Safe Routes to School infrastructure grants in the bonding bill and an increase in MnDOT’s base budget from $500,000/yr to $750,000/yr for program-related grants
- Hands-Free Cell Phone
- Include walking and biking in the goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector
- Ensure the 3-foot passing law applies to shoulder users, make it legal for a bicyclist to ride through a right turn lane without turning, and allow the bicycle operator to determine how far to the right it is safe to ride
2018 Legislative Agenda
- Support both the inclusion of $6 million for Safe Routes to School infrastructure grants and the trail priorities outlined by the Parks & Trails Council and the Met Council in the bonding bill
- Address distracted driving through the Hands-Free Cell Phone Law
- Include funding for bicycling and walking in any transportation funding package passed by the Legislature through a dedication of the sales tax paid on bicycles and bike parts, equaling about $15 million each year, to proposed state-level active transportation grant programs
2017 Legislative Agenda
- Requests for SRTS funding in MN far exceeded available state and federal dollars; in 2015 there were $14.6M in requests, but just $5M available, primarily through federal resources. We asked for an additional the inclusion of $6 million in the bonding bill for Safe Routes to School infrastructure grants.
- BikeMN also encouraged the inclusion of $3.6 million in the bonding bill for improvements to the Cuyuna State Recreation area and another $8 million for State Trails in Greater MN and $5 million for Metro Regional Parks and Trails.
- BikeMN asked for the reauthorization of the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) program.
- Hands Free Cell-Phone Law
- MnDOT Bike Law Task Force
- School Buses in Bike Lanes
- Safe Passing
- Urban Bike Lane Permits
2016 Legislative Agenda
- Include funding for pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure and programs in any transportation funding package approved by the legislature this session
- Fund Minnesota’s Safe Routes to School program with $6 million to provide students with sidewalks and safe street crossings
2015 Legislative Agenda
- Transportation Funding Should Include all Modes Including Walking and Bicycling
- Walking and Bicycling MnDOT Grant Program
- Riding and Passing Rules
- State Aid Roadway Design Standards
- Enhanced Penalties/Vulnerable User
- James L. Oberstar State Bikeway
Talking to your Legislators and Elected Officials
Apply for a Scholarship and Travel Stipend
[BikeMN’s] advocacy work has had a remarkable impact throughout the state! We need to push cities and towns to be more bicycle and pedestrian friendly – Minnesota could use more sidewalks in rural areas, more traffic calming strategies, more bike rail guards on city streets, bike and pedestrian plazas, and curb cuts! – BikeMN Advocacy Member