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The Future of Small Towns: Idea Generator
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Do you have an idea about the future of small towns? Are the ideas you see not quite hitting the mark? Propose your own idea for the future of small towns!

The Basics

Rural areas need better highway safety and road maintenance. However, rural and urban communities share the same pot of money. The Minnesota Department of Transportation says these resources can't meet the state's needs at a time when most businesses and policymakers are demanding more transportation funding.


What the Experts Say

Rural roads need upkeep
The Federal Highway Administration reports that nearly one-third of rural interstates are in poor or mediocre condition and 20% of bridges are considered deficient. [Source 1, Source 2]

Rural roads unsafe
Longer driving times, speeding, alcohol and distance to hospital facilities have all contributed to higher fatality rates on rural roads. Nationwide, more than 58% of highway fatalities happen in rural areas. In Minnesota, more than 70% of fatal crashes happen in greater Minnesota. [Source 1, Source 2, Source 3]

More from MPR:
Document Business groups developing big spending proposals for transportation
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Ideas for: Transportation

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2 rating
(2 votes)
Focus on the cost of living; start by making transit cheap
Small towns are hurting because one of the factors that made them viable--low-cost living--is getting harder to pull off for working-age citizens.

Considering the constant press for lower wages and... Read more

From Glenn Kuehne of Alexandria, MN on 05/15/05

2 comments | Vote/comment on this entry



4.5 rating
(8 votes)
Invest in high-speed transit between cities
Small towns in Minnesota--and other wide open places--are hindered from growth by the sheer distance between them and their regional and state centers. Minnesota needs to reinvest in high-speed transi... Read more

From Victoria Ford of Saint Paul, MN on 05/15/05

8 comments | Vote/comment on this entry



3.5 rating
(8 votes)
Create a state fund for small city transportation
I just came across some interesting information about a grant program in the State of Washington that provides funding to small towns (less than 5000 population) for various transportation projects. ... Read more

From Wayne Hurley of Fergus Falls, MN on 05/11/05

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Submit your own idea

Do you have an idea about the future of small towns? Are the ideas you see not quite hitting the mark? Propose your own idea for the future of small towns!

Want to comment on the Idea Generator?
Send your thoughts to publicinsight@mpr.org