ND Active Transportation Alliance http://ndactivetransportationalliance.com Making active transportation an easy and safe choice for all who live in or visit North Dakota and its border communities in Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana and Canada. Tue, 15 Aug 2017 19:48:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.10 North Dakota Statewide Active and Public Transportation Plan http://ndactivetransportationalliance.com/2017/03/16/north-dakota-statewide-active-and-public-transportation-plan/ http://ndactivetransportationalliance.com/2017/03/16/north-dakota-statewide-active-and-public-transportation-plan/#respond Thu, 16 Mar 2017 03:08:19 +0000 http://ndactivetransportationalliance.com/?p=178 The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) released a request for proposals for the creation of the North Dakota Statewide Active and Public Transportation Plan on February 17, 2017.  Notice the word “Active” in the title.  There have been informal conversations over the last few years with NDDOT and other state officials about the possibility of an update to the North Dakota Bicycle Plan (first and only edition, 1994).  The primary hurdle was that there was no dedicated funding for an update to the ND Bicycle Plan.  Recently, there have been internal “rumblings” of interest in the NDDOT and the North Dakota Department of Health to update the Plan.

Historically, active transportation has not been at the forefront of the NDDOT’s “mind.”  Things have gradually changed since the mid-2000’s when bicycling in general began to really take a hold in the upper mid-west (e.g. Minneapolis, MN; Madison, WI).  Changes in the focus of Federal Transportation Bills since the 1990’s have led to a stronger focus on the development of multi-modal transportation systems rather than a sole focus on increasing efficiencies for motor vehicle travel. This is where the first edition of the ND State Bicycle Plan comes in to play.

As you may well know; a study that becomes a plan with a set of recommendations does not necessarily mean changes on the ground.  Thus the lack of a catalyst caused the ND State Bicycle Plan to sit almost completely silently on shelves in Bismarck and at the three municipal planning organizations in North Dakota.  The Plan needed a statewide catalyst to allow its recommendations to come to life.  There was no such catalyst.  The North Dakota Active Transportation Alliance intends to be the catalyst that continues to keep the recommendations of the upcoming plan on a burner at least on “low” if not “hotter.”

So what would the NDDOT like consultants to work on based on the requirements of the request for proposals of the ND Statewide Active and Public Transportation Plan?  Below is the scope of work portion of the RFP.

This will be the heart of the plan update.  If you feel there is something missing there may an opportunity to tweak the scope of work; certainly no guarantees.  Either way, there should be some sort of public input component.  I hope you will take the time to read and comment on the scope of work.  I look forward to hearing from you.


Justin Kristan

Executive Director, NDATA




Role of Active and Public Transportation

  1. Establish a collaborative statewide vision, goals, and objectives for active and public transport in North Dakota
  2. Define active and public transportation’s role in the context of the state’s transportation system


Public Involvement Plan

  1. Develop and incorporate a public involvement plan to obtain meaningful input in a time efficient manner.


Existing and Projected Conditions and Trends

  1. Identify active and public transportation expectations and potential opportunities within North Dakota.
  2. Review and validate recommendations from existing ND State Bicycle Plan (NDDOT and ND Parks and Recreation),the Personal Mobility in North Dakota: Trends, Gaps and Recommended Enhancements Plan (NDDOT), the Identifying and Satisfying Mobility Needs in North Dakota’s Transit System (NDDOT), and 2016 Transit Legislative Study (NDDOT) .
  3. Analyze socio-economic, transportation technology, and land use pattern trends which may influence the demands on active and public transportation systems from present to the identified horizon year of the plan.



  1. Analyze non-motorized collision data to determine collision patterns and recommend policies, programs, or educational material to minimize occurrences.
  2. Recommend appropriate safety countermeasures or guidance documents that could be used to consider various non-motorized crash types.


Active and Public Transportation Systems

  1. Based on established criteria (for example surface type, width, etc.) identify and map existing statewide bicycle/pedestrian facilities regardless of ownership.

o   The NDDOT maintains a GIS .shp file with multi-use trails within North Dakota’s incorporated communities adjacent to State highways.

o   At a minimum bicycle/pedestrian facilities outside of North Dakota’s incorporated communities would need to be identified in GIS .shp file format

  1. Establish a statewide bicycle route system.

o   This system should consider integration with local non-motorized systems (where applicable), as well as, the United States Bicycle Route System and other recognized intra and interstate bicycle route systems.

  1. Identify existing North Dakota public transportation provider profiles which could include available public transportation services, service days, service hours per day and, service areas, revenue hours, and annual operating costs and provide recommendations for updating information on regular intervals.

o   This effort should also identify public transportation systems which allow bicycles on their public transportation vehicles

  1. Identify existing and projected demand, over the next 20 years, for transit services in North Dakota and evaluate if current service levels will address identified demand.

o   The plan should identify the amount of resources necessary to meet identified existing and projected demands

o   A study has been conducted by the Small Urban Rural Transit Center of the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute (Identifying and Satisfying Mobility Needs Recommended Enhancements Plan) to identify projected public transportation needs to the year 2020. A similar methodology could be conducted to build upon the subject study or an entirely new methodology may be proposed.

  1. Document a baseline of existing transit systems rolling stock and age of rolling stock in comparison to industry useful life standards.

o   Identify the current and near term replacement needs based on useful life standards


Data Collection

  1. Recommend appropriate non-motorized and public transportation service indicators/performance measures and associated data collection methodologies.

o   This should include methods to coordinate data collection and sharing amongst varying levels of government.

o   This should take into consideration the resources necessary to monitor the associated service indicators.

  1. To the extent possible identify characteristics of locations adjacent to the State transportation system which experience or have the potential to experience significant cyclist, pedestrian and public transportation activity.


State Policies, Programs, Laws, Education, and Design Guidance

  1. Evaluation and recommendations for motorist training and education material and practices for interaction with bicyclists and pedestrians.

o   In addition to the various drivers manuals this plan should also suggest marketing and promotional considerations for non-motorized transportation such as the “Code for the Road” campaign.

o   Include recommendations for the most effective methods and formats (such as the NDDOT website and/or social media outlets) which should be used to educate the public.

o   Education should be considered from the perspective of both the motorists and non-motorized users to enhance safe interaction amongst all users.

  1. Evaluation and recommendations associated with current traffic laws and/or state statutes associated with forms of active and public transportation.
  2. Identify methods for how to guide active transportation users safely through construction zones, including specific implementation strategies.
  3. Provide general guidance or recommendations within the document for local jurisdictions to conduct active and public transportation planning activities.
  4. Evaluation and recommendations associated with current practices and policies for developing and maintain the state transportation system.

o   This effort should include identifying if current funding practices and polices support or detract from active and public forms of transportation.

  1. Identify barriers to active and public transportation systems and provide recommendations to mitigate barriers.

o   Recommendations might be in the form of policies, programs, and/or design guidance.

  1. Recommend methods to integrate active and public transportation facilities with other transportation modes.

o   Recommendations might be in the form of policies, programs, and/or design guidance.

  1. Review existing NDDOT design standards/guidance related to active and public transportation facilities and recommend further action(s) to address appropriate design guidelines associated with roadways on a potential bicycle route system, as well as, how State roadways are designed with respect to bicycle, pedestrian, and public transportation in communities and/or locations with significant bicycle/pedestrian demand.
  2. There are numerous active and public transportation facility options (such as sidewalks, bicycle lanes, buffered bicycle lanes, bus shelters, multi-use paths, sharrows, bus pullouts, etc.) to consider for implementation and numerous sources for design recommendations for these facilities. This document should recommend design guidance sources which should be used while providing direction and guidance to local agencies on best practices in planning and maintaining active and public transportation facilities. Additionally, this document should recommend under what conditions it may be appropriate to implement such facilities.
  3. Identify general concepts of how:

o   Land use characteristics support or detract from active and public forms of transportation

o   Transportation facility design supports or detracts from active and public forms of transportation

o   Transportation facility design impacts adjacent land development characteristics


Resource Allocation

  1. Identify known available funding opportunities and eligibilities for active and public transportation facilities.

o   Understand the role of state and federal funding sources in comparison to local investment in active and public transportation facilities and services.

  • As demand for existing state and federal funding sources appears to outpace the availability of funds this plan should also include recommendations for various funding mechanisms Local Public Agencies could consider for addressing active and public transportation facility and service demands at the local level.
  1. Develop estimated unit costs, as well as, useful life timeframes for various active and public transportation facilities and vehicles including but not limited to paved multi-use trails and public transportation vehicles. This should include estimates of preventative maintenance activities and associated costs and timeframes.
  2. The plan should serve as a communications tool, describing the prioritization framework for investments in the active and public transportation modes on the State transportation system.
  3. Establish an understanding of customer preferences for funding allocation

o   Should funds be focused on Communities or rural areas

o   Should funds be focused on transportation or recreational needs

o   Conduct an active and public transportation statewide system level analysis considering customer expectations of implementing facilities in comparison to associated costs.

  • This analysis might include multiple scenarios.



  1. Define the state and local partners, which will be necessary to pursue implementation of the recommendations.
  2. Suggest timeframes and responsible parties for implementation of identified recommendations.
  3. Recommend processes, as appropriate, to incorporate active and public transportation planning into project implementation.

o   Identify federal and state policies related to integration of active transportation facilities into project implementation.

  1. Evaluate the pros and cons of establishing a non-motorized state advisory committee and the associated potential roles.
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Welcome to the North Dakota Active Transportation Alliance http://ndactivetransportationalliance.com/2017/03/06/welcome-to-the-north-dakota-active-transportation-alliance/ http://ndactivetransportationalliance.com/2017/03/06/welcome-to-the-north-dakota-active-transportation-alliance/#respond Mon, 06 Mar 2017 05:06:30 +0000 http://ndactivetransportationalliance.com/?p=173 I want to welcome you to join me on a special and sure to be, challenging journey.  A journey to make active transportation in North Dakota safer, easier and more relevant in the daily lives of all North Dakotans and it’s visitors.

The concept for the North Dakota Active Transportation Alliance (NDATA) came to me in 2013.  It was evident to me that there was no statewide advocacy occurring in North Dakota to promote the safety and relevance of non-motorized roadway users.  Yes, the North Dakota Department of Transportation had finally made an effort to add bicycling and walking to its website and had been making Federal transportation monies available through a grant program but statewide advocacy did not exist.  It was time to be the change that I wanted to see in this great state.  Starting a statewide advocacy group is not simple nor is success guaranteed but something really got my attention in the darkest of ways.  I met a woman who’s husband was killed by a distracted driver while he was cycling on the east side of North Dakota.  The story is tragic and his death was very preventable.  The motorist simply needed to pay attention to driving his motor vehicle and not using his cell phone while driving.

Bicyclists and pedestrians are dying on North Dakota roadways and the judicial system seems to be taking almost no steps to hand down strong sentences that will truly discourage motorists from driving distracted.  There is much room for discussion about the cost of injuring and killing non-motorized roadway users.  What is the cost of an emergency services call?  The cost is high when you include the law enforcement response, fire department response, ambulance service response, loss of income for the victim and their family, insurance payout, judicial costs etc. all because somebody had to make that one “crucial” text or take that one great selfie.

Other topics that the NDATA will work on will be development of: education and awareness programs, the United States Bicycle Route system through North Dakota, active transportation events, legislative campaigns, and improved infrastructure for bicycling, walking, running, skateboarding etc.

I hope you will join me on this journey to make active transportation safer and more relevant in North Dakota.  It won’t take days or weeks; it will take years.  This is very obvious to me as I deal with the North Dakota legislature and hear stories of a legal system that may not have all the tools it needs to effectively reduce distracted driving and a judicial system that does not appear sensitive enough to non-motorists who use North Dakota roadways. I look forward to working with the NDATA’s board members and membership to get to the root of these issues so as to change the culture of transportation in North Dakota.  Together we can make positive changes but we will have to have the mind set of marathon runners and century riders.  We will build alliances throughout North Dakota to make roadways safer for bicyclists, runners and walkers one “mile” at a time.

At this time there is no cost to join the NDATA.  If you are interested in being at the front of a statewide effort to make active transportation in North Dakota safer and  more relevant please provide your name and contact information through the “Contact” button and I will get in touch with you.

I look forward to working with you as we make North Dakota a great state to bicycle, run and walk in and through.


Justin Kristan

Executive Director, North Dakota Active Transportation Alliance


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Governor Signs 2nd Annual ND Share the Road Safety Week Proclamation http://ndactivetransportationalliance.com/2017/01/23/governor-signs-2nd-annual-nd-share-the-road-safety-week-proclamation/ http://ndactivetransportationalliance.com/2017/01/23/governor-signs-2nd-annual-nd-share-the-road-safety-week-proclamation/#respond Mon, 23 Jan 2017 17:22:49 +0000 http://ndactivetransportationalliance.com/?p=156 Former ND State Representative Gail Mooney in cooperation with the NDATA attended the signing of the 2nd annual proclamation signing.

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