State Employees Lead the Way With Sustainable Transportation Initiatives

DOT Commissioner Zelle and MPCA Commissioner Stine on Nice Ride bikes

DOT Commissioner Zelle and MPCA Commissioner Stine on Nice Ride bikes

Electric-assist bicycles are increasing in popularity. Melissa Wenzel has owned an e-bike since 2008.

Electric-assist bicycles are increasing in popularity. Melissa Wenzel has owned an e-bike since 2008.  Bubble machine optional and can be mounted to any bike.

During the 2016 ride, state employees from MPCA, DNR and BWSR met up with riders from DOT and other agencies at the Capitol at CHS Field.

During the 2016 ride, state employees from MPCA, DNR and BWSR met up with riders from DOT and other agencies at the Capitol at CHS Field.

Several state employees within St Paul are working on transit/earth fairs and community rides in April and May:

  1. April 11th: Electric Bike Panel, Lafayette Park
  2. April 20th: Lafayette Park Community and Transit fair
  3. April 21st: Bike to Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary from Lafayette Park
  4. May 17th: State capitol transit and health fair
  5. May 17th: Bike to Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary from DOT-Capitol

These events are free, geared towards state employees and open to the public. About each event:

Tuesday, April 11: Put power in your pedal with an e-bike
Electric bikes (e-bikes) can boost your pedal power, so you can ride farther and faster with less effort. Join proud e-bike owners and members of the community to hear how fun, practical, and sustainable e-bikes are. A variety of e-bikes will be on hand to see and touch. Questions? Contact melissa.wenzel@state.mn.us
Visitors should enter through the MPCA, 520 Lafayette
When: 11 am – 1 pm
Where: DNR/MPCA/BWSR cafeteria

Thursday, April 20: Lafayette Park Earth Week Community Fair
There’s a lot to see and do at this year’s Lafayette Park Earth Week Transit & Community Fair. Grab a friend and join us. New this year – Food trucks will be parked near the Sheriff’s Office to serve fresh and locally made food.
Community Fair hours: 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Food truck hours: 11 am – 1pm
Where: Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office Rotunda (corner of Lafayette and Grove)

Vendors:
• AAA Minneapolis – Get safety tips for your non-motorized vehicle.
• Ramsey County – Learn about alternative transportation projects plus energy saving tips for your home.
• MPCA Sustainability – Recycling can be confusing. Learn what can be recycled with an interactive game.
• Board of Water and Soil Resources – Two tables: Conservation easements and healthy soil/healthy water
• City of St. Paul – Beautify and improve your neighborhood by organizing a litter cleanup with the help of the city’s Come Clean Program.
• Ramsey County Sheriff – A K9 officer will be on hand to share tips on how you can help take a bite out of crime and how to safely dispose of unwanted medicine.
• Capitol alternative transit developments – Learn about the new US Bike Route 41. Get information about biking in Minnesota. Grab a MnDOT bike map.
• And more!

Food trucks
• El Jibarito: Puerto Rican street fare
• A Piece of Cake: Artisan mini donuts
Questions: Contact jen.jevnisek@state.mn.us.

Friday, April 21: Bike or ride to Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary from Lafayette Park
Recently completed, Trout Brook is a 42-acre nature area nature sanctuary located about two miles north of the Lafayette Park neighborhood along I-35E. At the sanctuary, you’ll get a historical perspective from Nancy O’Brien-Wagner, City of St. Paul and a water quality perspective from Britta Suppes, Capitol Region Watershed District. Plan to bring a lunch and a friend or two. Then pick a transit mode, RSVP to a leader, and join us!

Commuter options to the Sanctuary:

  • Bike. Grab your bike (and helmet) and meet in front of the DNR main entrance at noon. It will be a slow and casual ride however you should wear comfortable clothes. It’s about a four-mile round-trip ride and will take 40-45 minutes (there and back). RSVP to david.schueller@state.mn.us
  • Carpool. Meet at the MPCA main entrance at noon. Vehicles provided. RSVP to amy.waters@state.mn.us
  • Bus. Meet at the bus stop on the corner of Lafayette and Grove (Sheriff’s Office side) at 11:45pm. Bus fair $1.75 – Be sure to ask for a transfer ticket when you pay (It’ll be used for the return trip) Note: This option will take approximately 1 ½ hours – please plan accordingly. RSVP to connie.stauffer@state.mn.us

Earth Week and anytime: bus the downtown zone
Explore downtown St. Paul by taking the bus. For 50 cents, the 64 bus (as an example) can take you through the downtown zone where you can explore places such as Rice Park, Landmark Center, CHS Stadium, Union, Candyland, Mears Park, Central Green Line Station and more. A few tips when taking the bus from Lafayette Park:
• Ask for the downtown zone fair
• Be sure to take another 50 cents with you for the return trip (otherwise you’ll need to walk back)
Plan your trip by using the Metro Transit interactive map.
New to bus riding? Questions? Contact connie.stauffer@state.mn.us

Wednesday May 17: MnDOT’s 16th annual health and transit fair
Save the date” for MnDOT’s 16th annual health and transit fair. With nearly 400 participants each year and multiple agencies participating, It’s the largest multi-agency health/transit fair in the state, for state employees, and this event, like all of the other events, is open to the public!
When: Wednesday May 17, 10am-1pm
Where: MnDOT/State Capitol grounds
What: Walk around the capitol, vendors inside/outside DOT building, “e-bikes/recumbent bike/fat bike/folding bike” panel, food trucks, group “slow bike ride” leaving DOT to Trout Brook Nature sanctuary
Why: to promote healthy and transit initiatives among state employees
How this happens: health and transit champions/advocates help plan this event each year.
For more information, contact deb.bergeron@state.mn.us

Wednesday May 17: Bike or ride to Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary
Recently completed, Trout Brook is a 42-acre nature area nature sanctuary located about two miles north and east of the state capitol along I-35E. At the Sanctuary, here about the local history of the land and water quality and how this sanctuary connects with the rest of the watershed, including St Paul. Plan to bring a lunch and a friend or two and join us! Grab your bike (and helmet) and meet in front of the DOT main entrance at noon. It will be a slow and casual ride however you should wear comfortable clothes. It’s about a four-mile round-trip ride and will take 40-45 minutes (there and back). RSVP to melissa.wenzel@state.mn.us.

Earth Week Calendar

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2 Responses to State Employees Lead the Way With Sustainable Transportation Initiatives

  1. Al Davison
    Al Davison April 7, 2017 at 1:29 pm #

    It’s fantastic to see the state take more initiative on promoting multi-modal transportation.

    I took a Nice Ride downtown for lunch today and it was quicker than getting there through any other mode. Selby & Western and West 7th are only a short bike ride away.

    I’m ready for safer connections between the Capitol and Lafayette areas so we can safely travel between there, downtown, and surrounding neighborhoods.

    • Melissa Wenzel
      Melissa Wenzel April 7, 2017 at 2:00 pm #

      Thank you! State employees have been doing a lot of work but have been either too busy or reluctant to showcase our efforts. But thanks to bolder and deeper sustainability efforts at the MPCA and enterprise-wide, I felt compelled to share it. Plus we’re formally inviting our neighbors within Lafayette Park to this event and took that as a sign that other external visitors are welcome to attend.

      We unfortunately lost our Nice Ride station at Lafayette Park due to lack of use (partly because many people have their own bikes-a great thing). But more stations are at the Capitol for visitors and state employees alike.

      I too am ready for more safe biking options to our work neighborhood. We still have some work to do to get there.

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