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Public comment sought on Itasca County transportation recommendations

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (November 5, 2009) – As part of Blandin Foundation’s continued commitment to strengthen communities in rural Minnesota, especially the Grand Rapids area, the Foundation is seeking comments on draft recommendations to improve transportation options for residents of Itasca County to get to work, school activities and other local destinations.
Recommendations are based largely on input received from focus groups, listening sessions, and one-on-one interviews, and are presented in five categories:

  • Policy and Administrative changes
  • Communications, Education and Outreach changes
  • Opportunities for Coordination and Cooperation
  • Operations, Maintenance and/or Service Improvements
  • Cost Sharing or Saving Opportunities

The draft recommendations are part of a study evaluating the cost and ease of implementing a variety of options for people to travel within and outside the county, from bike routes and use of public transportation, to raising awareness of bus service linking Itasca County to Duluth and launching an online carpool service. The study will be finalized in December.
Copies of the draft recommendations are available at the Blandin Foundation and on the Foundation’s web site at:
 Comments can be submitted by using the online form that accompanies the recommendations, or by calling 218-327-8766. Deadline for comments is November 20, 2009.
In partnership with Itasca Transportation Solutions, a local committee of representatives of area social service providers, schools and businesses, the Foundation worked with the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and the U of M’s Center for Transportation Studies to conduct the study, which will be finalized in December 2009.
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Blandin Foundation, Minnesota’s largest rural-based private foundation is located in Grand Rapids, Minn.  Its mission is to strengthen rural Minnesota communities, especially the Grand Rapids area, through grants, leadership development programs and public policy initiatives.


Allison Ahcan

Director of Communications


Cell 218-259-2893

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