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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Mississippi National River and Recreation Area Alternative Transportation Systems Implementation

The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MISS) helps coordinate alternative transportation activities among 25 different parks departments along the Mississippi River. However, many visitors have difficulty traveling from site to site along the river.

Volpe's task is to help plan and implement a cohesive alternative transportation system that is easy and accessible for all visitors to navigate, and will focus on helping visitors make use of existing trails, Metro Transit, and the Nice Ride bike sharing system.

The proposed alternative transportation system includes land- and water-based connections to public transit, bicycle and pedestrian trails, and boat access for the 72-mile river corridor in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The system will constitute a well-defined and seamless network of multimodal transportation opportunities that is recognized by all visitors and commuters as the best means to navigate the MISS corridor in its entirety without the use of a car. The system will connect with other alternative transportation opportunities within the Twin Cities metro area, including light rail, bus, bike/pedestrian facilities, bicycle sharing stations along the river, and river access.

Specific Volpe tasks include the following:

  • Defining and implementing the transportation, signage, and infrastructure components of the MISS alternative transportation system.
  • Facilitating among multiple partners the development and implementation of multimodal innovative projects involving bike share, shuttle service, and paddle share.
  • Developing a 5-year plan for alternative transportation investments
  • Overseeing the development of, creating videos for, tracking the budget of, and developing the website ( for the park's paddle share program.
  • Designing and implementing virtual and physical signage throughout the park as well as creating videos for the park's paddle share program.

Volpe developed a web tool in support of this project at The website guides visitors to nine major alternative transportation gateways in the greater Twin Cities area and allows them to see destinations such as parks and museums. It provides transit and cycling directions, highlights safer cycling routes, and features live data from Metro Transit and the Nice Ride bike share system.

Project Documents

Canoers paddling under a bridge on the Mississippi River.
Canoers paddling under Ford Bridge on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. (National Park Service photo)
Last updated: Thursday, June 20, 2019