Rochester, MN

Level: bronze
Population: 124,599
Population Density: 2,256/sq. mi.
Contact: Muhammad F. Khan

Community Highlights

Rochester is designated as a Bronze-level community due to its outstanding engineering practices, extensive trail system, and commitment to improving the pedestrian environment. Highlights of Rochester’s application include:

  • In 2020, Rochester initiated the creation of an Active Transportation Master Plan, incorporating creation of a city-wide walking network and updating the county-wide Bicycle Plan. The Plan sets a vision for walking, biking, and other modes of active transportation and will guide implementation, prioritization, and collaboration of the overall active transportation system.
  • As part of the Active Transportation Plan budget, $30,000 of Community Development Grant funds were allocated towards equity-based studies and an evaluation of the 2012 ADA Transition Plan’s implementation process.
  • Between 2018 and 2022, Rochester has implemented several planning efforts, studies, and small area plans, including the City Loop Master Plan (2018), Multi-part Integrated Transit Study (2018), Planning2Succeed (2018), and Active Transportation Plan Update (2021-2022), among others.
  • In 2017, Rochester established a new Pedestrian and Bicyclist Advisory Committee (PBAC) to advise the city on policy and programming priorities, and to assist staff in education and encouragement of pedestrian safety.
  • The 99+ mile trail network in Rochester is anchored by the Rochester River Trails system. The River Trails network connects many of the major regional and community parks while at the same time providing safe off-road access to the Rochester Central Business District. Town Council recently expanded their Winter Trails maintenance program to increase the number of residents served by trails which are plowed through the winter.
  • The City’s complete streets policy and several recent projects show that Rochester is prioritizing pedestrian considerations in every project.
  • Rochester has a curb ramp and sidewalk inventory system. Currently 100 percent of intersections have ADA accessible ramps on all four corners and the sidewalk maintenance program reviews subareas of the City on a five-year cycle to identify sections for improvement. The City also includes pedestrian provisions on over 80 bridges throughout Rochester.