MINOT, N.D. (AP) — Nine North Dakota communities have been trying out new ideas in street design as part of a public transportation initiative.

ND Moves aims to develop a statewide transportation plan that includes pedestrians, bikers and public transit. The group held an open house to present the latest data and project status, including information about demonstration projects that began in early July, the Minot Daily News reported .

The demonstration projects last about six weeks and are situated in Bottineau, Bismarck, Grafton, Grand Forks, Hazen, Horace, Mandan, Rugby and Williston. The demonstrations focus on improving safety, particularly in ways that encourage active, non-motorized transportation like walking and biking, said Steve Mullen, project manager for the state Transportation Department.

"This begins to spur the conversation," Mullen said. "It gives people a chance to at least comment on it, even if it isn't all positive. A lot of is about, 'What do citizens think?'"

Bottineau's demonstrations include temporary paintings around curbs and crosswalks decorated with painted turtles to give people a sense of what curb bumpouts and pedestrian walkways might look like. Williston is testing an idea in which a four-lane street becomes two lanes, with a separate center lane and bike lanes on either side.

ND Moves is in its second and last round of public open houses. Mullen estimated a draft plan should be completed within five months.

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Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com