Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

Minnesota’s Roads Receive a Dismal D-Plus Rating

Minnesota’s beleaguered road system received the lowest grade of all — a D-plus. Roads across the state are in poor condition, and congestion in the Twin Cities means motorists spend an average of 41 hours in rush-hour traffic every year, a slog that costs drivers $1,332 each in commuting expenses annually....

Continue reading

Federal Agencies Scrutinize Met Council Compliance

The Met Council’s exemption from a federal requirement for Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) to have local elected officials, rather than political appointees, in charge of spending and policy decisions could be revoked, depending on the outcome of a review underway by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Met Council remains the only MPO in the nation to be exempted from a requirement designed to hold regional governments accountable to the constituents subject to their decisions. But Federal Transit Administration Highway (FTA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) officials recently announced they will “undertake further review of the Met Council’s compliance with Federal requirements...

Continue reading

Lewis Doubles Down on Met Council Accountability

On Wednesday August 29th, Rep, Jason Lewis hosted a round table event to discuss increasing the accountability of the Met Council. The context for the meeting was that Rep. Lewis has attached an amendment to the house bill that would reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, and that amendment would require the Met Council to have elected officials on its board – as is the case for every other 400 or so such boards across the country. Our local situation of having a regional authority completely overseen by unelected officials is so egregiously out of line with political norms and legal requirements...

Continue reading

How government can keep housing affordable for everyone: stop making housing more expensive and stop trying to help

Before our legislature or local governments try anything new, or tap more taxpayers dollars, they should first analyze how state and local regulations drive the costs of building and maintaining rental and other housing, especially for people who are cost sensitive: students, young people just getting a start and for low-income residents, including the elderly who are in fixed incomes....

Continue reading

Much Ado About Something at the Met Council

A series of curious events over the last six weeks related to the Southwest Light Rail project and key personnel at the Met Council suggest disarray at the Twin Cities’ unelected “regional authority”. First, with respect to the Southwest Light Rail (SWLRT) project, the Met Council has been battling lawsuits, its own misleading practices, and various self-inflicted delays in an effort to secure nearly a billion dollars in matching federal funding. One final battle appeared to be a lawsuit filed by the Twin Cities & Western railroad (TC&W) in opposition to the Council’s somewhat convoluted plan to buy and manage a critical...

Continue reading

Met Council has a new director of equal opportunity but not enough bus drivers. Some Routes Suspended.

One of the Met Council’s core functions is transit. I could not help wondering if the Council focused more on delivering good transit, rather than trying to re-arrange the metro area according to its own “progressive” political and social agenda maybe it would not find itself without enough drivers. ...

Continue reading

Southwest LRT Summer Newsletter: spending, delays continue while total costs rise

For your summer reading: The Met Council's pet project SWLRT, now largely shifted onto the back of Hennepin County taxpayers, has been delayed again. And yet the Council is spending tax dollars anyway even though it has not received a federal grant. This is "good" news, as good as it gets short of a full denial by the FTA. My prediction is SWRLT will not be funded in 2018. ...

Continue reading

Met Council Policies Threaten Dream of Home Ownership

The Twin Cities face a chronic shortage of affordable housing. But not the kind activists like to talk up. There's nowhere near enough affordable new starter homes for middle class buyers on the market, according to an MPR report. Real estate developer Paul Heuer wants to build houses that regular people can afford. But he says increases in land, labor and lumber costs — in addition to regulatory costs — have made building a new starter home virtually impossible. "Definitely on the first-time home buyer, there's a substantial market that's not being met," Heuer said. "In the mid- to upper ranges, we're doing alright....

Continue reading

Radio Traffic Reporter Agrees: We Need More Lanes

While driving back to the Golden Valley area from my parents’ house in Wisconsin, I caught the tail end of a Twin Cities traffic update. The report was as expected: car fire here, accident there, traffic congestion from construction everywhere. But what caught my attention was the announcer’s final comment on all the road construction projects currently underway....

Continue reading