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The Star Tribune mischaracterizes Met Council compliance bill advancing in the U.S. House

"Congressional intent is that any MPO who’s structure changes in order to adhere to federal law, will be given a transition period. This amendment does not put in jeopardy any current or future federal investments or grants. In fact, my colleagues and I from Minnesota have been working with DOT to make certain our region gets the federal support we need." Congressman Jason Lewis (MN-02) ...

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Lewis Amendment Addresses Met Council’s Flawed Governance Model

On April 24th Rep. Jason Lewis put forth a locally important amendment to H.R. 4, the bill re-authorizing the Federal Aviation Administration. It is a simple amendment that would finally require our unaccountable Metropolitan Council to finally have a majority of its governing board be elected officials. Lewis’s press release notes: Our amendment does not seek to change the operations or scope of the Met Council. It does not attempt to change the activities of the board. It simply requires that for a board be in compliance they need to have locally elected official representation consistent with every other MPO in the...

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The Met Council: The Least Safe Operator of Its Peers

In the last two weeks, our ever-expanding Metropolitan Council announced that it intends to become the owner of a rail corridor in order to facilitate the construction and operation of the Southwest Light Rail line (SWLRT), which would be an extension of the current Green Line. Specifically for the new line the Council would own the rail corridor and operate light rail trains adjacent to freight trains. It seems no task is too big for our uniquely unelected regional authority, which has by far the largest budget and scope of any such organization in the country. So where would that leave...

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I Challenge Anyone at the Met Council to Watch this Video on the Coming Future of Energy and Transportation and Then Explain Why It’s Smart to ‘Invest’ $2 Billion in SW Light Rail

I would also like those at the Met Council involved with committing taxpayers to spend $2 billion on SWLRT, plus millions more annually for operations and maintenance, to read my post from last year: All the reasons the Met Council screwed up $BIG TIME by forcing light rail....

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Should MN amend the constitution (again) to get dedicated funds for roads?

Lawmakers are frustrated. They cannot get enough funding for roads. Why? MnDOT has been captured by the “multi-model” approach to mobility championed by the Metropolitan Council, our mega regional planning and transit planner, owner, operator and funder (it levies taxes). They are Met Council Multi-Model Moonies at MnDOT. ...

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The Met Council: The least safe light rail operator of its peers. Do we really want LRT to co-locate with freight?

In light of the most recent developments, legislators and others are asking, is the Met Council even qualified to safely operate both freight and passenger light rail trains adjacent to each other? The data suggest the answer is no. What more evidence do we need to #StoptheRunawayTrain? ...

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Dayton’s MnDOT testifies that it cannot prioritize mobility or reduce congestion in Metro area

I testified in the House Transportation Policy committee in favor of an idea that is long overdue: requiring MnDOT to revise the 20-year plan to prioritize mobility and relieve congestion. After my testimony on our growing congestion, a representative from MnDOT testified that the agency could not do that. Time for a change in leadership? ...

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BNSF Steps Up Investment: $810 Million To Get Minnesota’s Products to World Markets

Minnesota serves as a crucial link between the Pacific Northwest and Chicago; BNSF moves more than 140,000 carloads of Minnesota corn, wheat, soybeans and other agricultural products, as well as large quantities of timber and paper products to both global and domestic markets. BNSF says it has invested about $810 million over the past five years to expand and maintain its network in Minnesota. The Met Council wants to co-locate passenger rail next to freights lines. Is that safe or good for freight? ...

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