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Traffic Congestion Report Stirs Up Controversy

American Experiment’s report on the misguided government policies driving the Twin Cities traffic congestion crisis apparently hit a nerve at the metro area’s biggest Chambers of Commerce.  The Minneapolis and St. Paul Chambers struck back in a Star Tribune op-ed, Counterpoint: In the Twin Cities area, transit is needed and wanted--and it works. Forty people going to work on transit are 40 fewer cars in front of you. That’s the physical fact. And a place with poor transit is a less attractive place to live, work and do business. That’s the business fact. But big business has long supported spending billions on...

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Road Congestion: It’s All About Politics

Everyone who drives in the Twin Cities knows that traffic is terrible here, but most people don't understand why. This morning I had an op-ed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune that connected the dots. Road congestion isn't a fact of life, like cold winters. Rather, it is the result of bad decisions by politicians: If you think you are spending more time than ever stuck in traffic, you are right. In a new report published by Center of the American Experiment, transportation expert Randal O’Toole lays out the depressing facts: • The number of hours that the average Twin Cities driver wastes...

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Freeway Billboards Drive Traffic Congestion Campaign

American Experiment's provocative "Twin Cities Traffic Congestion: It's No Accident" report has sparked debate over the cause and effect of what many see as the metro area's most pressing problem. For example, the Star Tribune's coverage was the most read article on the paper's website for several hours on Tuesday, generating more than 600 comments.  Twin Cities drivers intuitively know things have gone from bad to worse. In fact, the time metro commuters spend stuck in traffic has quadrupled since 1982. The Center's report reveals that congestion is no accident, calling out the state agencies behind your daily commute from Hades. Instead...

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Caveat: Hennepin County Taxpayers Will Pay More to Fund Met Council Vision for Trains

The problem for Hennepin County and the cities in the county, is that the sales and other taxes are already quite high. Minneapolis is also promising to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, thus making the city an outlier and pariah for small and medium companies. Well, it will sort things out but not in favor of Minneapolis and Hennepin County. ...

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Report Shows Twin Cities Traffic Congestion is No Accident

Twin Cities traffic congestion has reached the crisis point with metro area drivers stuck in traffic 47 hours per year on average compared to 12 hours in 1982. But instead of focusing on comprehensive congestion relief, the state agencies responsible for the transportation system—the Metropolitan Council and MnDOT--pursue policies that make the problem worse, according to a new Center of the American Experiment report. The 24-page report, “Twin Cities Traffic Congestion: It’s No Accident,” estimates the cost of wasted time, wasted fuel and increased pollution from commuters, delivery drivers and others stuck in traffic tie-ups totals nearly $4 billion a year,...

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Legislature Ends Special Session: News on Transportation, Met Council & Education

The Legislature concluded the special session early Friday morning, sending a flurry of budget bills to Governor Dayton. Roads and bridges will get $2 billion over 10 years in existing revenue from automotive-related taxes (so taxes are not raised) plus about a billion in new bonding. This was the big goal. The K-12 bill increases spending by $483 million in addition to $800 million in automatic increases, for a total budget of $18.75 billion (a 3.5% increase). ...

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No Go! Southwest Light Rail Stiffed in President’s Budget

President Trump's 2018 budget released today contains bad news for the Met Council's pet light rail project. There's no funding for the controversial $1.9 billion Southwest Light Rail Transit line in the administration's "A New Foundation for American Greatness" budget just unveiled. The spending plan follows through on previous  announcements by federal transportation officials that only transit projects with Full Funding Grant Agreements (FFGA) in place by October 2016 would receive funding. The proposed Southwest Light Rail line does not have such a funding agreement, leaving it ineligible for $929 million in federal construction funds under the new administration's policy. Federal Transit...

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All the reasons the Met Council screwed up $BIG TIME by forcing light rail

The latest issue of the Center’s fantastic quarterly magazine, Thinking Minnesota, has a terrific piece by transportation expert Randal O’Toole that delineates all the reasons the Met Council screwed up BIG TIME by forcing light rail on everyone.  If you didn’t receive your issue in the mail be sure to send your name and address to info@americanexperiment.org to get your FREE subscription. Fun facts revealed include that the word “light” in light rail doesn’t refer to weight (light-rail cars weigh more than heavy-rail cars) but to capacity as light rail is, by definition, low-capacity transit.  Also, for the same cost as...

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Transportation Omnibus Bill: VETOED

There is a lot to like in terms of spending for roads, airports and freight. In fact, it follows and improves on the Center’s 2015 Policy Blueprint. The bill includes bonding and eliminates funding for passenger rail. Here’s the big concession: metro counties are given the power to raise the local transit sales tax to half a cent to pay for building and operating transit without a referendum. ...

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