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It’s Time To End the Twin Cities’ Congestion Crisis

"Stuck in Traffic? Blame Dayton's Met Council!" That's the message on American Experiment's six electronic billboards scattered around the Twin Cities' freeway system for another week or so. If you're a subscriber to the Center's "Thinking Minnesota" magazine in the metro area, your newest edition currently in the mail likely contains a bumper sticker bearing the same theme. Also listen up for our radio spots on popular local Twin Cities stations that use humor to remind folks that the metro region's traffic congestion crisis is no accident. You may even have seen our banner during rush hour on an overpass on I-394. It's...

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Traffic ‘Armageddon’ Ramps Up Focus on Center’s Congestion Report

Our report showing that Twin Cities traffic congestion is no accident but the result of state policy continues to drive media coverage.  Pat Kessler picked up the controversy on WCCO-TV, where I used to watch the cars backed up on 11th street from my desk in the newsroom. Critics of all the congestion around the Twin Cities say it is not just the multiple road construction projects. Tens of thousands of drivers sitting in traffic are seeing billboards which read, “Stuck in Traffic? Blame Dayton’s Met Council.” The colorful signs are hard to miss, and they are the work of a conservative Minnesota...

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Met Council Chair Abruptly Quits Amid Light Rail Standoff

The chairman of the controversial Metropolitan Council plans to step down at the end of July. Adam Duininck's surprise announcement comes as the nation's largest unelected regional government agency faces unprecedented turbulence across the board on light rail transit, mounting traffic congestion, unpopular housing policies, racial equity mandates and controls on suburban growth. News coverage emphasized the intensifying resistance to the Met Council's structure and authority that characterized Duininck's two and a half year tenure at the top. The Met Council has been under attack in recent months from Republicans who criticized it for having too much authority and too little accountability....

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I’d be dancing, too (if I lived in a luxury loft subsidized by taxpayers).

Star Tribune photo by Jeff Wheeler

The A-Mill Artists Lofts, located along the Mississippi River, are a special “affordable housing” project of the Metropolitan Council, City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, et. al. The project is subsidized with taxes and grants, the below-market rate rents are tied to a certain income and reserved for people who are “committed” to being an artist. Anyone who voted to spend tax dollars on this project ought to be banned from public life. ...

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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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