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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....

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The Fading Relevance of Mass Transit: Must-Listen Podcast

American mass transit systems face challenges from demographics, how people work, and ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft. Randal O’Toole discusses what agencies should do to respond. In short, mass transit is becoming less popular, not more. [embed]https://cdn.cato.org/dailypodcast/The%20Fading%20Relevance%20of%20Mass%20Transit.mp3[/embed]    ...

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MnDOT Demands Another Amtrak Train Despite Big Ridership Decline

MnDOT wants to add a second Amtrak train between Chicago and the Twin Cities. By the front page story in the Star Tribune, you'd likely think ridership on the taxpayer-subsidized passenger line must be on the upswing. Adding a second daily passenger train between St. Paul’s Union Depot and downtown Chicago, a proposal that has been bandied about for many years, would likely cost from $137 million to $169 million. But it’s unclear at this point how the project would be funded, and by whom, says a new study. But the paper left out an inconvenient fact on the campaign underway to double...

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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...

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Backlash Over Bikes In Rochester

Tensions over bike lanes have boiled over in Rochester, Minnesota where bikes and bike lanes have become a contentious issue in the City Council Elections. According to an MPR article, many people in the community are worried adding more bike lanes will result in slower traffic and fear that there will be fewer parking spaces available in an area where parking spaces are already scarce. According to the article: "There are people who will wait until I finish my spiel, and say 'Do you ride a bike? And if you do, I will not vote for you,'" Patrick Keane, who is running...

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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. ...

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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. ...

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Driver Frustration Mounts Over I-35 in Minneapolis

Frustration over MnDOT's clumsy management of the I-35W construction project in Minneapolis has driven some motorists over the line. The Star Tribune's coverage of drivers' misdeeds amounts to the equivalent of laying on the horn in the newspaper. Signs on both sides of the entrance ramp leading from 31st Street and Stevens Avenue to southbound I-35W tell motorists, “Do Not Enter.” Yet dozens of vehicles an hour are blowing right by them to use the ramp reserved exclusively for buses and emergency vehicles. The same thing is happening on the ramp from northbound I-35W to 31st and Lake Streets, even though the...

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