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Why is the Ramsey County board going to waste up to $2 billion on a pointless streetcar?

Why do we need to spend up to $2 billion on a streetcar from Union Depot to the airport and the Mall of America when the 54 bus already runs along exactly the proposed route? Kids like playing with train sets. Most people grow out of that. If you didn't, get yourself on the Ramsey County board. Like my old Thomas the Tank Engine toys, the West 7th streetcar is nothing more than a train set. The difference is that my Island of Sodor didn't cost $2 billion and shut down a major road for three years.  ...

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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....

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Why do regional planners ignore the future of transportation?

The Weekly Standard recently ran a perceptive piece: The End of the Line: Light rail is a very expensive way to move very few commuters.  Lately communities have been hitting the brakes on funding light rail.  Last month Nashville’s tax increase went down 2-1 at the polls, and Virginia Beach voters turned down light rail in 2016.  Tampa and San Antonio are smartly pushing plans that rely on more buses. “Even in cities where light rail is touted as a success, such as Portland, Ore., light rail accounts for just 0.9 percent of miles traveled.”  The number for the Twin Cities...

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Road Construction Ramps Up Fury Over Minneapolis Bike Lanes

The massive road construction project underway on I-35 and I-94 has further exposed the folly of converting traffic lanes to bike lanes on major thoroughfares in Minneapolis.  Major closures have squeezed freeway traffic onto city streets that have been downsized in some cases to make room for bicyclists. The frustration of drivers who wrote to complain about the city's out-of-touch transportation policy all but jumped off the pages of the Star Tribune's letters to the editor section this week. This Minneapolis resident urged voters to hold local elected officials accountable. Through letters to the editor when the subject came up of lobbyists demanding...

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Check Out Our New Radio Ads on Traffic Congestion

As you probably know, we have a billboard on the Twin Cities' traffic mess at the intersection of Highways 494 and 35W: It has gotten a lot of attention, for obvious reasons. We are about to kick off the next phase of our 2018 congestion campaign with a pair of radio ads which will be played on a wide range of stations, along with 15-second sponsorships of traffic announcements. They seek to focus attention on the fact that the Twin Cities' congestion problem is much worse than it should be for an urban area our size, and there is a reason:...

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Change of Guard? Peter McLaughlin does not get endorsed for Hennepin County

The article, written with no sense of apology for its blunt focus on race, age and sexual preference, with little reference to policy positions, went on the describe other changes or potential changes in the guard in Minneapolis city and county positions. Nothing on addressing street crime, congestion or fixing pot holes, for example. Let’s just say it helps to get elected in Minneapolis if you are not an old, white, straight male. Sorry, Peter. ...

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Center’s New Traffic Congestion Campaign Revs Up Media Interest

American Experiment's new campaign to rev up awareness of the policies and politics behind the Twin Cities' traffic congestion has caught the attention of Fox 9 News reporter Christina Palladino. Getting stuck in traffic is now a daily ritual for many Minnesotans in the Twin Cities metro area, but one group is offering a solution to break up the congestion. Some Minnesota freeways rank in the top 50 rankings for bottleneck congestion. While most drivers just deal with it, others are pushing to change the flow of traffic. “The solution to congestion is more lanes,” said John Hinderaker, the president of a Twin Cities think tank called The Center...

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American Experiment Kicks Off Its 2018 Traffic Congestion Campaign

Last May, American Experiment released a paper on traffic congestion in the Twin Cities by Randal O'Toole. That paper was the basis for the web site MNCongestion.com and a campaign that featured radio ads, billboards and bumper stickers. The theme of the Center's project was that Twin Cities congestion is largely attributable to poor, politically-motivated decisions by unelected bureaucracies. The Met Council, in particular, has prioritized trains and bicycle paths over highways and roads, thereby making congestion worse, not better. For the details, follow the links. This Summer the Center will again focus on transportation policy. We fired our opening shot...

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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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