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35W Meltdown: Why Didn’t Dayton Steer Fans to His Bike Lanes and Trains This Weekend?

Gov. Mark Dayton hit the panic button this week.  He expressed "serious concerns" and apologized for MnDOT's untimely closure of 35W into downtown Minneapolis this weekend on game days.  The 35W meltdown offered Dayton the opportunity to urge Minnesotans to take to the bike lanes, walkways and light rail trains his administration has prioritized over highways.  But when the rubber hit the road this weekend, the governor let a good crisis go to waste.  Not a word about alternative modes of travel that MnDOT, the Met Council and urban planners pretend are just as important as freeways. Gov. Mark Dayton has...

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Read it and Grin: Minneapolis officials call for Environmental Review of SWLRT Crash Wall

Look on the bright side Minneapolis: the wall could be passed off as an expansion of the nearby Walker Art Museum’s Sculpture Garden. Think of the wall as a giant canvas. The Walker could provide spray paint to aspiring local artists to encourage self-expression, sponsoring an annual "We Love Our Wall" contest. Imagine how much the residents of Bryn Mawr will enjoy looking at their art. The Met Council could even save some bucks here; with all the graffiti, surely the train stations will not need any more “public art.”...

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Reader Rage Over Confusing Minneapolis Bike Lanes

It's not your imagination. It's not your fault. There's a deliberate campaign by city, county and state transportation planners to get more cars off our freeways and streets. See "Twin Cities Traffic Congestion: It's No Accident" for more specifics. Star Tribune traffic expert Tim Harlow provides the latest example in a piece headlined "Lane Markings on Minneapolis Streets Baffle Drivers." Harlow focuses on the nauseating experience awaiting the 15,000 drivers who will be detoured from the newly closed Franklin Ave.--I-35W bridge onto two east-west arteries in south Minneapolis. Spoiler alert: Avoid W. 26th and W. 28th at all costs! The city recently put...

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Has Southwest Light Rail Hit a Speed Bump—or The Wall?

SWLRT has hit several walls: a structural operating deficit brought on by the Council favoring LRT expansion and bike lanes over a well-run bus system, a Legislature that has refused to fund SWLRT (though it gave one-time cash to help with the deficit), and The BNSF Wall. These and problems we do not know about have prevented the Council from requesting federal funds. Good. ...

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Fighting for the American Dream in D.C.

DFL Governor Mark Dayton’s plan, like many “blue state” governors, uses “transit oriented development” or TOD, to pull money out of the suburbs and greater Minnesota to fund and re-enforce a city centric power model. That model shifts how and where people live, and how they get around, to change the political landscape in favor of left-wing control of local and state government. ...

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Honk For Highways!

This Summer, American Experiment has had a great group of interns. Among many other duties, they have frequently held up a "Stuck In Traffic" banner on a pedestrian crosswalk across Highway 394 during rush hour. The banner is substantially identical to the Center's traffic congestion billboards. They also made a hand-lettered sign that says "Honk 4 Highways." As the end of the Summer approached, the interns made this video that documents their efforts. It includes the sound of lots of cars and trucks honking for highways. The audio features our most recent radio commercial on congestion: Thanks to interns Tori Roloff, Josh...

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Met Council Poker Game: buying train cars and condemning land for SWLRT

“In the Council’s mind, it’s like a high-stakes poker game. The Council is betting that by spending hundreds of millions of dollars, they can pressure Congress and the FTA into approving the projects. They talk as if it is a done deal, as if big talk and spending will make it so. But the federal grant program doesn't work that way.” Anoka County Commissioner Matt Look ...

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Surly Gets Surly About Traffic Congestion

Surly Brewing Company sends out periodic emails about product launches, etc. Today's email included an entertaining rant about traffic congestion in the Twin Cities. First Surly's email, then a few comments: THE SURLY GUIDE TO ROAD CONSTRUCTION Road construction. The two words that make Minnesotans cringe the most, even more than “Gary Anderson” or “last slice”. It impacts all of us, even non-drivers. There is a road just south of University in Minneapolis that, due to a new apartment building, is down to about half of one lane, but is STILL OPEN TO TWO-WAY TRAFFIC. It’s also open to bikers and pedestrians. It’s basically...

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Met Council votes to increase transit fares by 25 cents. Why now?

So why did the Council step up and make a reasonable rate increase now? Answer: They are flying out to DC to lobby Congress and the FTA/DOT on a regular basis trying to secure full funding grants for LRT expansion: Southwest LRT and Bottineau. But the Met Council, and its friends on the Hennepin and Ramsey County boards (Peter McLaughlin, et. al.) have NOT secured federal funding. ...

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