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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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KSTP-TV: Is Congestion Really Inevitable?

KSTP-TV covered our press conference this morning. Here is their report, which is quite balanced: It is interesting to see how weak the opposing view is. There is no doubt that the Twin Cities are unduly congested, and no doubt that building more highway lane miles will reduce congestion. Pretty much every Twin Cities driver will say: Let's do it! We just need to get MNDot and the Met Council on board with a better transportation policy, which, given the Council's hard-left ideology, may be easier said than done....

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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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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 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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$800 million bonding bill rejected by House as too small

Here is Rep. Dean Urdahl: “It is a little bit disconcerting to me to realize that there are members here who are prepared to vote against projects that are vital to their district,” he said. “I implore you to consider what you’re doing and why. We can’t say that we voted ‘no’ on local projects because $800 million isn’t enough money.”...

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Dayton Veto of Transportation Bill Threatens Duluth Airport

Roads and bridges understandably attract most of the attention when it comes to transportation funding at the legislature. But the Duluth News Tribune reminds us that Minnesota airports also depend on the transportation bill for critical matching support for federal grants for runway maintenance and operational upgrades. Duluth Airport Authority officials pulled back all the way on the throttle in a letter informing Gov. Dayton of the potential consequences of his veto of the transportation bill passed by the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate. ...

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Backlash Against Bike Lanes Erupts in Minneapolis

The backlash against bicyclists took long enough to get here. But it broke out full force today in an unlikely place--the Star Tribune's op-ed page. Minneapolis resident Barbara Nylen rips the bi-wheeled crusaders and city planners who converted miles of city streets meant to move cars into bike lanes, utterly disregarding the views of the majority. Nylen also decried the city's double standard that gives bikers equal footing with motorized vehicles on the road, but not equal responsibility.  Also, whatever happened to city officials who make automobile drivers follow rules, but obviously not bike riders? Car drivers must wear seat belts....

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