Road congestion in the Twin Cities is bad, and getting worse. Here are some basic facts, from Randal O’Toole’s report titled Twin Cities Road Congestion: It’s No Accident.
The number of hours the average Twin Cities driver wastes sitting in traffic quadrupled between 1982 and 2014.
In 1982, the Twin Cities were rated the 35th most congested metropolitan area in the U.S. By 2017, the Twin Cities were the 22nd most congested urban area.
Why have the Twin Cities done such a poor job of managing traffic? The answer is political and ideological: the responsible state agencies are not trying to reduce congestion, and have prioritized trains and bicycle paths over roads and highways.
Trains and bicycles will never make a major contribution toward meeting the Twin Cities’ transportation needs.
The Met Council’s and MNDot’s obsession with trains and bicycle paths is making Twin Cities traffic congestion worse.
Twin Cities traffic congestion is no accident. There is no reason why the Twin Cities metro area, with a rather modest population and located on a prairie where there are no significant obstacles to building adequate highways, should be one of the most congested urban areas in America. The problem isn’t topography, or inadequate funding, or fate. The problem is that the responsible government agencies are not trying to reduce road congestion. Indeed, it often appears that they welcome congestion, because impossible driving conditions will force Twin Cities residents out of their cars onto trains, buses and bicycles, where MNDot and the Met Council want them.
Public pressure on our legislature, our governor and the responsible state agencies is needed to produce a transportation policy that meets the needs of the people of Minnesota.
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