Minneapolis city transport planners are living in fantasy land

Last week, the Star Tribune reported:

In seven years, Minneapolis transportation planners want 60% of trips in the city taken on public transit, or made by biking, walking or rolling.

The effort to achieve that ambitious goal, which is laid out in the city’s Transportation Action Plan, began this month as the city partnered with marketing agency Vision Flourish to kick off the mode-shift campaign called “As You Go Minneapolis.”

“We want to shift people’s behavior and thinking about how to move about the city,” said Amy Barnstorff, a transportation planner in the city’s Public Works Department.

This is utterly delusional. As the Strib notes: “Only about a third of trips in Minneapolis are taken on active or alternative transportation, such as buses, scooters and bicycles, according to the latest data from the city.”

“We have a lot of work to do to reach our goal,” Amy Barnstorff, a transportation planner in the city’s Public Works Department said. That is one way of putting it.

The aim of the campaign is to get people to switch from using their car to make journeys to using some alternative method of transportation. But is there really the scope in a city like Minneapolis to double the share of journeys taken by public transit, biking, walking, or rolling? Probably not.

Walking is fine for a short journey that doesn’t require you to carry much of something like shopping. Biking is useless even for that. Public transit — which is collapsing across America — ties you to certain destinations at certain times and carries with it the risk of falling victim to crime. That said, given the surge in carjackings, so does driving in the cities these days, so maybe that’s a wash. “Rolling” is something that should have been left in the 1970s.

This campaign is driven by the same fantasy thinking that is going to bring you the Northern Lights Express. At all levels of government, we seem to employ people to dream up nonsense like this instead of doing anything useful. It is a waste of resources.