Capitol Watch: Liberals have second thoughts on SRO fix
In last week’s legislative preview, we commented that the proposed fix to the SRO issue was on the right track, “but it remains to be seen if the defund-the-police crowd…
It’s common knowledge that Minneapolis and St. Paul rank among the most hostile cities to cars and fossil-fueled vehicles anywhere in the country. For years the number of public parking places and traffic lanes have continued to plummet as Twin Cities urban planners prioritize bike lanes, transit and pedestrian walkways.
So the latest restriction imposed on drivers in both cities–a 20 mph speed limit on city streets–has not been well received by some motorists already traumatized by rush-hour like conditions much of the time in busy areas.
The official reason behind the change is to improve public safety and save pedestrian lives. But many of the comments on the Bring Me the News Facebook page run from cynical to scathing.
Every road design, bike lane, round about etc. they have done in the last 20 years has been designed to discourage driving and keep drivers from getting anywhere in the city in a timely manner.–Danny Willis
So you can B urn L oot and M urder but it’s a crisis if you drive over 20Mph? Yeah…good one. Both failed cities!–Calvin Cook
Nice thought but unlikely to slow speeders. And just one more thing to discourage people with jobs and who need cars to get there from living in Mpls.–Mark Medved
Until now, the standard speed limit on municipal streets was 30 mph statewide. But last year the legislature gave the green light to allowing cities to set their own speed restrictions on city-owned roads. The Pioneer Press reports that the first of hundreds of the 20 mph signs already dot many streets in both Minneapolis and St. Paul.
The first 20 mph “gateway” sign was recently posted on the St. Paul-Minneapolis border of Franklin and Emerald avenues, and about 150 will follow between now and the end of the year.
The speed limit changes were set in motion by both city councils last year, based on findings that, in short, speed kills. A person hit by a car traveling at 35 mph, for instance, is three times as likely to die as someone hit at 25 mph. Injuries at slower speeds tend to be far less serious than those at faster ones.
One of the most obvious questions raised by the lower limits is how seriously the new speed limits will be enforced given the spike in violent crime and shortage of police officers on the ground in both cities.
St. Paul officers will be educating drivers about the new speed limit and enforcing it, said Sgt. Mike Ernster, a St. Paul police spokesman.
In the beginning, for “people driving what they thought was the speed limit,” police will be pulling them over to tell them it’s been lowered, Ernster said.
“Lower speeds mean drivers have more time to react and we know that it reduces injuries, which makes our roads safer for all of us,” he said.
Motorists in both downtowns will get a slight break with a 25 mph speed limit moving forward. But anyone needing to get somewhere in a hurry would be advised to stick to county and state roads, where speed limits remain unchanged.
Yesterday, a Twitter (X) account caught my eye, going by the handle of Minnesota Department of Human Services Employees, @Minnesota_DHS. It only has 34 followers, but makes the following claim…
Several news organizations have identified the man who shot and killed two police officers and a firefighter yesterday in Burnsville as 38-year-old Shannon Cortez Gooden. One of Gooden’s children called…
Yesterday, I wrote about a bill being pushed by three DFL Senators — McEwen, Seeberger, and Hoffman — which would erect a costly regulatory apparatus to govern who could buy, sell, or use…
Have you ever wanted to steal from the less fortunate without going to jail? Have we got a deal for you! Affluent households in California siphoned nearly $3.4 billion in 2021 from the pockets…
There continues to be a great deal of effort by the media and political leadership in Minneapolis to either suggest crime is down or dismiss it by focusing on issues…