Rush hour traffic: Get ready to crawl

  • Article by: PAT DOYLE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 21, 2011 - 6:06 AM
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liberaleliteMar. 20, 1110:05 PM

I wonder if this prediction model accounts for people moving closer to work. If everyone lived 25% closer to work (on average) then we'd have 25% less freeway lane-miles driven. And considering that the relationship between increasing traffic and increasing congestion is closer to logarithmic, it could have a HUGE impact on congestion reduction. Businesses - stop moving out to the fringe. People - stay closer to the city and enjoy more free time instead of road time!

marcus63Mar. 20, 1110:06 PM

Engineer Brian Kary is absolutely correct: new and expanded freeways just fill up in a few years. Go to Los Angeles and drive their 12-LANE freeways that are at a total standstill at 10AM on a dry, sunny day. If you want to drive absolutely everywhere, live in some far-flung exurb "in a big house on a big lot," and don't want to spend money on rail and other transit options, you WILL be sitting in traffic. Besides the Koch-backed "I'm a taxpayer" crowd, I think the majority of us here in Minnesota are smarter than that.

susanmcpMar. 20, 1110:10 PM

I lived in Los Angeles for 20 years! When we have traffic between 0600 and 2100 - THEN you can whine

acidradioMar. 20, 1110:10 PM

This city is very low-density. We don't do anything to encourage higher-density development. Everyone HAS to own a car. Bus transit is not practical for many people. The Met Council itself recently stated that 76% of its service area is out of reach of bus service. Get some REAL density in this city and rapid transit will be viable. Right now everything is so spread out that it is just wasteful.

westwingMar. 20, 1110:13 PM

I'd like to know how 700,000 more people are going to arrive in the Metro area... what graph paper and straight edge were they using to extrapolate that kind of growth? Seems unlikely.

lonesurfMar. 20, 1110:15 PM

If you have 700,000 new people in the Twin Cites by 2030 you better have 700,000 new jobs by 2030 as well or else those people will never materialize. My guess we will as every economy is cyclical and just as good times come and go so do the bad times. If those jobs materialize and the people too those people and businesses will pay taxes and then the state will have the money to expand 494/694, put more bus stops in medians, and build more LRT lines. If the jobs don't materialize, the people won't either and the status quo will work. At this point we don't need higher taxes we just need more people paying them.

mnmiddleMar. 20, 1110:27 PM

Too many people want a huge house on a big lot away from ‘the city’, but many of these people also have jobs downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul. Minnesota has one of the lowest urban density ratios in the country, nice when you want a yard, but not nice when you need to commute 30+ miles each way.

rediscipleMar. 20, 1110:30 PM

It's misleading to say the Lake St BRT station will cost $100m - that price tag includes rebuilding several bridges and on ramps. The BRT station wouldn't be more than $30m by itself.

pvb005Mar. 20, 1110:37 PM

Check out the latest census numbers to figure out where the 700000 new people will come from. Also, 4-day work weeks only happen for government employees...or maybe for summer hours at some private-sector companies. If you want to decrease traffic, businesses need to alter schedule expectations.

melvinMar. 20, 1110:46 PM

This seems so obvious to me. We the people/the state.....are penny wise and pound foolish. It started with disbanding the city rail system in the 40's. All due to the magic of private transportation versus profits by tire and auto industry. We the people were happy during the hump of low traffic and affordable gas prices. Our numbers in the bible 'go out and multiply' and now we have congestion. Tap onto that profits because business found ways to lower costs by lowering manpower through automation....and we have what we have today. This congestion is a sample of the lowering of our 'standard of living.' That will be the tip of the iceburg in a few decades unless we wake-up and do the hard choices. But most of us are too partisan or cowardly to do that. Thus, expect more of this nonsense.


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