Your Take: More Progressive Transportation Advice
On Monday, we asked for your advice for MnDOT's new commissioner. You responded in droves. Today we bring more of your ideas.
It doesn't surprise me that as the price of gas goes up so does the ridership of public transportation. Why then would our governor put a hiring freeze on Metro Transit when this should be budgeted for expansion? We need to expand light rail and increase express bus service in the Twin Cities to get traffic off our already overstressed roadway systems.
West St Paul
A creative, non-partisan, public service oriented focus on dedicated funding, upgrading and maintaining roads and offering transit solutions is crucial. Bring our highway system into the 21st century. Upgrading for safety should be a priority, e.g. road surfaces, upgrade pavement markings with wet reflective materials, upgrade freeway exits and entrances. Use LED technology to illuminate roadways, make roadways more friendly to older drivers and visitors by providing clearer, brighter marking of lanes, gores and objects.
I think the viability of our state is largely dictated by our transportation system. Fixing potholes, inspecting bridges, etc, of course are important. But these are short-term fixes. To take the pressure off the roads we need a rapid transit system and for that we need a plan and a commitment to honor that plan. This is probably the most significant investment that our state can make. Note that each link that we add to the system increases the value of exponentially... where the sum becomes greater that the value of the individual parts. A great investment by any criterion. The refusal of the governor to sign the transportation bill for the St Paul-to-Mpls corridor and loose the $400M+ in government funding is simply wrong and counter to the direction we should be moving in... not to mention the lost jobs. Finally, as each bridge is built (or rebuilt) or roads improved, we should review the design from the standpoint of being able to accommodate a high-speed rail system. Close to home is the 35E and 694 construction. This is a major corridor (and currently a source of much congestion). Would it not be prudent to build-in a provision for a high speed rail... thereby saving money down the road?
I would like to know that when I take the Lafayette freeway bridge every Sat., as I go to check on my elderly parents with my 3 year old granddaughter in the back seat, that I don't have to hold my breath so the bridge won't fall down. It is of a similar structure to the 35W bridge, so if one section goes so goes the bridge. This remains a very uncomfortable feeling. I have lost faith in our infrastructure and our State Department of Transportation, and most assuredly in our Governor.