Blog prompt #5-Oppositions and possible solutions
One problem I encounter on a daily bases is the traffic around the Twin Cities. I have spent many hours on 394, 494 and highway 100 and wished we had a transit system like New York and Washington D.C. to ease the problem around the cities. However, transportation has been under funded for years and road repair has been limited. Even when a highway is expanded to accommodate more traffic by the time it is finished the volume of traffic has also increased making the road expansion ineffective. One very successful solution to the traffic problem is the Light Rail like the one from Downtown Minneapolis down Hiawatha Avenue to the Mall of America and finally to the Minneapolis Airport. The demand for the Light Rail has steadily increased since its start but funding for transportation continues to be cut. The question that begs to be asked is why don’t we expand the Light Rail to the rest of the city? The cost is the overwhelming objection but when we look at this from the standpoint of inflation; the price tag for transportation is not going to get any cheaper in the future. In fact if we were to factor in the effects of greenhouse gases, time spent on the road, the stress from sitting in traffic, cost of road repair and economics the Light Rail seems like a bargain. An example of an unsuccessful road construction project is the stretch of 694 near Maple Grove which affects the residents of Elk River, Rogers, Maple Grove, and Long Lake. The approval for the Northstar Rail was almost 100% funded by the Federal government and was rejected by Governor Pawlenty for no apparent reason. Until we can check our politics at the door and work on the traffic problems in a bipartisan manner we will not be able to accomplish much.