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Too much traffic

When thinking of social-design issues, one that comes to mind is traffic congestion. Having lived in the Twin Cities metro area, I have experienced traffic congestion many times. The most common occurences of traffic backup are on the freeways of the Twin Cities. All of the freeways experience this problem, from 94 to 35, and from 494 to 694, it happens everywhere, and usually everyday. Mornings and evenings, specifically from 7 to 9 AM and from 5 to 7 PM are when the traffic is the worst. This is, of course, due to the 9-5 work hours that are common in the metro area, and specifically downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul.

So, there is this issue. Traffic congestion. What is being done to improve it? Well, in the last couple decades, I have noticed a few things being done. Park-and-rides have been popping up all over the Twin Cities, where people can drive to, park, and jump on the bus to go downtown. My dad used this for a few years and he loved it. Pay a couple bucks to cruise past everyone in the Bus lane and get to work in 10 minutes. The Light Rail that was constructed a few years ago is also a sign that the metro area is aware of traffic congestion.

The solution? Well, there many things that could be done to imporve traffic congestion in the Twin Cities. For one, more light rail lines could be constructed in the metro area, and this is scheduled to happen in the coming years. Also, more park and rides could exist, with even more people riding the bus to work. The main problem with traffic congestion, however, is the suburban sprawl of the Twin Cities. There are currently suburbs in the metro area that are over 30 miles from downtown Minneapolis. People live a half hour away from where they work, and they want to drive their own car to and from work everyday. This obviously results in very busy freeways. Of course, we could build more freeways and strategically locate them, but is this solving the problem or feeding it? Would this encourage suburban sprawl? People need to work closer to their home, or live closer to their work. Another possible solution is to have more office parks, such as the ones in the western suburbs, located around the metro area, so not everyone has to arrive in downtown. The problem with many of the solutions to traffic congestion is lack of funding. Sure, we could build double-layered freeways, but we don't have enough money and the taxpayers sure don't. So, build more park-and-rides, build ore light rail lines, encourage use of mass-transit, strategically build more higways and freeways, and live closer to your job!