View Zhirong Zhao's profile on LinkedIn

Blogroll

My pages

Visitors

Powered by

Header image of Hong Kong financial center courtesy of hleung on flickr.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Commute

This is a guest post, originally posted by James at the Course Weblog of PA5113:
---- ----

There are many measures to judge our system of highways, transit, and transportation options. However, there are two very noticeable measures that we tend to monitor: congestion and commute times. And in Minnesota both are increasing. Congestion first: A recent study by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT) reported that freeways in the Twin Cities were 14% more congested in 2007 than the previous year. Now commute times: Another recent study from MnDOT revealed that commute times in Minnesota are on the rise. During the 1990s, commute durations in Minnesota increased by about 2 1/2 minutes on average (this is a lot!). Furthermore, this trend is expected to continue through the 2000s.

While some the increases in congestion and commute times can be attributed to the collapse of the 35W Interstate Bridge in August, the same report warned that “without additions to freeway capacity, we can expect the future to continue the long-term trend of growth in congestion. MnDOT has limited resources to slow projected increases in congestion.” By 2030, MNDOT projects that 41.5% of the Twin Cities freeway system will be congested. In other words, Minnesota is not adequately funding its transportation system. If we fail to increase funding to provide additional capacity, almost half of our metropolitan freeways will turn into parking lots by 2030.

Assuming our current transportation modal choice, between 2008 and 2030, MnDOT estimates that the “additional funding needed to maintain our transportation system in good condition and to meet some of the growing demand on the system is near $1.8 billion per year.” This growing problem is not lost on Minnesotans. After the weather, traffic congestion is a favorite topic of conversation. So if it stands as a clear problem, why haven’t we addressed it? Why does our transportation system go underfunded?

One piece of the problem is politics. While taxpayers demand better more efficient transportation, the political feasibility of providing adequate funding remains low for a number of reasons.

First, our current system of funding transportation has few options for increasing current revenue sources. Before 2008, Minnesota’s fuel tax has not increased since 1988 – inflation has eroded purchasing power:

The motor vehicle sales tax revenue simply replaced tab fee and property tax revenue;
Transit service continues to decrease and fares continue to increase;
Cost for transportation construction projects continues to increase at rates greater than inflation.
        
In other words, additional funding for transportation would most likely have to come from new revenue sources or increased taxes.

Second, Minnesota’s elected officials face an intense political agenda against raising taxes. In 2008, after six Republican legislators in the House helped override the Governor’s veto of gas tax increase, these select few lost leadership positions, some lost party endorsements, and others lost their seats.

Lastly, an increase in funding to transportation remains a highly visible and contentious issue among Minnesota voters. While Minnesotans did vote and pass a constitutional amendment to dedicate all motor vehicle sales tax revenue to transportation, any increases in funding simply replaced existing funding from tab fees and property tax revenues. Furthermore, the recent increase in state’s fuel tax came only after the tragic collapse of the 35W Interstate Bridge.

Without adding new sources of income or increasing existing sources, Minnesota stands to face dramatic increases in congestion and commute times over the next 20 years. Can Minnesota policy makers and voters come together to solve this issue?

Comments

Looking forward to Podcamp Topeka to exchange new social media ideas and learn from others as well. I encourage everyone to show up at. See you there !

Had a lens earn $1,000 in a very single month

Awesome post, I am def going to follow your blog.

hi , what is Stable model Or UNStable model ?? what diffrent ?

Man that car is actually a beast

I was looking through some of your articles on this website and I believe this site is really informative! Retain putting up.

Being with wife and sons.

This is heading to be terrible and controversial just lke extreme couponing

I am really inspired along with your writing talents as well as with the structure to your blog. Is that this a paid subject matter or did you customize it your self? Anyway stay up the nice quality writing, it's rare to peer a great weblog like this one these days.

Hi there! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers? I'm kinda paranoid about losing everything I've worked hard on. Any recommendations?

I am curious to find out what blog platform you're utilizing? I'm experiencing some small security issues with my latest website and I'd like to find something more secure. Do you have any suggestions?

you're truly a good webmaster. The site loading speed is amazing. It seems that you're doing any unique trick. Also, The contents are masterwork. you've done a fantastic process in this subject!

fantastic.Actually Cool Templates . but how to active the menus. can you help me? You Can Contact ME On

I've been using WordPress to the past 3-4 decades and that i seriously such as this CMS. Its definitely magnificent. Hats off to matt for providing this excellent blogging software

Some time ago, I did need to buy a good car for my firm but I didn't earn enough cash and couldn't buy something. Thank goodness my friend suggested to get the business loans from trustworthy creditors. Hence, I acted that and was satisfied with my term loan.

We still can not quite believe I could possibly be one of those reading the important points found on your blog. My family and I are really thankful on your generosity and for offering me the potential to pursue the chosen profession path. Thank you for the important information I managed to get from your web site.

A professor of mine handcrafted his house. He experienced a somewhat wide landing in his staircase and opted for the mini built-in bookcase...complete with a ladder! It absolutely was such a cute touch...I am able to think about it's really a favorite spot for his grandchildren =)

The DEA already called dibs.

I like this website so much, saved to bookmarks .

Thanks a lot

Fantastic post.Never knew this, thanks for letting me know.

It is the happiest time of my life so far, when I am watching these funny video clips here, since after whole day working I was so tired and now feeling fine.

What one has not experienced, one will never understand in print.

Thanks for this post, I am a big big fan of this web site would like to keep updated.

Interest rates on the subsidized Stafford Loan which is currently at 6.8 percent. Will you keep your word? This should prove a boon for the amount you borrow, you can do something you want to know that you pay off and cancel some of the first 24 to 36 months. Peer-to-Peer Lending - Prosper.

I posted a matter earlier. Does any one have an answer?

Thats Cicero ave in Chicago IL, not Cicero IL

Yay google is my world beater assisted me to find this great site! . "Nothing can bring you peace but yourself." by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I like this web site it's a master piece! Glad I noticed this on google.

Thankyou for all your efforts that you have put in this. very interesting info . "The average Ph.D. thesis is nothing but a transference of bones from one graveyard to another." by J. Frank Dobie.

Something that completely bothered me was that still with the internet, most people still do not care to write about the subject on this level.

Hello.This article was really motivating, especially since I was looking for thoughts on this topic last Saturday.

Some really prize posts on this site, saved to favorites.

For gamers who actually play the game system. In this 24/7 city you canget married, and Alpha Dot. They don't require 3 D Vision Surround, CUDA, Direct PC, a half hour to the world.

The place could be the ruthless Romney that easily tore into Newt, but pussyfoots all over Obama? I do not see a profile in courage but a guy who would not entirely understand what he stands for or at least would not want us to learn what he seriously means. I'm genuinely sorry Newt failed to make it; mainly because this nation needs a real shaking-up. In its place, the establishment shoved Mitt down our collective throats and now they don't even know how to aid their unique dude! It's pathetic. He should be beating the pants off Obama by now. I'm worried that Mitt has that awful syndrome: a need to be beloved by the mainstream media.. All RINOs and moderates possess it.

It’s not effortless, but i think you just have to be objective about your self and realize that occasionally when somebody is criticizing they're only giving

I am curious to find out what blog platform you occur to be operating with? I’m experiencing some minor safety complications with my most up-to-date site and I would prefer to locate one thing more risk-free. Do you may have any suggestions?

I just added this web site to my feed reader,

I just added this site to my feed reader,

Gulag wonderful minds, etc.

Please have a happy 2013 year !

Right now it seems like Drupal could be the preferred blogging platform accessible at this time. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?

Let Me Thank all the Good People like U, Who made '2012' so much Beautiful 4 Me. I Pray U be Blessed with Faithful Years Ahead.

Hello, i like the way you post on your weblog,

Wow I found this place on Yahoo poking around for anything else entirely, and now I’m going to need to go back and go every one of the old material. So significantly at no cost time currently, but this was a spectacular obtain.

It solved my problems. Good work.

Robby loves to choose pictures of me personally while you sex cam

Thank you for generating my private students have access for your internet site post.

I am having the exact same issue and I currently uninstalled my anti virus also.

Prophylaxe Neuwied created in perfect accuracy by dentists with passion

Roofing sheets newcastle is the largest company in the north east providing roofing sheets.

We manufacture Roofing sheets, Z purlins, Grid, Eavesbeams and also fixings to the roofing contractors, we also supply and also fit.

I can not seriously aid but admire your blog, your blog is so adorable and great “

wanted to appreciate this inter­est­ing article .I for sure liked every lit­tle bit of it.

I found a product that isn't a spray but looks the same like a professional spray tanIt's called Sunbrushed glowI found sjolie tanning products via this videoAfter learning alot from the video, I googled the company name and tried the spray tanning solution they offerto simply put it, AMAZING COLOR and FADE Absolutely love everything about Sjolie tanning, great products, great customer service, and the prices are a quarter of what I used to payI found sjolie tanning products via this videoAfter learning alot from the video, I googled the company name and tried the spray tanning solution they offerto simply put it, AMAZING COLOR and FADE Absolutely love everything about Sjolie tanning, great products, great customer service, and the prices are a quarter of what I used to payI got an hvlp machine too, but dont you need something that controls the air from the machine

Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs