Thursday, August 16, 2007

Creating congestion

Oh goody, more money is headed for "congestion relief" on our roadways. What does "congestion relief" consist of? Let us count the ways:
  1. More bus lanes downtown
  2. Turning Hennepin into a two-way street again
  3. "Priced dynamic shoulder lanes" - toll lanes on 35W from 46th to downtown
  4. Add a HOV lane/"priced dynamic shoulder lane" from 66th to 45th (both directions)
  5. Parking spaces for Park and Rides
  6. Shoulder expansion on Cedar for buses.

In creating parking spaces at park-and-rides, are they going to put in bike cages? Why do rich people get their own lanes? Are they going to spend any money on making the bus infrastructure better (better buses, better pay for drivers, more routes, etc.)?

What irks me the most about all of this is the HOV lane nonsense. Lemme see if I have this right; you are expanding the freeway through my neighborhood to add two more lanes to relieve congestion. Except when traffic is the heaviest you can't actually use the lane unless you pay or have a carpool. Minnesotans (and probably Exurbia in general) don't like to be with others (that's why they live in Exurbia) so I'll assume that no one will carpool because, if the HOV lanes on 394 are any indication, they aren't.

Adding lanes doesn't help traffic -- it just creates more traffic. Alternatives to driving are what is needed and nobody wants alternatives. I apologize to you southern suburbanites -- we're paving our neighborhoods as quickly as we can, but you keep buying bigger and bigger SUVs and we just can't keep up with the road building that you desperately need.

All I can hope is that the popularity of the light rail and it's greater than expected ridership may, just possibly, convince deepest, darkest suburbia to consider mass transit as a way to increase mobility without the continued creep, creep, creep of road building.


Smudgemo said...

Congestion relief does NOT consist of reducing usage. This is America, you know.

bother yam said...

All about the gratification, baby.

I wonder what future generations will think of us. "What were they thinking? Didn't they see how stupid this all is?"