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Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Were the effects of light rail hidden?

According to Republican Representative Phil Krinkie, MnDOT hid the negative traffic consequences of the new light rail line. Rep. Krinkie has long been a foe of this project, so this is just another one of his attacks.

Unfortunately, if this is true, then it shows incredibly bad PR on the part of MnDOT. MnDOT's reputation hasn't been the best lately, with allegations of lowballing offers for property taken for road projects, and poor snowplowing efforts this past winter. Adding this to the mix isn't going to help. I honestly don't understand why MnDOT would do this. It is obvious to everybody that light rail would have an impact on traffic in the area, especially on roads that cross the tracks. Hiding this from the players involved doesn't accomplish anything, and if concerns were aired earlier, then perhaps the traffic signal problem could have already been addressed by experts from other areas.

I support light rail, if not this particular route. However, this route is what we have for now, and we need to make it successful. The fact that traffic is snarled a bit due to light rail isn't a big negative in my opinion, so hiding facts from the city and county would not have had much of an effect on the viability of this project. It's just poor planning on the part of MnDOT. Somebody really needs to get in there and fix things.


At 5:55 AM, January 17, 2005, Blogger Rebecca Necker said...

Hello, I'm not from Minnesota, but am quite interested in transit, and the debate you refer to about the possibly hidden negative traffic consequences of light rail relates quite closely to an article discussing the impact of trams on congestion that I've posted on my blog. It's here. You might be interested.


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