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Congestion is only the symptom: More conversation with the Civic Caucus

Date Published: 07/04/2008

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This is the second part of my conversation with members of the non-partisan Civic Caucus about transportation issues facing Minnesota [here's part one]. I don't normally refer to myself in the third person, but the Caucus's report was so clear and concise, I've simply used their words, adding my own headings.

Reducing congestion involves a wide range of issues and potential approaches.

A Civic Caucus member said that large numbers of people in the metro area remain deeply concerned over sitting in traffic. Kane acknowledged that congestion is an important issue, politically and in terms of quality of life. He said that the metro area needs a wider range of options for getting to where they need to go and that land use matters, too, in terms of where people live vis-a-vis where they work. 

Kane said that the use of pricing mechanisms to encourage drivers to seek lower cost alternatives has appeal. He noted that the forthcoming changes to the 35W corridor under the federal-state-local Urban Partnership Agreement will provide valuable insights into a variety of transportation options, including congestion pricing, traffic management strategies, and transit structured to offer riders clear advantages over driving.

It will become more important in coming years, he said, to move to a different approach

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