"We need more and better roads, especially the main arteries. If we do nothing, I can only imagine what our roads will look like in 2025."
Had quite a day yesterday. And it all started with a planned trip down to the Reserve Air Base by the airport. When my wife made her appointment (she had a minor glitch in her Tricare insurance we needed to clean up), she asked me what would be a good time. Being cautious, I recommended 9:10 in the morning. That way rush hour would be about over, and we should make it in plenty of time.
We left the house at 7:55. Once we got on highway 10, I could see the traffic was still heavy. And it stayed heavy from highway 10, to highway 252, and then onto I-94. When we got close to the Lowry Hill Tunnel on I-94, things went from bad to worse. Traffic had come to about a dead stop. It took almost 1/2 hour to get through the tunnel and then onto I-35 W heading south towards highway 62. Why did it take that long? An accident? Nope. Snowing? Nope. Icy roads? Nope - roads were in very good shape. Why then? The way that spaghetti junction was engineered.
Here is the problem. I am a veteran in traveling though the Lowry Hill Tunnel. Did it for years. To work, and home from work. In all sorts of weather. Many times during rush hour. However, my travels through that tunnel in the 1970's and 1980's were NOTHING like what we saw yesterday. And it is not just yesterday. Most times we have had to go through that tunnel recently, no matter what time of day, it is very congested. Why? Way too much traffic merging in to I-94 right before and right after the tunnel. Piddle poor job of engineering.
Solutions? The North Star train? Nope - been running for years and things are still hosed up. The LRT system? Nope - nada. Staggered rush hours? Nope - now our rush hours look like Chicago's. Start at 5 in the morning and continue on until 9 or so. Rather than one hour of misery, try four.
Other than just staying home, it there a solution to the Minneapolis mayhem? Don't chuckle St. Paul - you are almost as bad. The solution is what it has been for quite a while now. Plus this solution is nails on the chalkboard to the Met Council. LANES NOT TRAINS!!! We need more and better roads, especially the main arteries. If we do nothing, I can only imagine what our roads will look like in 2025.
As a post script, we did make our meeting yesterday with one minute to spare. However, it involved me going 75 on I-35 once I got beyond the tunnel and we were both frazzled once we got to the base. Did I get a ticket for speeding that fast? No. That was the only good part of the commute.