After the Pawlenty administration took over, I noticed that MNDot got much more heavy handed in terms of inconveniencing drivers in the Twin Cities. It seemed that the word to the road crews was: get the work done and we don’t care who you piss off. So now we have exits closed with no warning (often!), detours that lead to closed roads, detours that go 10 miles through the most congested roads in Minnesota. It seemed to me that none of the handy bypasses and temporary roads that used to accompany road construction are there anymore.
Then 35W fell and after the emotions settled we all had the same thought: OMG traffic is gonna suck. So what does MNDot do? They close another bridge! We lost one major bridge across the river, who wouldn’t immediately want to close another? After 35W MNDot apparently went on a mission to fuck traffic up even worse. They closed bridges, closed lanes, closed turn lanes — they did nothing to encourage the natural traffic flows that emerged after the collapse. Instead they tried to outthink it and they failed (and are still failing).
And now, with our traffic system in shambles, what do they do next? They start fucking up I394. Every rush hour, morning and evening, thanks to billionaire baseball team owners and millionaire baseball players, the traffic in and out of downtown is paralyzed on 394 due to the stadium construction.
It’s always easy to criticize and traffic issues can make people emotional. It’s also a convenient excuse to just claim that traffic is fucked everywhere, forever and welcome to Earth. It’s also possible, though, that we are making shitty decisions, underfunding our growth and undermining our economic potential because of the huge hole that we pour our time and gasoline into every day.
MNDot is the emperor of a rotten kingdom. Our roadway systems are fatally broken. Our approach to improving them is apparently intentionally highly disruptive. Our traffic control systems are designed to make congestion worse. Our public servants give no value whatsoever to the vast amount of waste that occurs when people sit for hours unnecessarily in their cars.
It’s broken and getting worse and apparently MNDot doesn’t really give a shit.
2008-01-28 » lolife