Viewers share their traffic frustrations

11:55 AM, Nov 27, 2007   |    comments
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What's your worst traffic bottleneck? Email us: reaction@kare11.com.
The two biggest problems are these: A: The fact that people wait until the last minute to get over: Solution: A row of concrete dividers that extend back to Penn Ave on 394 East for the right hand lane. If your not in that lane at that point, pick another route. B: The MnPass lane. On average, and after being a commercial for the better part of 23+yrs, about 3 out of 100 vehicles utilize that lane. Solution: Add it as an alternative entrance to I-94 from the west. The MnPass lane could conceiveably handle one lane of traffic in either direction (E & W) with the proper dividers. Doing this would free up at least 40 to 50% of the bottleneck experienced there each day. The MnPass Lane has got to be costing more than it is making for the state in just maintenence. By opening this lane, you would free up traffic from Hwy 100 E of I-394. The people using the East bound lane to get into downtown or to go West/North on I-94 would still be able to use it. S.P. I just wanted to let you know MN DOT just created a brand new bottle neck, on a brand new highway, in the new 312 / 212 / Highway 5 change over. If you take highway 5 from chanhassen into eden prairie (east bound), you hit the area where the new 312 Highway diverts to chaska. When I travel this highway, 2 problems jump out, keep in mind, this is a brand new highway! 1) You can't get on the west bound highway 312 to chaska from eastbound highway 5 directly, without exiting and going through and overpass and getting back on the freeway going the other direction. Why was no connection made here? 2) A new section of 312 going to chaska, is set to open very soon that allows you to go further into the chaska area this month, currently it ends at Dell Rd. Just a few weeks ago, going east on highway 5 was a 2 lane changeover to highway 212, that allowed you to keep going east without any merging, and proceed to highway 494 clover leaf interchange. A few weeks ago they changed that 2 lane interchage, to 1 lane. In other words, they took 2 lanes of highway 5 traffic, and force it to 1 lane to allow a car to keep going east on highway 212. This makes little sense to me. And you really have to drive it to understand. They also seem to force both lanes of traffic to move left one lane, because the rightmost lane just ends. So you have both a reduction to 1 lane, and a forced move to the left, forcing a dangerous mix of highway 312 and 5 traffic to merge. Why MN DOT would design a highway like this is confusing to me. They could have extended the furthermost right lane all the way to 494 interchange, seemingly. My guess here is the analysis says that the interchange traffic coming from eastbound 5 will decrease as the new highway 312 opens, and 1 lane is sufficient from highway 5. This is under-estimated in my opinion. The area will actually grow significantly. It seems bad already in morning rush to get into the city. Jason I work downtown and I park at the Target Ramp A. In coming out of the ramp you have 2 other entries of traffic coming in heading West to 394. Its only about 2/3 of a mile and you come up to another entrance of traffic coming into the same 394 entrance. So then the Sane Lane entrance is all of a sudden upon you! So you have 3 different entrances of traffic trying to get to the lane they need on 394. Cars are crossing 3 lanes creating such a bottle neck! Some cars cannot go on the Sane Lane so they have to cross 2-3 lanes of traffic to not enter it. Then there are the cars that are trying to get to the Sane Lane and crossing 2-3 lanes of traffic. THEN, it all of a sudden goes to a 1 lane for about a 1/4 mile until we are on 394 (coming out of downtown by Bren Marw Park overhead) then turns back into 2 lanes.....absolute madness! Laure Please, please, please do not video tape that woman holding a sign to yield rather than merge on Hwy 100. While she might feel the need to police the area, standing on a busy freeway with another distraction will only cause accidents. This is not a good idea. People are going to slow down to read her sign, either they will rear end someone or get rear ended. Not to mention the shear danger of a pedestrian standing on or near the freeway. Please encourage people not to police traffic on their own. Perhaps you could cover the mass transit options in the heaviest traveled corridors rather then fuel the fires of road rage. Thank you for your story and for not exactly blasting Mn/DOT once again. There are very dedicated people who work over there that are doing the best they can with what they've been given. Too little - too late. JW MY TRAFFIC NIGHTMARE STARTS ON 494 NORTH AND 394, AND CONTINUES ON 55 WEST. THIS CONGESTION SEEMS TO BE A COMBINATION OF 3 LANES GOING DOWN TO 2 LANES AND THE EXIT RAMP OFF TO HIGHWAY 55. I READ AN ARTICLE RECENTLY THAT STATED THAT BUFFALO AND ROCKFORD HAVE TRIPLED IN POPULATION, BOTH ARE ALSO IN THE TOP 100 CITIES VOTED BEST TO LIVE IN!! EVERYDAY I WITNESS CARS IN THE 55 ONLY EXIT LANE BLOCKING TRAFFIC WHEN THEY TRY TO MERGE INTO 494 TRAFFIC. IF YOU DON'T HAVE TO GET OFF ON HWY 55 PLEASE STAY IN THE LEFT 2 LANES. Lori My (should be) 45-minute commute from Princeton to Minnetonka takes on average 1 hour and 20 minutes, in the summer the return trip can take up to 2 hours and 45 minutes. The worst bottleneck area into the city: starting in Maple Grove from Elm Creek Pkwy all of the way to at least Cty Rd 6. While the city was doing work on 494, they should have continued up the sides and made all of 494 3 lanes. How can you put four lanes of traffic down to two and expect it to all work. Ludicrous! On the return trip home: same spot! Gee I wonder why! That and when the freeway goes from three lanes down to two in Rogers, that's always a joy. It's time to actually take the money that we pay in as taxes/lottery/etc. and use them for what they were intended for - road improvement. I would much rather drive in Chicago during rush hour - at least those people know how to merge (strange concept in MN), make room for others, how not to tailgate (I was rear-ended 4x's in one year!!!), and how to keep traffic moving (uhh, following distance and not over braking for a car in the side of the road). I feel that motorists of all ages should have to take behind-the-wheel classes every other time of getting their license renewed, especially those who are other the age of 70! Melissa I would have to say the worst area is Highway 3 from Farmington to Eagan. This is a single lane highway that many accidents have been happening especially with the growth of teenage drivers in Farmington/Rosemount area. The past 3 years 3 teens have died in crashes and the bottlenecking is only getting worse. Last year all they did was resurface the road with tar and rocks. With the southern metro expanding and moving further north highway 3 should be looked into becoming a 2 lane highway in both directions just like they did not Pilot Knob Road 4 years ago. I also have been up to the cities there are tons of roads that have been neglected and are in really rough shape and I hope with everyone sending in their opinion will make the state and/or federal government take a step towards fixing these situations that never should have happened. I would support a toll fee no problem in the state, I actually think MNPass needs to be expanded and utilized throughout the state. Steven My worse traffic bottleneck is in the northern end of spaghetti junction where I-94 east, I-35E and the on ramps of 10Th st and the off ramp to Pennsylvania Ave all meet. We do not have enough lanes to handle the rush hour traffic. The improvements to that area that were completed in the 80's did not meet the traffic levels then or even now. Kirsten If you are eastbound on I94, the bottleneck starts just past Monticello & doesn't open up until you're a few miles east of Hudson. If your southbound on I35, Wyoming is the start & it doesn't clear up tillyour past the Northfield exit. A major problem is jamming too many exits & entrances for freeways too close together. I have been driving the metro area in a truck since 1970. I have seen road construction opening new highways & upgrading old roads continually during that time. Most of the time the new, just finished construction is outdated by the following Monday. It seems our engineers build for the current levels of traffic & not the future. Ramps should be no closer than 1 mile & entrances should be after the exits allowing traffic to maintain flow without jamming brakes. There should not be any lanes, especially left lanes, that abruptly end. (Like the eastbound 'sane' lane on I394 in the afternoon). I realize light rail & heavy rail are supposed to help, but it will never pay for itself. So the motoring public sits in traffic while their tax dollars seem to go everywhere but the road they are on. The tunnel & I394 could be simplified with flyover ramps. Instead of dumping eastbound through the tunnel, go over the top. Do the same with westbound, make a flyover ramp (2-3 lanes wide) to go both directions. Eliminate cloverleaf interchanges & make flyover ramps again 2-3 lanes wide. The extra width should help during repairs to keep traffic moving through the construction area. There should not be a freeway in the metro smaller than 3 lanes wide and an outer ring should be built for avoiding the metro by interstate traffic. Back to reality. Bob Please do an "extra" about the simply laws that people do not follow such as following too close, not stopping behind the crosswalk, not using turn signals, turning into the wrong lane (not turning into the first drive lane, but the second or third). Anonymous The worst bottle neck for me is the 101 bridge coming out of shakopee in the morning and evening traffic is back up for miles. this problem has been there for years and nothing seems to be getting done other then they did a 3 million dollar study to tell them there is a problem. which you would have figured out if you looked at the traffic that's always back up there. Ronald Going north, where 35E and 35W merge in Forest Lake. Stuart travel Northbound on 35W from Lakeville into Bloomington. Some days the traffic is backed up to the 35W/E split and sometimes if you're lucky you can make it up to Cty Rd 42 before you come to a screeching halt. What they did was add a carpool lane once you hit Burnsville Parkway, which is great, however that lane is completely abused and not monitored whatsoever. It is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves. That far left lane is reserved for people who carpool only, motorcycles or buses. I am not exaggerating when I say that 95% of the people who drive in that lane (because it does move at posted speeds) are only one driver who are abusing the rules of that lane. It drives me crazy that people can't follow the rules, and I wish it was monitored better. That leaves the middle lane open and backed up for miles and the right lane is used for all the merging traffic from Burnsville Parkway, and Hwy 13 and Cliff Rd. What I think they could better do with the carpool lane since it is not being used correctly anyway, is take away the carpool lane and open it back up for everyone to use. That would give drivers at least two lanes they can sue to avoid the right lane which can be used solely for merging traffic. I really believe this could help some of the horrendous traffic problem. Kelly Headed North where 694 and 94 meet! A reversible HOV would greatly help. Trying to go north (no matter what time of the year) is IMPOSSIBLE!!! BethAnn How about going out of town on the entrance ramps to 394 from downtown! Three lanes have to merge and cross while drivers try to get on or off the express lane. Then everyone merges down to two lanes and slows down to a crawl while merging into one lane going West in order to merge with 394. Total insanity. Cory Trying to get over the river on the 10th Avenue bridge. They have opened up two lanes going northbound but the bottlenecks are caused before you even get to the bridge, and then on the north end coming off the bridge you have the same problem. The 7 corners & Washington Ave. lights are not coordinated. There should be traffic cops overriding the lights during rush hour so you could get the cars moving. And what's with the stupid 25 mph speed limit on the bridge? There's no reason for it; pedestrians and bikers are separated from the traffic. There's no difference from the situation you had before the 35W bridge fell down. Mary Not enough money to fix the problem? Why then, does the state want to continue with the extension of 610? Good money thrown away for very little return. How many drivers are going to benefit from this compared to fixing existing problems. Why not widen 169, fix the Lowery St situation, etc. The State seems to have no clue as to the real issues facing MN drivers. Ken Your story on the I394 ramp was good but only missed one part. I335 was supposed to connect I394 to 35W at Johnson and Stinson so they didn't plan for a two lane entrance ramp. MnDot had the land until they sold it sometime in the 80's or 90's. Ron As always everyone will look at the bottleneck area that impacts their own lives and you can identify a number of them. The twin cities has been trying to patch a highway infrastructure system largely developed in the 50's and 60's while not planning and keeping pace with our growth. While there is plenty of blame to go around from government to city planners and even the Minnesota taxpayer we can save that for another time. It is obvious with all of the posts that there are numerous places that are problems and important to many people. It will be expensive and pai nful to fix our infrastructure shortcomings and if we wait longer it will only get worse. My personal pick is the Highway 169 and Interstate 494 corridor. When 169 was improved and the Bloomington Ferry Bridge was replaced some years ago they redesigned the Pioneer Trail and Anderson Lakes Parkway intersections so that they could be turned into overpasses with minimum expense and disruption to 169 traffic flow in the future. The argument why that was not done initially was to prevent urban sprawl and to satisfy city leaders and local business who argued that it would hurt tax revenues and business that called those areas home . Those intersections have now been transformed with overpasses in the last few years. However when 494 was widened and the 169 bridge needed to be replaced necessitating a total redesign of those intersections did they make provisions to remove those stoplights? No, they chose to leave the stoplights in place knowing that about the same time the 494 project was completed they would have completed the Pioneer Trail and Anderson Lakes overpasses. Did they plan to remove the stoplights with minimal expense in the future? No, as the plan currently states on the DOT website in order to remove the three remaining lights on 169 consits of a very expensive redesign that includes a further overhaul of 494, flyover bridges (similar to hwy 100) and frontage road re-routes. This is all very expensive and looking at what MNDOT has posted it will be 5-10 years before the project gets undertaken and that seems optimistic given the 35W collapse and the state of MNDOT finances and project lists. While I understand that finances for the 494 project may not have allowed for the removal of stoplights at the time 494 was widened, better planning for the future should have been taken into consideration. That may have made the project easier to work into the future budgets. It is a terrible waste of money that major changes to both 494 and 169 will be needed to remove the stoplights that includes demolition of new contstruction involved in the 494 widening project. It also begs why bother with the Pioneer Trail and Anderson Lakes interchanges if you are not going to deal with the biggest issue on the route? While it improves the drive south on 169 after you get past the 494 area it has done nothing to improve northbound travel. As the area continues to grow and the traffic on the few river crossings only continues to get worse (41, 35W, 101, 77) this seems like it should be a priority. DL I enjoyed your special about 394 and the utter stupidity of the road system here in Minnesota. My wife and I moved here from Michigan three years ago and the FIRST thing we noticed here in the Twin Cities and in Minnesota in general is the horrible freeway and road system. It practically seems like the urban planners up here failed out of every class they ever took. When we left Michigan it had and still has the most depressed economy in the country, but somehow they manage there to have a very efficient freeway and road system. Wide and expansive roads, on ramps and exit ramps that are separate from each other where you don't have to slow down to avoid hitting the person who is sharing the on/exit ramp to get onto another freeway, no ungodly stupid bottlenecks, and for some reason they did not buy into the idea of slapping four stoplights within a half-mile of one another where two freeways come together (1-69 and 494). Wide interchanges of three lanes up to 5 lines and so on. A note to MNDOT, go and stay in the Detroit area for a week and do nothing but drive around the metro area and you will get an idea on how to fix the problem that exists here. It seems like Minnesota missed the boat when President Eisenhower laid out his federal highway plan. For the high taxes that Minnesotans paid for years and still pay, it seems like some of that money could have went to building a much better freeway design system. One more thing, something has to be done regarding the utter stupidity of the minimum and maximum speeds here. Some people still think it is okay to sit in the passing lane doing 45-50 m.p.h. and refusing to move over. It creates dangerous situations on the freeway when you have people driving incredibly slow and other people driving the speed limit. The closure rate of someone driving 60-70mph and someone driving 50mph is really unsafe for everyone. Joseph While not the worst traffic bottleneck in the metro, Hwy 77 South to Hwy 35E South could easily be fixed if the third lane was extended from Hwy 77 to at least Hwy 11. Recently, a similar project was completed on 35W South between Burnsville Parkway and Hwy 42. J. Chad The current grid lock/b> has been created, in part by the failure of elected officials to plan and implement a sound transportation plan. The common person has been left by the wayside in order that the government can focus on their social agenda.The size of Minnesota Government, as well as extravagant building and social programs have left transport behind. Who is the voice of the everyday worker among our elected officials? There are a few, but seldom heard, and never listened to. Transportation is critical for our state economy as well as quality of life. Only when the elected body gets tired of waiting in traffic will there be hope of change for the rest of us. JJC The Lake Drive ramp merging onto 35W heading south in Blaine is one of the worst bottlenecks every morning. There is no room for us to merge onto 35W and then they meter us on so when we do finally get to the freeway we are going so slow. There is so much room there to add another lane for us to merge onto the freeway and a lane for those who need to exit onto HWY 10 heading West. Dianne Having watched the report and read the reactions I noticed that the single largest part of the problem has not even been addressed. That is inattentive and selfish driving. My office is my truck and I spend lots of time on all these roads every day. My observation is that most people switch off their brain when they get behind the wheel and then they call someone on their phone for help. I'll focus on the 394 - 94 situation directly since it was the focal point of the report and I find it my best route 3 to 4 times a day sometimes. The single lane that dumps to 94 starts at the 100 north onramp. If you need to exit get over there then. This has to be almost 2 miles before the lane reduction and I constantly see people cutting in after the double white lines at the very end. What make you so important that you can do that and force all of us who have patiently waited in the lane we need to slam on our brakes and increase the wave back down 394? If you plan ahead and leave space between you and the next car for mergers and exits from Penn and to Dunwoody etc. it will flow quite nicely. It will also leave room for out-of-towners and those not familiar with the layout to get to where they need to be. It obviously speeds up IMMEDIATELY after the lane exits and you are trapped in the single lane ramp - because no one can jump the line anymore! This just astounds me. Since I drive a truck and cannot accelerate as fast as most cars I have actually had people try to pass me in that single lane where the HOV ramp comes down and joins it. What are you thinking! That is the only point where I get aggressive with the driving but it doesn't take much of a turn of the big ugly rusty truck to let a shinny Beemer know they won't make it by and come out worse for wear. Regardless of what your ego may tell you you don't own more of the road just by paying too much to drive on it. Ok - enough of the rant. I have been driving the truck around town for the last 4 years and have noticed a marked increase in the inattentive driving maneuvers in the last 6 months. I can't even begin to explain them all and how they affect the traffic problems I see but usually if I can actually see the perpetrator of these incidents there is a cell phone glued to the side of their head. Gregg My wife and I viewed your piece last night about the single lane on-ramp from I394 to I94. Traffic congestion is not limited to just the Westside of the Metro. Over the last 15 years the eastside of the Metro and western Wisconsin has seen unprecedented growth with no change to the infrastructure. I'd be interested to here the truth about one construction project that has been going on for quite some time, the Wakota Bridge Project. I'm sure many of my fellow eastside's would like to know the answers to a few questions: How can the 35W bridge over the Mississippi River be built in just over 1 year when they are projecting 2010 for completion of the Wakota Bridge Project? Why would MinDot choose a bridge building company who built a bridge of the same design some where in the southern United States that had the same structural problems? The west bound span of the Wakota Bridge has had a history of structural problems that were fixed with tension cables - is there any truth to the roomer that that span may need to be replaced? Here is a link to the Wakota web site, take a look, start asking questions (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/wakota/index.html). Bill Lammers Your I-394 story was interesting and informative but missed one very important piece of history. Having traveled this corridor since 1952 I have watched evolve from a 2 lane road to its current configuration. The day that the legislature cancelled the original plan for 394 to cross the MIssissippi to connect with I-35W near Stinson Ave without making any provisions for increasing capacity to handle the diverted traffic that was originally planned to travel that corridor was the day that this problem was created. Blair L. Jenness The worst for me is the 35W Northbound in Forest Lake, right at the split of 35 W and 35E they have us merge from two lanes to one lane on the bridge, It doesn't make since why they planned the freeway like that, there is plenty of room to expand the lanes to two lanes,every night it's terrible. Andrea Jensen I watched and enjoyed the 394 bottleneck report tonight. The truth is that someone should definitely put pressure on the state and federal government to double the capacity of the Lowry Tunnel and I 94 from 394 all the way to 280. Almost four months ago, the 35W Bridge collapsed creating one of the greatest opportunities to launch a major reconstruction project for the entire saturated freeway system around downtown Minneapolis. With the Twin City traffic growing up at a rate of 4% a year, we can expect congestion to increase along with waste of energy and pollution. If an average of 2200 cars an hour idle in traffic jams in this area, it means that they waste an average of 1000 gallons gasoline an hour as well. Over a year period, cars waste in excess of 3 million gallons gasoline if we assume a 12 hours a day congestion over a five day week and a car waste half a gallon on that stretch. My point is very simple. When the bridge collapsed, I never understood why the DOT together with the Governor did not order a complete study to double the capacity of the Lowry Tunnel and the stretch of 94 between 394 and 280. 35W is already a mess because 62 and 35W are under heavy construction. Adding construction along the reconstruction of the 35 W bridge and 94 would not have changed the mess very much except for the fact that in two or three year we would be done. Pierre Jacques Callies The most dangerous and problematic aspects on Minneapolis freeways: Most of the entrance/exits are backwards. Traffic is brought onto the freeway before it is allowed to exit. Not only that but the entering and exiting traffic are forced to share a single line. It's just an accident waiting to happen. Simply put drivers. Minneapolis drives are rude, unaware and very dangerous. I come from Wisconsin and in drivers education I took years I learned it was the law to move over from an emergency vehicle on the side of the road. People change lanes with out signaling and there are gross differences between the minimum speed and maximum speed people are traveling. If this all isn't enough the traffic court system fails to hole people reasonable for there actions. When you receive a moving violation you can simply make a phone call, set up an appointment to see a Hearing Officer and they will let you pay the fine but not report your ticket to insurance or include the violation on your driving record. LJJ I-494 from 169 to about 35E or a little farther. I-494 at 35W- really dumb cloverleaf idea. I-494,I-694,I-94 or the Fish Lake Interchange in Maple Grove. I-694 from 35W to 35E, bright idea. I-35W at I-694. I-94,I-694, MN 100, MN 252, too many are using 252 North. The greatest one, I-694 at US 10 and MN 51 Snelling Ave/Hamline Ave in the Arden Hills/Shoreview Area. The rest of the metro highways as well. Joseph PS: These are not my commute routes. I enjoy traffic and these are the ones I commonly go to during rush hour. I agree the 394 eastbound bottle neck is terrible. There is another one just as bad, I think it may be worse. It's the same problem. Eastbound on 62 merging with 35W. On 62, there are only 2 lanes, 1 to get off at Lyndale, and the other thats continues onto 62 East and 35W North. This bottleneck is worse because the number of people who stay on 62 East or get onto 35W North easily outweighs the number of people who take the Lyndale exit. This bottleneck is definitely worse than the 394 bottlneck. But the 394 is still bad. Matt Curry Thank you for this opportunity to share my frustrations!! I live in Edina, and multiple times per day, I exit southbound Hwy 100 at Vernon Avenue and other times I get on Southbound Hwy 100 at Vernon. Both of these areas involve a yield sign that most of my fellow drivers have in their minds converted to a merge sign. When entering southbound 100 at Vernon, one turns to the South right by the Washburn McReavy Funeral Chapel. Drivers get about 200 yards or more to get up to speed, so by the time I am at the end of the entrance ramp, I am going nearly 55 mph. However, at the very end,on my right, there is another entrance to the entrance ramp, and those folks have 3 yield signs, which most ignore. So they attempt to merge into the entrance ramp, at 15-20 mph when I am going 55 mph. I have to hit my brakes and horn about 60% of the time. It is SO dangerous and frustrating. Likewise, when I am getting off southbound 100 to get onto westish bound Vernon (I am never quite sure what direction I am heading at that point), I am on a ramp with 2 yield signs. But suddenly, everyone sees that as a merge, with no attempt to slow down or yield to the existing traffic on Vernon. Granted, at evening commute time, the traffic on Vernon bottlenecks due to the traffic light and poor MTC busstop placement, and folks on Vernon are good about waving us on. But other than those times, and w/o a kind wave from a vehicle already having the right of way, drivers have no business entering Vernon w/o slowing down and YIELDING! It has become seriously dangerous, though not nearly as bad as the situation mentioned in my previous paragraph. Please Rick! Come and videotape me holding signs for people to PLEASE YIELD, NOT MERGE as I hope to do some day, much to the dismay of my 3 teenagers!! I would SO do it if you support me with coverage, in order to get people thinking about their driving!!! Laura Arnold I can see how it's easy to focus on congestion on Minnesota's interstates - it's how most of us get around. However, you can't ignore the problem side streets. I work at the U of MN. The combination of the bridge collapse, campus visitors, the stadium construction, pedestrians, bicycles, poorly timed stoplights, on street parking, and jaywalkers have made for a ridiculous situation on campus. Weekdays at 5pm, you can find a backup the entire length of East River Rd. If I leave during peak times, it will take anywhere from 15-35 minutes to travel from the East River Rd Garage to the 35W North exit from 4th St. The remainder of my commute to Fridley takes 15 minutes max on a bad day. Once you get off campus, you get stuck on 14th St in Dinkytown where there is the shortest stoplight in history, a no turn lanes, and no shortage of pedestrians. The backup on that one block of road is so bad that most drivers take it upon themselves to create a second lane between those of us trying to turn left and the cars parked on the street. I cannot tell you how many scratches I have on my car as a result! I shutter to think what will happen to my commute once winter officially hits! What I wouldn't give for a left turn signal at 4th and 14th! Thanks for the story. Johnna Two words...Hwy. 10! Traveling down Hwy. 10 between Hanson Blvd. and Foley Blvd. What a nightmare! Heading north/west, 610 funnels into Hwy. 10; 4 lanes reduce to 2 lanes within a mile. Ugh! Needless to say, there is a constant bottleneck. The northern suburbs, being so far from the airport/corporate central, is a commuter hell. So much for living in the "bedroom community" of Andover. I never get to spend any time in my bedroom, because I'm always driving! Thanks for the story. I feel the pain! Karla Haben While I found the story on the freeway traffic bottleneck and the virtual demonstration of what adding the additional lane would mean to traffic patterns; I found it amazing that not one mention was made of accomodating light rail as an alternative solution. Light rail has been proven as a cost-effective and extremely successful transportation alternative to expanding or building more freeways that are already outgrown by the time the projects are completed. The last thing we need to do is find a way to allow more cars with individual drivers into and out of the city, especially in light of growing environmental concerns. Instead of adding that additional lane to the Lowry tunnel to accomodate cars, it should be built to accomodate rail instead. I hope you consider balancing the remainder of your transportation stories with mass transportation alternatives instead of just catering to the petrol-pumping suburbanites. Fiona C. Quick What exactly was the point of even running this story? We all know that it is an area that will not be addressed because of the tunnel. Why didn't you talk about MnPass or people ride sharing as a way to ease the bottleneck? Instead you just fueled the fire that burns in each driver while they sit and wait at that exit. I use Mn Pass and at most I pay $1.00 from Louisiana to get downtown. Most mornings it is .50. I expect your station to cover all angles of a story which you didn't. I expect better from Kare 11. Lee Great story on the 394/94 bottleneck. Please look at the bottleneck at 169 and 494. Why are there still traffic lights there? It adds 20 mins to my commute each way every day. Ridiculous. Sam Meckey The worst bottle neck I drive on is Minnesota 3 in Farmington/Empire/Rosemount/Eagan. One single lane the whole way, why this road hasn't been upgraded is beyond me. Dakota County has upgraded all of there roads to four lane highways. The least the state could do is add a passing lane in empire township. Adam

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