Day: With a two-week study in 1969 and 1970, the Department of Transportation put in their first ramp meter. We've now got over 420 of them, we've spent $68 million and I would daresay there is not anybody on this committee that's ever even voted for or known where they're going in or what they're doing or what they aren't doing.The transportation department's Tim Worke agrees that no one likes waiting at ramp meters. But the agency says the meters actually increase capacity and speeds on Twin Cities freeways. Worke says turning ramp meters off won't help alleviate traffic. The real solution, he says, is Governor Jesse Ventura's proposal to spent $184 million dollars to expand transit options and address the most congested areas.
Worke: We are excited at the department that we have a governor that believes it's time to do something about the problems we're experiencing in travel in our state and in our metropolitan area. And to that end the governor's proposal proposes a substantial investment in bottleneck removals and the like.The transportation committee approved on a voice vote turning off the meters for a one-month study next October. The transportation department would report its results back to legislators.
Dame: The main one is to get the slowpokes out of the left lane. The trouble I have with that is the people who are trying to pass and cannot, they drive aggressively, they cause road rage, and I guess my feeling is if we want to reduce the fatalities we should get the slowpokes out of the left lane and let the highway patrol stop the fast drivers.
"You're going to get in your car and put on your racing cap and put a big stogie in your mouth and you got a cooler of beer in the back and you're driving the Explorer and you get to other states and you think, 'If I could only move through Minneapolis-St. Paul like this, I'd have it made.'"
- Dean Johnson
Johnson: You're going to get in your car and put on your racing cap and put a big stogie in your mouth and you got a cooler of beer in the back and you're driving the Explorer and you get to other states and you think, "If I could only move through Minneapolis-St. Paul like this, I'd have it made."Johnson said he'd like to examine alternatives to easing congestion besides increasing the rights of solo drivers. Day said he supports mass transit. But he candidly admitted that addressing traffic congestion has become an issue for his caucus as it seeks to woo suburban voters.
Day: Our battleground whether we like it or not is the suburbs and the suburbs are people who get in and drive back and forth and I'm saying whoa; that's where actually most of my senators represent, are the suburbs or greater Minnesota.In addition to the two proposals approved by the transportation committee, the budget division will consider Day's proposals to allow solo drivers in high occupancy vehicle lanes at peak hours and to cut license tab fees by 20 percent.