Minnesota Traffic Congestion Worst in Nation (Almost)

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Californians idle in the nation’s worst traffic jams on interstates surrounding major metropolitan areas but they are far from alone — 52 percent of these urban stretches of highways are congested, according to a new study released on Thursday… One Midwestern state, Minnesota, and two East Coast states nearly matched California’s sorry showing.

Read the whole story from Reuters.

Anyone have any commuting horror stories? I don’t take I-35 north between 7:00a-9:00a or 3:00-6:00p unless I have a gun to my head, so I don’t have any recent experience of the typical state of things on 35 or 494 during heaving commuting times.

6 thoughts on “Minnesota Traffic Congestion Worst in Nation (Almost)”

  1. I have more (horror) stories than there’s room to store them but commuting through 35/494 at those hours can be summed up in four words: World’s Longest Parking Lot. I have been commuting to EP and Chanhassen for 19 years (8 of them from Northfield) and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

  2. Well, my next question would be how many of you are single riders? (meaning just you and your vehicle?

    I have been commuting now for 5 years, and the worst horror story I have is from one person snoring on the right of me, and one person snoring on the left of me.

    You see, I commute via a vanpool to St. Paul every day. By doing so with 9 others, we remove 9 vehicles off the road per day. We share the driving, so usually its around 1 one-way drive per person per week.

    The problem with congestion is EXACTLY that. TOO MANY vehicles on the road. The way to solve this is with better transportation systems, public transit, and coming up with alternate ways to work, such as telecommuting, van & carpooling, and transit.

    We do not need more traffic lanes, we need less vehicles that carry moren people.

    It just sickens me (and makes me laugh as well) at all the “single user” riders heading to the cities every morning in there Suburbans and Escalades. Riding in the Sprinter, I get to look down on them from both a figurative, and literal way! (The sprinter is taller you see.)

    I spend on the average of about a $100 a month to participate.

    Everyone must get over their “I need my car all the time, because I need my freedom” thing. You need not be tied to your car. Bike! Walk! Pool! Don’t be tied to the metal monster, and all the foriegn oil it consumes.

    Oh the horror. Look at the picture above. How many single user vehicles do you see in the picture? How many poolers or transit alternatives? There would be so many fewer vehicles if even half of these folks were ride sharing.

    If you commute, I strongly recommend you take a look at NuRide, at http://www.nuride.com, or look for a pool or rideshare at the Metro Transit / Metro Commuter Services site at http://www.metrotransit.org/

    Thanks for the vent…

    -John

  3. When I moved (back) to Northfield from Eagan four years ago, I was primarily commuting to job sites around the south metro, so I didn’t have too much of a problem.

    Then, my company both moved to Plymouth and began requiring us to check in at the office in the morning and before going home; I suddenly had a two-hour commute each way. At the time, I found I could actually shave some time off my commute by avoiding 494 and, instead counter-intuitively, going 35 to downtown and 394 west to Plymouth.

    Unfortunately, for a service-worker, car pooling or other public transport was not an option. On the up side, I listened to a lot of public radio.

    Then, thankfully, I was laid-off, changed careers and got a job here in town where I can bike or walk to work. And if I need to drive, it takes less than five minutes in “heavy” traffic.

  4. I’m the one snoring on John’s left!

    And I would like to make this a bit more personal, I just won’t attribute the quotes.

    – “I pool, and don’t drive, because it would take me at least two hours to calm down after the drive home>” (Perhaps a solution to road rage?)

    – “The forty five minute nap on the ride home leaves me refreshed to enjoy the evening with my wife and kids>” (Family values, anyone?)

    – “I wish I had started doing this two years earlier.” (Our newest pooler, who is saving a tank of gas a week on her SUV)

    And to John’s note of about $100 a month – that includes everything: lease, zero deductible insurance, zero deductible maintenance, parking and fuel. Oh, and that’s before tax dollars!

    While I know the horrors Edward and Alex are talking about, one needs to consistently discuss it with one’s managers if they are not supportive. Most finally do realize that a less stressed employee is better for them too.

    Finally, if you do have any questions about pooling to St. Paul from, or through, Northfield, please contact me at work during the day at 651.310.6488. I would like to see more vanpools and carpools on the road: fewer vehicles on the road make it safer for everyone!

  5. The commute was wonderful this morning! We were full with 10 passengers in the van, yet it was quite comfortable in the Sprinter.

    We removed 9 cars from the road, and had a great conversation about the NuRide rewards we were collecting. I still find it to be so exciting that we get rewarded for pooling!

    Snoring was kept to a minimum this morning.

    I don’t know if I mentioned this earlier, but there is an additional savings. Because my car is garaged more now, with less miles being put on it, I was able to change my insurance (lower the milage) and saved a signifigant amount of money. I purchased the car right after the hailstorm, and have put less than 1500 miles on it since last August. (I could lower that further by biking for groceries, which I need to start doing more.)

    Thanks Charlie, for all you do. Pooling is the only way to go! It has been a signifigant change in the quality of life of my daily commute.

    – John

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