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MoDOT’s Pete Rahn on a ‘Pefect Storm’ in Transportation Funding

August 9, 2007 Politics/Policy, Suburban Sprawl, Transportation 26 Comments

In the July 2007 issue of the Missouri Municipal Review the director of the Missouri Department of Transportation, Pete Rahn, has a one page commentary entitled “Perfect Storm Brewing in Transportation”, (view PDF). Rahn argues that over the next 20 years and based on the current funding formula, they’ll have a funding gap of roughly $18 billion “without future inflation factored into the calculation.” MoDot is estimating a need for $37 billion and that we’ll have “only 19 billion.Only?

IMG_0472.JPG Rahn is correct when he talks about gasoline taxes being on a per gallon basis thus not “being set up to keep pace with rising costs.” True enough, material and labor costs can rise but more funding is dependent upon increased sales of gasoline which likely means either less fuel efficient vehicles or increased miles driven — both arguably bad for our society.

The disturbing part is that Rahn believes we should just continue to fund project after project, with no end in sight. He talks about their efforts to manage projects well to save money but that we have “looming financial woes” because of things like “stagnant funding” and “lagging federal funding.” Uh, no, we have financial woes because we’ve made foolish decisions over the last 50 years to build a road network that only encourages more driving and more road network. We’ve built a system that now outstrips our ability to even fund the safe maintenance of what we have in place today and yet every more miles of road and bridges are planned.

Our roads are no longer for our convenience. They are now controlling and abusing us but we are the victims in the relationship. That which we thought would be good for us turned out to be far more demanding and costly than we ever imagined when we first entered the relationship. Anytime we threaten to leave the abuser hits us with a big traffic jam or a tragic bridge collapse. Year after year we spend more and more money hoping to improve our relationship but it only gets worse. As a national I think we all have Stockholm Syndrome relative to highways and bridges.
But Rahn, an apologist for the abuser, is encouraging voters to support more funding for the road building:

It’s up to our General Assembly to decide how to fund transportation. It’s up to MoDOT to show we’re good stewards of Missourians’ money. It’s up to the voters to decide if they want to invest in their children and grandchildren’s future through the foundation of our modern economy…transportation.

Oh please, what doesn’t get argued in this city and state without pulling in the children and grandchildren. We need to hunt more deer for the future of our grandchildren, we need to pack concealed weapons for the future of our grandchildren, we need to ban abortions so that we have more grandchildren. We need to keep gays from having long-term marriages because they can’t produce any grandchildren. It is more like we need to build more roads for ourselves today but it will be up to our grandchildren to figure out how to pay to maintain them!

Sure Pete, let’s invest in transportation! Let’s invest in localized transit (aka streetcar/quality local bus service) in urban core areas. Let’s invest in making it easier and safer for Missouri citizens to bicycle. Let’s invest in high-speed rail to connect our cities and towns so that people can forgo the single occupancy vehicle. Let’s invest in commuter rail lines to get suburbanites into employment centers. Let’s invest in rail lines for shipping goods so we can remove these semis from our existing roads. But let’s not just keep building mile after mile of expensive roads and bridges and then saddling future generations with the bond payments.


Currently there are "26 comments" on this Article:

  1. Tim says:

    More “autophobia” here. Here’s a thought maybe if MN
    hadn’t given $750m to a billionaire for a stadium and instead
    taken care of it’s bridges those people wouldn’t be dead. Or
    better yet save that $715m spent on light rail that maybe
    2% of commuters will use since it increases travel time from
    an average of 21 minutes to nearly 40 and repair the bridges.

    Actually better yet, privatize the roads and make them all tols.

  2. mixeduse says:

    We who live in the city use the interstate highway system less than those in the outlying suburbs. It’s the people who CHOOSE the suburbs who suffer most in traffic. And they do so by their own free will. I bet the MODOT rep is a suburban or rural dweller. Anyone know for sure?

  3. GMichaud says:

    Steve, as you point out there is a lack of discussion of alternatives. It is time to remove responsibility for mass transit and other forms of movement from MoDot and rename MoDot the Missouri Department of Highways. Given energy concerns, global warming and wars it is unbelievable there is no discussion of the underlying problems related to transportation and city building.
    For example, they propose building truck lanes adjacent to highway 40 and 70. You can build 4 times the amount of railroad track for the same money. Of course all of this requires a comprehensive system of transportation to work properly.
    Thus a new state office should be created to be responsible for all forms of transit and for planning of the highways. MoDot should only be allowed to spend the money on the highway projects after they have been coordinated with the new state planning body.
    This is the only way change will occur, otherwise MoDot will continue to emphasize building new highways while giving lip service to the type of transportation planning that is needed to secure the future of our children. Mindlessly applying more concrete is not the answer. The status quo is no longer acceptable.

  4. Dole says:

    It is important to separate the issues. The needs of freight carriers are very different from the needs of commuters. Both are valid and important groups but have different needs. …………………………………….………………….Freight carriage is important for the economy overall both locally and nationally. There needs to be fast and cheap methods of moving large quantities of goods. This is best accomplished in Missouri by expanding railroad capacity and ensuring easy movement of semi tractor-trailers quickly across the vast rural interior of the state………………………………..……………….The needs of commuters and local traffic is obviously a hot topic here at Urban Review STL. This is best accomplished through an expansion of Metrolink and/or streetcar lines and busses. Also, the current road structure should be maintained in superb condition while avoiding an expansion of capacity in the outer suburbs (to avoid encouraging more sprawl)……………………………………………………………………………………………….I envision a future in which freight traffic enjoys (1) an expanded rail network (2) good maintenance of Interstates 64/40, 70, 170, and 44 across the rural regions, possibly 2 lanes dedicated to freight and 2 lanes dedicated to cars. I also envision a future in which people in the City and inner suburbs can get from any starting point to any finishing point fairly easily using public transportation without switching between five bus lines. A public transportation system more like New York and western European capital cities (if we can build the population density). I would also like to see the de-funding of road building projects outside of the interstates I reference, as well as no more funding for road building outside the top five metro areas in the state.

    Anybody care to comment?

    [SLP — I would add that we don’t really need anymore roads within our top metro areas either.  With good local transit we can handle a substantial increase in population and commerce without the need to sprawl more and build more and more roads.  In fact, I’d argue that in order to increase our population and economy we should not build more roads.]

  5. john says:

    Our transportation trustees are negligent and are designing-constructing an unsustainable and self-destructive network of roads-highways. Until we have leaders who understand and appreciate the need for Complete Streets and liveable communities, the StL area will never prosper. These trustees are so imprudent that our great assets along our central corridor are being placed at risk and further marginalized. Thus the perfect storm, unfunded liabilities, is the “infrastructure gap” which may be the beginning of the end for the region.
    For more insight on what prosperous communities are doing with transportation issues, see: http://www.pps.org/transportation/.
    It’s really quite simple: Plan your community around cars… get more cars, OR plan your community around people… you’ll get more people.

  6. equals42 says:

    Walking through Midtown Atlanta a few weeks ago I was struck by just how much space is really allocated for cars. Between the roads, highways, on and offramps to the highways (including the grassy areas in the cloverleafs), parking lots and driveways there isn’t a lot of room left for people. Even in dense areas where parking is the lower floors of buildings it leaves at least two sides of most buildings (usually three if the structure encompasses a city block) designed to service autos by way of parking entrances and exits and dropoff/valet porches. Not to mention the necessary loading docks, trash bins and other real necessities. Really, quite a lot of high density buildings don’t have a pedestrian friendly side. In Atlanta this led to a very desolate feel or to one designated “pedestrian mall” on Peachtree Street which is isolated from any other pedestrian avenue.

    Does anyone have statistics on what percentage of land in a typical dense suburban city is used exclusively for autos? I am not referring to the McMansion areas where each house comes with 2 acres of “forest” in the backyard. I am willing to bet it will make most of us sick to our stomachs to see how much of our land we concede to allow us to drive everywhere.

    Not to ramble, but Steve mentions buses in his piece. My biggest complaint about the bus is the dumb routes they take. For dedicated riders, it is common knowledge which line takes you to your destination. In reality, why isn’t there a line that simply goes up and down each main artery in the city. I know how to drive to CWE. I should be able to get on a bus that goes up Hampton until I reach perhaps Arsenal. Get off and wait 10 minutes (max) for a Eastbound Arsenal bus and ride that to Kingshighway and ride a Northbound Kingshighway bus to the Chase. That would allow a neophyte to ride the bus without aid of maps, schedules, fare calculators, etc. There could still be express routes (with “Downtown 4th and Market” in the name) that get people to common locations quicker. I just don’t have the patience to figure out bus routes and timetables.

    OK. I feel better now. Thanks for listening or skipping over this post.

    [SLP — Agreed, we’ve turned our cities into places for cars not us!  And I totally agree on bus lines — luckily I most often take the #70 Grand or #40 Broadway which are pretty straightforward.  To do this we need greater density and more users.  As it is, they try to run the lines where the most users are and everyone else gets left out in the cold (or heat).]

  7. Jim Zavist says:

    Surprise – I agree with Mr. Rahn. We do have a major funding problem, and unless I’m mistaken, these billions are needed to maintain our existing infrastructure, not to address future capacity demands (which is a whole ‘nuther issue). The current local example is the Highway 40 project – an existing highway is being completely rebuilt with limited increase in capacity in essentially the same envelope. Why? Because it’s worn out and falling down AND because there are a LOT of commuters are coming in from out west into downtown St. Louis. Is it “right” or “fair” that it wore out? After 50-60 years, probably not. Is it “right” or “fair” or PC that we now have a bunch of suburban commuters? Probably not, but it IS a fact of life – if they can’t get downtown, they might move closer, but more likely, they’ll move their jobs to the ‘burbs! Are there other options? Sure, you can let it actually fall down or you can continue to patch together the bridges and the pavement. Will demand drop? Not much – it’ll just find another path. Our you can just decide to make Page Avenue a real freeway through the north side of town (hey, it’s mostly just poor folks, anyway).

    The world we live in isn’t going to change overnight. Heck, it won’t change much over the next twenty or thirty years in the city. What has, is and will continue to change is the suburban fringe. How that growth is handled (and yes, growth will continue to happen) will have a much bigger impact on what our future becomes – creating density in the suburbs is key to reducing sprawl. The other part of the equation is transit – without demand, you can’t justify it or fund it, and bus service is the first step in expanding transit acceptance in the ‘burbs, and surprise, buses need roads (as do motor scooters and bicycles)! Letting our highway infrastructure rot away won’t stop sprawl – if anything would likely encourage it. If we really want to make the urban alternative “the choice” for more and more people, it ain’t about neglecting our highways, it’s about changing perceptions and fixing the real “problems” that scare potential residents away – SLPS, crime, taxes and good-paying jobs!

    [SLP — Well, I agree to the extent that gasoline taxes simply don’t cut it.  If that is our method of funding, raise the tax every year to keep pace with construction projects and maybe folks will start to realize the true cost to drive that SUV (or Prius).  Highway 40 is being drastically rebuilt — way beyond the minimum to keep a bridge from falling on drivers.  Out in St. Charles we are spending tons of money to make Highway 40 bigger and wider so it can become part of I-64.  This only encourages more people to live in the far suburbs because once all is said and spent they’ll be able to get to a Cardinals game pretty quick.  Let them stick to their 2-lane country roads (they want the country life right?) and they can see the impact of their decision.  Instead, we’ve been pouring money into this suburban ideal for half a century and the bill is coming due now.]

  8. Steel says:

    So how do we get the shit back in the horse?

    I am auto-free at least 2 days a week and limit my driving to 100 miles a week. I support public transit, and am against sprawl. On a personal level I think I am doing all that I can do. It seems that those in power want nothing more than to build more roads. How to we stop road building and increase infrastructure for other transit options (on the legislative level)?

    [SLP — elect new representation at all levels of government.]

  9. Dole says:

    STEVE – In response to the comment you left under my comment, My intention was to state that in the urban area we should maintain the road network. That means rebuilding and spending money as necessary. I think that there are places where we should build new roads, such as reconnecting the street grid where it has been disrupted.

    JIM ZAVIST – I don’t think it’s a problem to fund the ‘necessary’ infrastructure…but it is problem to continue funding the road infrastructure for new subdivisions to lightly populated areas. Whether or not Mr. Rahn is talking about funding challenges for what currently exist or talking about funding callenges for expansion plans, MODOT needs to come to their senses.

    In the same way a business examines whether a capital outlay will have a positive return, MODOT should examine if a proposed project will support necessary infrastructure (positive return) or go to superfluous use (negative return).

    Ultimately, I am interested in spending money on transportation infrastructure that will facilitate the expansion of commerce and growth of the urban area. I am not interested in spending money to continue the trend of helping the same size of population spread over a larger geographic area.

    [SLP — Yes, I’d go along with replacing or creating a more walkable street grid in our urban areas — that to me has benefits beyond drivers and gets into community building.  The problem is out in the burbs creating more connections is really costly — it becomes less and less feasible as you move further out from the core.]

  10. Time to bring on the $5/gal gasoline! I’ve long said – ALL funding for road maintenance, construction, and expansion should come from the source of the need for them – the fuel powering the vehicles.

    It’s simple really – the bigger you are, the more strain you place on the infrastructure, which is in proportion to how much gas you use. Big Rigs – lots of weight/wear & tear – lots of fuel = lots of taxes paid (frieght belongs on RAIL lines anyway. get off my interstate!). SUVs – bigger, heavier, waste more gas = more taxes for you! Passenger cars – smaller, lighter, uses less fuel = less taxes. Scooters/motorcycles, very small, very little wear & tear, uses VERY little fuel = very small taxes.

    Problem solved.

    My expert consulting is available for hire. Send p-mail to inquire 😉

  11. Tim says:

    If you can promise me the gas tax goes toward roads and not the general fund as it does it might make sense. But you can’t make that promise, it currently doesn’t and it never will. I get the feeling sometimes that everyone on here is like the cranky old guy in that Speed Racer episode that hated cars and would ride around on a horse cracking his whip at them.

    [SLP — I personally love cars.  If I won the lottery, I’d have a very large collection.  But we’ve gone from the “freedom of mobility” to the burden of car ownership and facing dire consequences if we don’t keep funding the beast.]

  12. LisaS says:

    Tim, I know that at least two of us (me & Steve) are not car haters because we’ve talked about our mutual affection for things small & sporty–but I would like driving to be an option, something I do for pleasure, rather than a requirement of every day life, probably because most of the small sports cars I love are British …

    We’re in a conundrum now and in the immediate (in infrastructure terms, 10-15 years) future: our entire transportation system is built around roads, so we have a lot of them that need maintenance. We also need to reduce our dependence on the roads, which means that transportation dollars–from whatever source–must be spent on both the roads and on building new mass transit systems to reach the vast majority of the community and the largest centers of employment. Efficient transit, with both light rail and commuter rail like New York and Chicago, so people can live in Washington or Cuba and have a civilized commute to jobs downtown or in Clayton. Bus routes that are simple to understand and run frequently.

    I don’t look forward to high gas taxes, but that’s the most civilized means the government has to convince us to change our behavior. The sooner we start, the less painful it will be to get there.

  13. I really don’t know what else to add because I agree completely. In 1997 Peirce noted this problem as well. It still exists today.

  14. Jim Zavist says:

    There are multiple challenges here. Many of us seem to want more fuel-efficient vehicles. But when you double your fuel mileage you also cut in half how much you pay in gas taxes to the state, even though you’re likely driving the same (or more) miles and taking up essentially the same amount of space on the road. On a micro level, it’s a win for you, on a macro level, it’s a major loss to the state. Remember, there are two major issues driving the “need” for highway spending, peak-hour demand (think rush hour) and wear and tear (think heavy trucks + the impact of weather).

    Rush-hour congestion, at least around here, is directly related to growth, whether it’s on the freeways serving the suburbs or down around Branson and the Lake of the Ozarks – more cars simply require more lanes if we’re going to have relatively free-flowing traffic. (Yes transit might be able to pick up a little of that, but the most optimistic numbers I’ve seen are well below 10%) The obvious answer to this half of the equation are impact fees, fees paid directly by developers/new businesses/new homeowners that accurately reflect (and are spent to address) the true costs of building the infrastructure sprawl requires. This means more than just the streets in the subdivision, it includes water treatment plants, schools, and yes, more highway lanes, and hopefully/eventually public transit to get you in and out of your new little piece of paradise. Will it curtail development? Probably. Is it fair? It all depends on your perspective!

    The other half of the equation is trucking. I remember reading that one semi does more damage than 100 automobiles will ever do to our highway infrastructure. We wouldn’t need to be rebuilding Highway 40 if our large trucks weren’t regularly topping 80,000 pounds (and up to 34,000 pounds per axle) plus requiring higher bridges. Again, this is a case where the culprits ought to pay – diesel fuel is the fuel of choice for the big rigs – why not double or triple their fuel taxes to help pay for maintenance?! The obvious downsides are that truckers will buy fuel in adjacent states (much like how many Illinois commuters do now in Missouri), the impact on diesel autos, which are a good thing (and shouldn’t be penalized – a state rebate perhaps?), and the impact on the cost of everything we consume – if truckers are paying more, we’ll all be paying more.

    Finally is the old bugaboo, maintenance of our existing streets. Unfortunately, I don’t see any other way to pay for them – we all use and benefit from them, directly and indirectly, so we all need to continue to contribute to that pot.

    Bottom line, sprawl is more than just highways. It’s about personal choice and property rights. It’s about zoning standards that encourage sprawl instead of density. It’s about transit that’s perceived as “not for me”, “doesn’t get me to where I need to be” and hasn’t kept up with growth. It’s also about fear, poverty and racism, with the public school system mixed in for good measure. Yes, planning for and build new highways and adding more lanes to existing ones are a major, major enabling factor. But remember, these throngs of newbies get a vote too – they pay their taxes, and they have just as much to demand their misguided services as we in the city have to do the same . . . like they say, life ain’t fair . . .

  15. GMichaud says:

    While it is true roads are needed for buses and without demand you can’t fund transit, the real problem is comprehensive transportation that allows for dense development.
    For example Paul McKee on the north side will probably build a suburban development if he has the chance, this will all but kill tranist. City planners should be saying we are looking for a certain density in one location, another density in another, connect it with transit and commercial development. Extending it further this new development on the north side with transit could connect to high speed trains downtown that serve Chicago, Kansas City and Memphis and other destinations. The new commercial centers on the North side could be served by trucks that pick up goods from new a trans shipment point that are feed by new rail lines the run along side highway 70 or 44 across the state.
    The point is that transit planning needs to be comprehensive, requiring studies of density, community, shipment of goods, creation of public spaces and the similar issues that relate to .
    But to have Pete Rahn say he needs 37 billion for roads is nonsense. Maybe we should start shutting down roads like St. Louis County did when that shut down that bridge over Old Gravois last week.
    Without a comprehensive discussion of transportation, billions for infrastructure is meaningless. It does nothing to begin clean up the mess that has been made from years of auto centric development. and unlike JZ I have no patience. These people are showing no leadership, where is Governor Blunt or aspiring Governor Nixon on this? In fact where is the main media, the Post and TV stations? They all sit on their hands.
    If it was just a question of making cities more livable, which alone should be a good enough reason to consider all options it might be one thing. But with America one step away from a major crisis if oil ever becomes unavailable, it seems to me establishing a balanced transportation system should be priority number one all over America.

  16. john says:

    The New I64 is primarily designed to allow for more truck traffic. Need I say more?

  17. DD says:

    Gays can’t have grandchildren?? Who knew?

  18. equals42 says:

    StL_Stadtroller stated that freight should be on rails and not on the interstate. I tend to agree a well-managed hub and spoke system with trucks as the last mile would be best. The economics don’t really work out for rail though. Imagine two industries that provide the same service but one has to build and maintain it’s own network of rails, bridges and road crossings. The other gets its network of roads built maintained and improved when needed by the government from tax revenues generated from the entire populace. While rail may be intrinsically cheaper and environmentally friendlier than truck, the overhead costs which are borne by the rail providers limit their cost advantages.

    When they are done improving I-64 and there are many more semi-trucks clogging the lanes, just remember all those trucks who can fit under the new bridges thank you and MoDOT for making their industry cheaper and faster.

  19. Jim Zavist says:

    Density and transit are a classic chicken-and-egg issue – which comes first? Since we apparently can’t build transit first, it’s going to take political will to demand density. Mayor Jack O’Boyle (Lone Tree, CO) is one of those few suburban leaders that I’m aware of that “gets it”. He was willing to push for significantly higher density in a typical suburban area (think St. Charles County) on the promise that light rail would be extened out to the area in 15-20 years (which it’s on track to do around 2014). It takes changing the typical planning and zoning paradigm. It takes defining and protecting transit corridors, even if it takes 20, 30 or 40 years to lay the track. It takes regional consensus and regional leadership. And it takes a willingness to forego immediate (but smaller) “victories” to focus on a long-term goal.

    I know many of the larger and/or growing cities in our region have master plans. Do smaller and/or older ones have them? have a clue? Sunset Hills and Rock Hill are just a couple of recent example of chasing retail at the expense of pretty much all else. Is there any attempt to integrate the plans that exist into a cohesive whole? Or is it just organized NIMBYism juxtaposed against generic sprawling development plans? Is any though given at all to where transit might go in 30 years? Here in the city, we have the transit, but do we have a plan to leverage it? The Delmar, Manchester, Forest Park and Richmond Heights stations are just four that are perfectly positioned for higher-density mixed-use developments. Who’s pushing for rezoning that makes it possible to happen? Who’s working with out-of-town developers who understand transit-oriented development? It gets back to leadership.

  20. john says:

    JZ as you well know and understand, it is a combination of issues jointly coordinated for an agreed objective that help insure success. With numerous governmental entities and appointed agencies here, coordination is difficult if not impossible. Yes the stations you mentioned have potential for higher-density mixed-use development. RH rejected those concepts numerous times as the council prefers to pick winners in isolation (just look at the Boulevard and Hadley Township for obvious failures). Maplewood has transient and school problems. The other stations may have possibilities except that they are in the boundaries of a city that cannot provide jobs, a credible school system, etc.,
    Bottom line: no effective regional leadership exists here that has an objective similar to your priorities. Where “leadership” exists, its primary purpose is to add more public subsidized roads, bridges and highways. If you’re a trucker or autocentric, you win! If you’re a family man that believes in personal responsibility, you look elsewhere while holding your nose.

  21. GIS Planner says:

    Jim, in response to your questions about plans…

    I’m working on bringing existing comprehensive plans for the entire region into GIS. So far I’ve converted or digitized about twenty plans on the Missouri side, and another twenty for the Illinois side. I’m mostly working from paper plans, so it’s slow going. Hopefully my employer will make the plans publicly available in an interactive web-based map in the near future, but that’s not my decision to make.

  22. WWSPD says:

    I agree with JZavist…density/land use shapes transit and vice versa. It takes leadership at the local level to reshape land use and create densities that support transit that brings TRUE choice in transportation and higher integration within a region.

    I would also add that our legal framework doesn’t support the kind of regional cooperative action necessary to do the work outlined above. It’s not enough to simply ‘replace’ all elected officials at every level of local government. (You’d also do well to replace all the administrators and technicians who operate almost purely through the momentum of ‘we’ve always done it this way.’) Regional bodies like East-West Gateway need real power to help facilitate these changes and support communities that ‘get it.’ But our constitution doesn’t recognize these cross-jurisdictional bodies and especially in the St.Louis region we know that political fragmentation doesn’t lend itself to cooperation outside of provision of basic services. The issue of density and transit is a regional issue but we lack a meaningful level of regional governance.

  23. Watchdog says:

    The gas tax already goes 100% toward roads; in fact, by law the recently-reverted last 50% of the gas tax can only be used to fund NEW roads. So even if maintenance is much more necessary than new interchanges and exit ramps, the state can not use the gas tax money to fix them. How stupid is that? How stupid were voters to make such a dumb decision?

    While we’re at it, why doesn’t the tax on books go to libraries, the tax on soda go toward diabetes research, or the tax on bread go toward soup kitchens? So why should an equivalent sales tax on gasoline go solely toward roads?

  24. Tim E says:

    Mr. Pete Rahn is paid to execute the political desires of state representatives that have defined what has been or will be built and what is being matained through policy and appropriations. He has also been quoted as saying that MoDOT is in all reality the Missouri Department of Highways. I give Mr. Rahn credit for stating what needs to be said. That the current public transportation system entirely dependent upon the highway, which will remain so in the immediate future, is not being funded adequately to maintain what has been built let alone expand. He is making the effort to express the more realistic costs that are bearing down on society due to past and current transportation policies based wholly on cheap oil. Those are just the costs of infrastructure

    I’m dissappointed that Missouri politicians, like in most states, refuse to understand the benefits of funding the right transit projects in urban areas as a more beneficial use of taxpayer transportation dollars.

    On other notes – Minnesota Govenor has vetoed, two years running, a five cent gas tax raise which included dedicated funds for transit. That might change in upcoming special session. Unfortunately it took loss of life in a bridge collapse to realize that infrastructure requires revenue to maintain properly. The more infrastructure bulit out the more cost. Maybe he will realize that their are more efficient means to move people other then the 140,000 cars/trucks a day that used the bridge.

  25. LC says:

    Don’t just place blame on MoDOT in general. There are allot of good ideas that come from these folks that do hard work to keep everything running with little funding and even less respect from the people they are out there trying to help out. I hear allot of complaining about limiting road construction to the top 5 or so areas, we can tell that these people must live in one of those areas and could give a heck with the rest of the state. I agree that MoDOT needs to find a way to maintain the roads we already have, but new construction is needed. When you get stuck in traffic you blame MoDOT, when an accident happens in a cross-over you blame MoDOT, when roads get icy or snow covered bringing traffic to a crawl you blame MoDOT. If you were to step into the shoes of the people who have the job of prioritizing the funding transportation projects you would be overwhelmed with who wants what by when. I am not hear to say MoDOT RAH, RAH, RAH, we all know they have made mistakes, but look at what they have accomplished in the last 3-5 years with the constant nagging of an unsupportive public. Aim your bashing to the transportation commission and your local politicians who strong arm MoDOT to do the trivial jobs that could wait in lieu of jobs that are truly need, but are pushed through to make themselves look good.


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