Dave Van Hattum, Policy and Advocacy Program Manager at Transit for Livable Communities, sent a letter to the editor of the Star Tribune shortly after the announcement. The letter was published on September 9th, and notes that the article failed to mention what was lost by keeping the lanes.

September 9, 2008
Return I-94 bus lanes

It is curious that you fail to mention what is lost by keeping the "temporary" extra lanes on Interstate 94 open to all traffic (Star Tribune, Aug. 30). What are lost — bus-only shoulders — are an appropriate incentive for commuters to choose to ride in buses that carry 10 times (or more) the number of people as do cars in the same space. What is lost is a highly effective greenhouse gas reduction strategy.

Also lost are transparency and accountability. The state Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Council, under the governor's direction, will keep these lanes open to all cars after the new I-35W bridge opens with exactly zero opportunity for public input, and only a vague promise of future study.

Key statutory goals for Minnesota's transportation system include "safety" and "giving highest priority to the transportation modes with the greatest people-moving capacity." Converting a highway shoulder to a carpool/bus/toll lane is not without merit. But claiming highway shoulders for all traffic is not the way to get there.


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