As others see it: Consider congestion pricingMinnesota’s highways aren’t going to fix themselves. They don’t heal when holes are punched in them, and a few stitches aren’t enough to mend cracks.
By: Grand Forks Herald, Worthington Daily Globe
Minnesota’s highways aren’t going to fix themselves.
They don’t heal when holes are punched in them, and a few stitches aren’t enough to mend cracks.
Instead, healing the “wounds” costs money — a lot of money. But money is catastrophically short.
What to do?
Cut costs, raise revenues and plan now to solve the funding problem over the next 20 years.
Minnesota’s highways already are in tough shape, motorists know. The Twin Cities now ranks as one of the most traffic-jammed cities in America. And “state trunk highway conditions have deteriorated,” with more roads being rated “poor” or “very poor” and fewer being rated “good,” the legislative auditor has con-firmed.
More alarmingly, the situa-tion’s going to get worse unless the state acts now. Minnesota is projected to spend $15 billion on highways over the next 20 years, the transportation department reported.
But the state needs $65 billion. That’s a $50 billion shortfall, a recipe for huge service declines. ...
A national consensus about paying for transportation infra-structure is becoming clear. ...
Congestion pricing is one such idea, and that’s an avenue Minnesota should explore. Congestion pricing simply means pricing a resource — in this case, access to highways — more in line with its costs, including the costs of traffic congestion.
So, motorists who use metro highways at peak times would be charged more for the privilege. This not only would raise revenue but also would keep some drivers off the road at those times, thereby reducing congestion. ...
Grand Forks Herald