The Metropolitan Council announced their Transportation Plan through 2030. The overall thrust is that there is not nearly enough money to build all the infrastructure requested in the next few decades (price tag of $40 Billion)–and that we’ll have to live with what we have, with a budget estimated at $900 million to mitigate congestion. Here the press release: http://www.metrocouncil.org/news/2010/news_689.htm

If you go to their website, you can view the plan. It has a short overview that will give you the highlights.  We are still reviewing the overall plan which you can find here:  http://www.metrocouncil.org/planning/transportation/TPP/2010/index.htm

Out initial reaction is that hard times force all of us to focus on taking care of what we already have–and planning more prudently for the future. That can be a good thing. But we also want to point out that infrastruture is a core function of government. How much are we are spending on non-core items to the detriment of our infrastructure, which supports economic growth?

MPR has a short article–but no real analysis– about what was left in the plan for things such as light rail (which has proven to be a very expensive proposition for taxpayers): http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/11/10/met-council-report/

We know that there is big money pouring into rail projects (Central Corrider, Hiawatha Line,, Northstar, et. al.) right now and suspect there is plenty of money left in the 2030 Plan for additional rail (e.g. Southwest Corrider). What would transportation look like if we had spent all the rail money on traditional infrastructure–like adding lanes to 494 and 694? What would the 2030 Plan look like if we stuck to cars and buses?