Targeting toll lanes to catch cheats

There are 20 comments on the Jun 21, 2011, Star Tribune story titled Targeting toll lanes to catch cheats. In it, Star Tribune reports that:

"The cheaters have matured,'' a trooper says, as Minnesotans adapt to electronic tolls.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Star Tribune.

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Free Man

Park Forest, IL

#1 Jun 21, 2011
In other words, it is a crime to try to avoid having the government shake you down to drive on a road you have already paid for.

Having those lanes go to waste during rush hour is a testament to government's callous stupidity. It creates traffic problems which generate more pollution.

Is there no end to government greed?

Since: Mar 11

St. Croix valley

#2 Jun 21, 2011
Free Man wrote:
In other words, it is a crime to try to avoid having the government shake you down to drive on a road you have already paid for.
Having those lanes go to waste during rush hour is a testament to government's callous stupidity. It creates traffic problems which generate more pollution.
Is there no end to government greed?
You can use those lanes free if you carpool. You can use them if you take the bus. You can use them if you pay the fee.
An old drunk

Minneapolis, MN

#3 Jun 21, 2011
At a bar in Minnetonka years ago I overheard an old drunk saying he was improving the MnPASS lanes by dropping shingle nails in the lanes every time he got the chance.

The rich get theirs.

Since: Mar 11

St. Croix valley

#4 Jun 21, 2011
An old drunk wrote:
At a bar in Minnetonka years ago I overheard an old drunk saying he was improving the MnPASS lanes by dropping shingle nails in the lanes every time he got the chance.
The rich get theirs.
The rich already got theirs. Your jealousy is not bothersome.

“Sustainability Now!”

Since: May 08

Vadnais Heights

#5 Jun 21, 2011
I am surprised that the MN transponders can be switched off -- I have an IPASS from Illinois and there is no switch. It is ALWAYS on.

Side note: drivers with an IPASS get 50% off the toll rates -- another great incentive to have one.
KISS

Plymouth, MN

#6 Jun 22, 2011
Keep It Simple Stupid

If the total cost to the taxpayers was known of all the expensive technology from MnPASS, traffic cams, digital sign boards, traffic speed monitors, electronic mapping, metro traffic "Control", other expensive stuff.

I'll bet the hundreds of MILLIONS would be better spent on FIXING THE DAMN ROADS!!!

A simple fix would be to improve the interchange at I694 and highway 10 in Arden Hills. Now when WB on I694 all through traffic MUST merge into ONE LANE. This causes a perpetual delay and could be easily fixed by constructing a merging lane for highway 10 traffic and repainting/signing WB I694 so there would be 2 lanes for through traffic with NO NEED to shift lanes.

Will it happen, NAW that's to simple and it may save some lives.
Mound Dr

Plymouth, MN

#7 Jun 22, 2011
An old drunk wrote:
At a bar in Minnetonka years ago I overheard an old drunk saying he was improving the MnPASS lanes by dropping shingle nails in the lanes every time he got the chance.
The rich get theirs.
I use the MnPASS lane and had a flat caused by a shingle nail, guess that old drunk gets out there. I agree the MnPASS system is NOT a good idea.

The MnPASS system sets up a caste system in the USA where there exists a social structure based on how much money someone makes. We live in the USA where everyone is treated the same, equal rights under the law.

Furthermore the working poor end up owning older vehicles which get fewer MPG who actually contribute more gas taxes than newer Hybrid vehicle which I own, a fine Lexus. Of course those drivers who cannot use the MnPASS lane end up stuck in slower traffic which again causes their older vehicle to get even poorer MPG.

Also agree the revenue spent on all this very expensive technology used by MnDOT would be better spent on fixing the roads. Traffic problems are quickly reported by people with cell phones.

“Sustainability Now!”

Since: May 08

Vadnais Heights

#8 Jun 22, 2011
Mound Dr wrote:
<quoted text>
...
Also agree the revenue spent on all this very expensive technology used by MnDOT would be better spent on fixing the roads. Traffic problems are quickly reported by people with cell phones.
My understanding of the MNPass system is that the primary purpose is to lessen congestion, making the most of the lanes and roads we currently have. The issues you mention are secondary to that goal.

Of COURSE the roads need repair, but you saw the brou-ha-ha the last time the state gas tax was increased for that very purpose. Seems like some want their roads kept in great order, with additional lanes to ease congestion -- but REFUSE to actually pay for it. Go figure!

“Sustainability Now!”

Since: May 08

Vadnais Heights

#9 Jun 22, 2011
KISS wrote:
Keep It Simple Stupid
...
A simple fix would be to improve the interchange at I694 and highway 10 in Arden Hills. Now when WB on I694 all through traffic MUST merge into ONE LANE. This causes a perpetual delay and could be easily fixed by constructing a merging lane for highway 10 traffic and repainting/signing WB I694 so there would be 2 lanes for through traffic with NO NEED to shift lanes.
Will it happen, NAW that's to simple and it may save some lives.
Ahem. The WB ramp from NB Snelling Avenue BECOMES the left lane of I694, prior to the right lane of WB I694 becoming an exit-only lane to WB Hwy 10 -- meaning that there ARE two lanes for WB I694 traffic, currently. It is true that drivers in the right lane of WB I694 must shift one lane to their left -- and those currently in the left lane can shift into the NEW left lane provided.

This does take some observation, and cooperation from other drivers -- both of which appear to be in short supply in this area.

“Get RIGHT or be left”

Since: Nov 07

www.dreamindemon.com

#10 Jun 22, 2011
What an excellent use of revenue capture, um, law enforcement time and resources!
Native American

Deerwood, MN

#11 Jun 22, 2011
An old drunk wrote:
At a bar in Minnetonka years ago I overheard an old drunk saying he was improving the MnPASS lanes by dropping shingle nails in the lanes every time he got the chance.
The rich get theirs.
You spend too much time in bars, you're hearing things.
KISS

Plymouth, MN

#12 Jun 22, 2011
Madaman wrote:
<quoted text>
Ahem. The WB ramp from NB Snelling Avenue BECOMES the left lane of I694, prior to the right lane of WB I694 becoming an exit-only lane to WB Hwy 10 -- meaning that there ARE two lanes for WB I694 traffic, currently. It is true that drivers in the right lane of WB I694 must shift one lane to their left -- and those currently in the left lane can shift into the NEW left lane provided.
This does take some observation, and cooperation from other drivers -- both of which appear to be in short supply in this area.
I'll be, there is one other person agreeing with the need for a I694/10 improvement.

The problem with design is that it was designed back in the 1960s when there was a lot of traffic exiting to 10 NB and not that much through traffic on I694.

Now days most traffic throught the interchange is I694 through traffic so the lane shift causes a daily backup. Having commuted on the highway for 10+ years I'll testify on the regular backups causing delays and wrecks.

So how can er get MnDOT to make a simple inexpensive change?

I have contacted MnDOT with no luck. Maybe a legislator can get her done?

“Sustainability Now!”

Since: May 08

Vadnais Heights

#13 Jun 22, 2011
KISS wrote:
<quoted text>
I'll be, there is one other person agreeing with the need for a I694/10 improvement.
The problem with design is that it was designed back in the 1960s when there was a lot of traffic exiting to 10 NB and not that much through traffic on I694.
Now days most traffic throught the interchange is I694 through traffic so the lane shift causes a daily backup. Having commuted on the highway for 10+ years I'll testify on the regular backups causing delays and wrecks.
So how can er get MnDOT to make a simple inexpensive change?
I have contacted MnDOT with no luck. Maybe a legislator can get her done?
I agree that the I694 corridor needs improving, especially at US 10. What is needed is to link the 6-lanes east of Rice Street with the 6 lanes west of I35W -- creating a 6-lane highway all the way from Hwy 100 to where I35E splits from I694. That would take care of the US 10 and Snelling mess. I shudder to think of the cost, expressed in Millions per mile!

Everyone willing to increase the gas tax to fund this and other statewide roadway improvements, please raise your hand.

That is what I thought! Guess we'll have to live with it another 40 years.

Since: Oct 08

Location hidden

#15 Jun 24, 2011
Madaman wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree that the I694 corridor needs improving, especially at US 10. What is needed is to link the 6-lanes east of Rice Street with the 6 lanes west of I35W -- creating a 6-lane highway all the way from Hwy 100 to where I35E splits from I694. That would take care of the US 10 and Snelling mess. I shudder to think of the cost, expressed in Millions per mile!
Everyone willing to increase the gas tax to fund this and other statewide roadway improvements, please raise your hand.
That is what I thought! Guess we'll have to live with it another 40 years.
But, If we took the money we are spending in putting all those people out of work in University and Washington Ave, we kill two birds with one stone, Improve my ride home and eliminate the Rybak/Coleman ChoCho. Sorry, It was just sitting there waiting for me to swing :-)
KISS

Prior Lake, MN

#17 Jun 24, 2011
Maybe we need portable toll booths.

Install them on I694 at 10 and collect $10 from each driver and keep collecting until there is enough money to fix the interchange and then remove the toll gates and fix the road.

Of course there would no NO OPPORTUNITY for the revenue to be wasted on rail.

“I am always right.”

Since: Oct 09

Former MN Taxpayer

#18 Jun 24, 2011
Free Man wrote:
In other words, it is a crime to try to avoid having the government shake you down to drive on a road you have already paid for.
Having those lanes go to waste during rush hour is a testament to government's callous stupidity. It creates traffic problems which generate more pollution.
Is there no end to government greed?
You just don't understand Free Man.

This is how the govt controls people of your ilk. You think you are too good to ride the bus every where so you drive that evil internal combustion engine.

When things get so expensive that you can no longer afford your automobile, you will thank the Met Council for providing choo choo trains and busses for you.
cantmakeitup

Rogers, MN

#19 Jun 24, 2011
Madaman wrote:
<quoted text>
My understanding of the MNPass system is that the primary purpose is to lessen congestion, making the most of the lanes and roads we currently have. The issues you mention are secondary to that goal.
Of COURSE the roads need repair, but you saw the brou-ha-ha the last time the state gas tax was increased for that very purpose. Seems like some want their roads kept in great order, with additional lanes to ease congestion -- but REFUSE to actually pay for it. Go figure!
The MNPass system was touted as being a congestion reliever but it seemed more like a way to engineer drivers to comply with the Met Councils view that carpooling is good for everyone and single passenger vehicles are bad for everyone. The carrot on the stick was to be able to avoid congestion by using these lanes and get home earlier. I don't believe there is a need to raise taxes yet again but rather, use the current gas tax, license plate fees, driver license fees, vanity plate fees etc for what they are supposed to be used for...highway maintenance. Not decorative railings and lights on the bridge decks or artistic cement work.

And if they do too much to improve things like the 694/10 interchange, it will not inspire folks to use the north star choo choo or the buses. More met council gerrymandering to make a better life for you and me.

“Sustainability Now!”

Since: May 08

Vadnais Heights

#20 Jun 24, 2011
Niether of the Above wrote:
<quoted text>But, If we took the money we are spending in putting all those people out of work in University and Washington Ave, we kill two birds with one stone, Improve my ride home and eliminate the Rybak/Coleman ChoCho. Sorry, It was just sitting there waiting for me to swing :-)
SO! You are in favor of the killing of helpless little birds, preferably by stoning them in pairs. You must be a proponent of American Sharia Law!

(:

Seriously, you know perfectly well that the appropriation process does NOT allow the shifting of funds from one project to another -- Ideal as that may sometimes seem.

I declare a swing and a miss!

“Sustainability Now!”

Since: May 08

Vadnais Heights

#21 Jun 24, 2011
cantmakeitup wrote:
<quoted text>
The MNPass system was touted as being a congestion reliever but it seemed more like a way to engineer drivers to comply with the Met Councils view that carpooling is good for everyone and single passenger vehicles are bad for everyone. The carrot on the stick was to be able to avoid congestion by using these lanes and get home earlier....
And if they do too much to improve things like the 694/10 interchange, it will not inspire folks to use the north star choo choo or the buses. More met council gerrymandering to make a better life for you and me.
Surely you would agree that getting more commuters into car/van pools is an inexpensive way to combat congestion -- requiring no capital bonding, no tax increases, and no lengthy construction delays.

I am not certain that Northstar nor bus transit will suffer if that problem interchange is improved -- there are plenty of OTHER bottlenecks and slowdowns, plus the cost of parking, that would probably keep transit riders riding. Just an opinion -- no link.

Since: May 08

Location hidden

#22 Jun 24, 2011
If you want to use it take a friend.

A robot might get by if it moves and can appear to talk.

sticker may be cheeper but not as friendly.

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