The next big things
January 8, 2010 3 Comments
I was interviewed by the Jim Foti of the Strib last month for their beginning of the decade article The next big things
My bit below:
New light-rail lines, many more MnPass lanes and cars that make driving decisions for you are in the commuting forecast for the next decade, says David Levinson, a civil engineering professor at the University of Minnesota.
Congestion levels won’t change much, he said. The Twin Cities area will have more residents, but the aging population will be working less, and increased telecommuting will mean that people won’t go into work as often.
The Southwest and Central Corridor rail lines are scheduled to start mid-decade, and one or two Minneapolis streetcar lines could be in the mix. Levinson expects highway expansion to mainly take the form of new MnPass lanes, which are for carpools, buses, motorcycles and toll-paying solo drivers.
He sees plug-in hybrids as the dominant car, meaning drivers will be buying less gas, so a per-mile fee will be implemented to replace lost tax revenue. Cars will keep getting safer, he said, with features such as automatic emergency braking and cruise control that adapts to the speed of surrounding traffic.