The Drive will keep you up to speed with the latest on Twin Cities commuting.

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9 a.m. update: Rush hour wrap up

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: January 19, 2015 - 9:02 AM

With Monday being Martin Luther King Day, lots of people had the day off work and that was evident on the roads.  Traffic moved at lightening speed all across the metro without much in the way of delays or crashes.

At present, there is one wreck on the system. A left-lane blocking crash on westbound I-494 approaching West Bush Lake Road in Bloomington is bringing traffic to a crawl.


 

Earlier the State Patrol responded to a rollover crash on eastbound I-94 at Hwy. 61. That occurred just before 5 a.m.  The only other crash of note was a vehicle that got caught up in a center median barrier on southbound 35W at County 23 in Lino Lakes.

Later today, look for possible traffic disruptions on University Avenue from Snelling Avenue to the State Capitol. Black Lives Matter has a march planned for 1 p.m.

Keeping tabs on Friday's morning commute

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: January 16, 2015 - 5:22 AM

Good morning, commuters!

The Friday rush hour begins with some police activity on the shoulder of eastbound I-394 at the I-94 interchange.

In St. Paul, be on the look out for a wreck on northbound Hwy. 52 at the exits to I-94. Two cars are involved.

We've also got a car in the ditch on the ramp from westbound I-94 to Weaver Lake Road in Maple Grove.

With temperatures just below the freezing mark, there could be some icy spots due to refreezing that occurred over night.

I’ll be keeping an eye on the roads and rails this morning, reporting any delays or issues — and I will need your help.

If you see or hear about any congestion, delays or problems, e-mail drive@startribune or tweet @stribdrive.

Keeping tabs on Tuesday's morning commute

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: January 13, 2015 - 5:23 AM

Good morning, commuters!

It's another frigid morning, cold enough for black ice to form, so use caution as you move around the metro.

One place where it's really hot is on northbound I-35W at 95th Avenue in Blaine. That's where a fully-engulfed car fire is in progress.

I’ll be keeping an eye on the roads and rails this morning, reporting any delays or issues — and I will need your help.

If you see or hear about any congestion, delays or problems, e-mail drive@startribune or tweet @stribdrive.

9 a.m. update: Rush hour wrap up

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: January 12, 2015 - 9:00 AM

Monday's morning commute was marred by crashes that occurred in bunches on Cedar Avenue and I-35W in the south metro, and on southbound 35W, 35E and Hwy. 169 in the north and west metro.

That resulted in long commute times for those on the roads between 7 and 9 a.m. 

The rash of crashes started just after 6 a.m. on southbound 35E at County Road 96. The left lane blocker led to a back up of nearly 3 miles to County Road 14 and a more than 40 minute drive to downtown St. Paul. That route has improved dramatically, but do look for some congestion approaching downtown St. Paul.

On Cedar Avenue, wrecks at McAndrews Road and 127th Street just after 7 set the tone for the day for driver in Apple Valley. Bumper to bumper traffic persisted all the way up to the Crosstown. Drive times were double what they should be for that trip.

The State Patrol is handling crashes on southbound 35W at County Road I and Stinson Blvd at the present, just one of at least five on the freeway between Lexington Avenue and Hwy. 280 this morning.  The current crash has traffic at a near standstill from Hwy. 280 and westbound Hwy. 36 slows at Fairview Avenue.

It was a mess on Hwy. 169 in both directions between Crosstown and Bass Lake Road. A northbound crash at Excelsior Blvd. and another at 7th Street had drivers sitting in traffic between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. while a left-lane blocker just south of 394 had southbound traffic crawling for more than an hour from Medicine Lake Road past a crash at 22nd Street.

In Bloomington and Burnsville, the stretch between Hwy. 13 and the 94th Street produced a trio of accidents, including one in which a pickup was facing the wrong direction in the HOT lane. Those crashes are long gone, but travel time at present is still 32 minutes from the Burnsville split into downtown Minneapolis.

DWI arrests up over the holidays, down for the year

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: January 7, 2015 - 11:16 AM

A woman with a .45 percent blood-alcohol concentration was arrested for drunken driving when police in Freeborn County found her passed out in her car with the engine running in the driveway of a state trooper.

The woman was one of 2,537 motorists arrested in Minnesota during a holiday DWI enforcement period that ran between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve.

Preliminary numbers from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety show that 84 more drivers arrested on Minnesota roads than during a similar campaign last year when law enforcement cited 2,453 drivers. But for the year, total number of DWI arrests during 2014 declined to 24,159 from the 25,719 reported in 2013 and 28,418 in 2012. It marked the eighth straight year that the number of DWI arrests declined.

Still, driving drunk is a problem on Minnesota roads.

"Drunk driving is a choice, a choice that can have life-altering consequences for you or other on the roads," said Donna Berger, director of the DPS' Office of Traffic Safety. "Even though we are encouraged by declining DWI numbers, one drunk driver is one too many."

In Minnesota, the legal BAC limit to operate a motor vehicle is .08 percent. The woman arrested in Freeborn County was more than five times above that. Statewide numbers show that 16 drivers had BAC levels at .30 percent or higher.

"Some might call it unlucky to pass out drunk in the driveway of a trooper, but this woman is very fortunate that she didn't injure or kill herself or another motorist," said Lt. Tiffani Nielson of the Minnesota State Patrol.

Polce arrested 303 drivers for DWI on theSaturday before Christmas, Dec. 20, the most of any day during the six-week campaign. The State Patrol's east metro district had the most arrests with 168 during the campaign, followed by 153 in the west metro and 100 by the Minneapolis Police Department.

In greater Minnesota, the top arresting agencies were the State Patrol's Rochester district with 44, the St. Cloud district with 43 and the Stearns County Sheriff's Office with 37. To see where drivers where arrested, click here.

Police also wrote 2,093 tickets to motorists who were not wearing their seat belt.

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