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

Posts about On the road

9:35 a.m. update: Rising water, wet road posing problems for motorists

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: June 19, 2014 - 9:38 AM

A motorist spun out on wet pavement on westbound 494 and collided with the concrete median near Hardman Avenue in South St. Paul. Conditions are difficult with all the standing water on the roads, so do keep the speeds down and the lights and wipers on.

Off the mainline, storm drains can't keep up with the deluge and water is plugging several intersections in south Minneapolis, Richfield, Edina and Bloomington.   More than a foot of water has collected in the intersection of 66th Street and Penn Avenue, and the scene is quite common elsewhere.

Flash flooding also has lanes impacted on Cedar Avenue near the Mall of America. There, water is above wheelwells and still rising.

Post Road near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is also under water.

Elsewhere drive times are starting to improve after heavy traffic and heavy rain made many commutes twice as long as normal for a June day. Hwy. 100 through St. Louis Park and Edina contiunes to drag as does 494 through Minnetonka and Plymouth.

Expect slow downs on Crosstown westbound from Portland Avenue to Hwy. 100 and on northbound 35W from County 42 up to 98th Street in Bloomington and Burnsville.

Study finds Minneapolis drivers lack road manners

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: May 21, 2014 - 11:17 AM

In a case of that it's easier to point the finger at others rather to admit our own shortcomings, a new study finds that 84 percent of Twin Cities drivers classify the driving behaviors of others as aggressive while less than a third fess up to committing behaviors that irk other motorists.

Actions such as tailgating, driving slowly in the left lane and cutting off other drivers top the list of behaviors that annoy motorists the most. Cutting through funeral lines, using high beams while facing on-coming traffic, able-bodied drivers taking handicap parking spots and cutting off school buses also get drivers' blood boiling.

Minneapolis, Dallas, Denver and Seattle drivers were the least likely to admit to engaging in aggressive driving behaviors - all below 31 percent - while motorists in Boston, Los Angeles and New York were most likely to confess to dangerous driving.

The good news is that a majority of the drivers in Minneapolis and nationwide polled by Safeco Insurance said they'd be willing to make one behavior change to combat bad driving. Starting Friday, the insurance company is launching "Drive it Forward Fridays" to promote positive driving actions.

"Small gestures can further driver safety and also propel the recipients of that goodwill to pass it on to other drivers," said Eric Trott, vice president of Marketing for the Boston-based insurer. "Safeco hoes to raise awareness of the types of behavior that can make a difference on the roadways."

In Minneapolis, motorists said driving would be more pleasant if others stopped tailgating, cutting off other drivers and didn't drive slow while in the left lane. The results were similar when compared with drivers in other U.S.. Cities.  More than half said they would be willing to change one behavior to accomplish that.

Minding your manners on the road is not only good for other motorists, it's good for you, says Jonathan Alpert, a Manhattan-based psychotherapist and author of the book Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days” who has written about road rage.

"People's emotions and anxieties often will play out on our roads and highways, putting us all in tense, high-stress driving conditions that can be dangerous,” he said. “A movement such as ‘Drive it Forward Fridays’ is not only good for society, but it's good for your mental health. Simple positive acts can have a huge impact on how you feel by activating the reward center in the brain — meaning it really can make you feel good. 

Illustration credit: Orlando Sentinel

Keeping tabs on Wednesday's morning commute

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: April 2, 2014 - 5:17 AM

Good morning, commuters!

The weather won't play a factor in today's commute, but stay tuned as tomorrow's could be another winter adventure.

But for today, the only weather variable that might come into play would be very isolated slick spot due to some refreeze from Tuesday's melt.

So far, things are quiet on the roads with no accidents or incidents.

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.

6:35 a.m. update: NexTrip is down

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: March 21, 2014 - 6:39 AM

Metro Transit reports that its NexTrip system is down this morning and is not displaying real time departure information.

Users will find that the times listed are scheduled departure times.  No delays on the rails or bus lines as things are on time.

On the roads, a stalled vehicle on southbound 35E at milepost 107 in downtown St. Paul is partially blocking a lane. It's in a tough spot, so use caution if you are heading that direction.

In Edina, it's a fender bener that is blocking the left lane of eastbound Crosstown at Gleason Road. So far just a minor inconvenience for commuters.

Keeping tabs on Friday's morning commute

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: March 7, 2014 - 5:20 AM

Good morning, commuters!

Today should be one of the best commutes if the seventh annual INRIX Traffic Scorecard Report is accurate as Friday mornings offer up lighter traffic levels than other days of the week.

A little fog and wet pavement in some parts of the metro might add a few minutes to the drive. So far we are off to a fine start with no crashes or incidents.

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.

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