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

Keeping tabs on Friday's morning commute

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: August 29, 2014 - 5:17 AM

Good morning, commuters!

Using your cruise control in wet weather increases the likelihood of losing control of your vehicle, and that is a possibility this morning.

Wet roads may have played a role in a crash on westbound I-94 at County Road 21, that's not far from the St. Croix Rest Stop in the far east metro.

For a while, standing water was causing issues on westbound 94 at Hwy. 61. Crews have unplugged a drain and water is receding.

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

Maple Grove Tranist will have two buses assigned back to back on the Route 781 afternoon. trips 1, 2, 3, and Route 785 pm trip #1 to accomodate commuters returning home early for the Labor Day Weekend.

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

Bike, pedestrian counters wanted in Minneapolis and St. Paul

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: August 28, 2014 - 1:16 PM

Both Minneapolis and St. Paul are gearing up for their annual bicycle and pedestrian traffic counts, and they need volunteers to help.

St. Paul will conduct its count from 4 to 6 p.m. Sept. 9 with a rain date scheduled for Sept. 11. Minneapolis will do its count over three days, 4 to 6 p.m. Sept. 9-11.

Public Works departments in both cities say the counts are essential to understand the impact of non-motorized traffic on streets, sidewalks and trails. Accurate counts allow officials to understand trends and decide where to make infrastructure investments.It also allows them to know where people are biking and walking.

Counters will be deployed throughout both cities. To volunteer in Minneapolis, send an email to the city's bicycle planner Simon Blenski at simon.blenski@minneapolismn.gov.  In St. Paul, contact Luke Hanson at luke.hanson@ci.stpaul.mn.us.

9 a.m. update: Rush hour wrap up

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: August 28, 2014 - 9:00 AM

A shooting on St. Paul's West Side and a fatal motorcycle crash got Thursday's rush hour off to a dramatic start. Both events occurred just before sunrise and affected traffic for much of the morning.

The shooting occurred on Wabasha Street at Plato Blvd. Authorities said police shot a suspect.  Both directions of Wabasha were closed from Plato to Cesar Chavez Street and Metro Transit routes 62 and 75 were diverted to Robert Street.  Traffic was also diverted to Robert Street and the High Bridge.

In Bloomington, a 67-year-old New Brighton man died when he lost control of his motorcycle on southbound Cedar Avenue at the Mall of America exits. The ramp from westbound 494 to southbound Cedar Avenue was closed at 5:50 a.m. until about 7:30 a.m. when the scene cleared.  Two lanes of Cedar also were closed and traffic diverted to the Lindau Lane ramp.

A wreck on eastbound Hwy. 212 at Mitchell Road bound up traffic in Eden Prairie in the middle portion of the rush. That has cleared, but the Crosstown continues to struggle from Shady Oak Road to 35W. Eastbound also saw heavy traffic and crawled from Portland Avenue to Hwy. 100.

Northstar trains were delayed as the Federal Railroad Administration was conducting tests on the tracks, Metro Transit said.

Westbound 94 is looking fine at this hour, but earlier a crash at Hwy. 280 and one at Dale Street led to congestion that had things knotted up from Woodbury to Minneapolis. At the worst, that trip was taking 40 minutes.

A 6 a.m. crash on southbound Hwy. 169 at 109th Avenue has traffic backed up to the Mississippi River. Another at Bass Lake Road shortly after kept things bumper to bumper through Brooklyn Park and Maple Grove.

A reminder that the University of Minnesota Park and Ride lots for State Fair goers are closed today. The football team has a home game and the lots are unavailable.

8:30 a.m. update: Current drive times

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: August 28, 2014 - 8:33 AM

Metro Transit routes 62 and 75 on the south side of the Mississippi River are on running on Robert Street. The routes that run on Wabasha Street are detoured as police investigate a shooting earlier this morning at Plato Blvd. and Wabasha.

Crosstown continues to sputter in spots for eastbound traffic from Shady Oak Road to Penn Avenue. Northbound 35W also is tight from Crosstown to downtown.

Plan on slow traffic on westbound 694 from 10th Street past an earlier crash at White Bear Avenue.

Our other tough spot is 394 in both directions from Hwy. 100 to I-94.  A crash on the westbound side at the Hwy. 100 exits has outbound traffic knotted up Penn to Hwy. 100.

Here are some current travel times:

North metro

Southbound 35W from 95th Avenue to downtown Minneapolis: 19 minutes

Southbound 35E from County J to I-94: 10 minutes.

Eastbound Hwy. 10 from Hwy. 169 to 35W: 12 minutes

Westbound 694 from 35E to Hwy. 252: 10 minutes. Eastbound is 12 minutes.

West metro

Eastbound 94 from Hwy. 101 to 494: 10 minutes

Southbound 494 from 94 down to 394: 10 minutes

Eastbound 394 from 494 to 35W via 94: 11 minutes

Southbound Hwy. 169 from 77th Avenue to Crosstown: 15 minutes

Southbound Hwy. 100 from I-94 to Crosstown: 13 minutes

South metro

Northbound 35W from County 42 to Crosstown: 11 minutes    To downtown Minneapolis: 22 minutes.

Northbound Cedar Avenue from 35E to the Crosstown: 9 minutes

Northbound 35E from County 42 to downtown St. Paul: 22 minutes

Northbound 169 from Canterbury Road to 494: 10 minutes

Eastbound Hwy. 212 from Powers Blvd. to Crosstown: 10 minutes

Westbound 494 from Cedar Avenue to Hwy. 100: 14 minutes.  Eastbound 494 from Hwy. 169 to 35W: 11 minutes

Westbound Crosstown from Cedar Avenue to Hwy. 169: 15 minutes   Eastbound Crosstown from Hwy. 100 to Cedar Avenue: 16 minutes

East metro

Westbound 94 from Manning Avenue to downtown St. Paul: 21 minutes

Westbound 94 from 35E to the Lowry Hill Tunnel: 25 minutes.

Westbound Hwy. 36 from Edgerton Street to 35W: 8 minutes.

8:05 a.m. update: Current drive times

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: August 28, 2014 - 8:06 AM

Traffic on the Crosstown is maddening this morning. Hopefully things will start to improve now that a crash on eastbound 212 at Mitchell Road is clear. But traffic does remain bumper to bumper up to Crosstown and east over to Hwy. 100.

Westbound Crosstown jams from Portland Avenue to France Avenue. Extra patience needed.

I-394 drags in both directions from Hwy. 100 to downtown Minneapolis. A crash on the westbound side has things sluggish on the ramp to Hwy. 100.

Our other crashes include westbound 694 at White Bear Avenue, southbound 35W at Washington Avenue and northbound Cedar Avenue at Hwy. 13.

Here are some current travel times:

North metro

Southbound 35W from 95th Avenue to downtown Minneapolis: 31 minutes

Southbound 35E from County J to I-94: 12 minutes.

Eastbound Hwy. 10 from Hwy. 169 to 35W: 13 minutes

Westbound 694 from 35E to Hwy. 252: 10 minutes. Eastbound is 12 minutes.

West metro

Eastbound 94 from Hwy. 101 to 494: 10 minutes

Southbound 494 from 94 down to 394: 12 minutes

Eastbound 394 from 494 to 35W via 94: 14 minutes

Southbound Hwy. 169 from 77th Avenue to Crosstown: 19 minutes

Southbound Hwy. 100 from I-94 to Crosstown: 15 minutes

South metro

Northbound 35W from County 42 to Crosstown: 15 minutes    To downtown Minneapolis: 27 minutes.

Northbound Cedar Avenue from 35E to the Crosstown: 12 minutes

Northbound 35E from County 42 to downtown St. Paul: 22 minutes

Northbound 169 from Canterbury Road to 494: 12 minutes

Eastbound Hwy. 212 from Powers Blvd. to Crosstown: 20 minutes

Westbound 494 from Cedar Avenue to Hwy. 100: 14 minutes.  Eastbound 494 from Hwy. 169 to 35W: 11 minutes

Westbound Crosstown from Cedar Avenue to Hwy. 169: 15 minutes   Eastbound Crosstown from Hwy. 100 to Cedar Avenue: 16 minutes

East metro

Westbound 94 from Manning Avenue to downtown St. Paul: 21 minutes

Westbound 94 from 35E to the Lowry Hill Tunnel: 20 minutes.

Westbound Hwy. 36 from Edgerton Street to 35W: 8 minutes.

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