“This is not a sinister plot to make traffic as miserable as possible and move everybody onto the train.” That’s what a transit official in Minnesota said earlier this month. He was responding to frustrated motorists who have endured increased congestion since the opening of Minneapolis’s new light rail line. But now there’s this: Republican Rep. Phil Krinkie of Shoreview released a stack of e-mails and other correspondence from top Department of Transportation officials mentioning congestion that might result in the Hiawatha corridor. Krinkie accused the department of disregarding open-records laws to keep their concerns private as long as possible. “There was a cover-up and conspiracy about the traffic congestion,” he said at a Capitol news conference. Krinkie, who has criticized the merit and cost of the $715 million project, asked Transportation Commissioner Carol Molnau to investigate the actions of employees who dealt with information requests regarding congestion and possibly discipline those employees.
Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.