One thing that hasn't gotten Gov. Dayton's attention is the transportation crisis. It hasn't gotten the DFL legislature's attention, either. Unfortunately, it's gotten the attention of motorists dealing with what's aptly called the pothole crisis:
FOX 9 spoke with Dustin Duarte, who was treated at a hospital for injuries suffered when his car’s airbags deployed as he hit a Minneapolis pothole. You can see the photos of the aftermath above. FOX says Duarte was treated at a hospital for a mild concussion and a scratched cornea and plans followup visits with an eye doctor.
“I was just driving along, listening to music, and Mike Tyson punches me in the face,” Duarte told FOX. He says his car insurance will cover his medical expenses but he wants the road fixed. (Avoid 46th Street at Minnehaha, he says.)
The DFL legislature has ignored this crisis. They've debated whether they should raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour and indexing it to inflation. They debated whether a part-time Senate needs a $90,000,000 office building to house them 3 months out of the year. They've debated whether to legalize medical marijuana. In fact, they're still debating that.
They're debating whether they should spend $1.7 billion on the Southwest Light Rail project. They're debating whether to borrow $1.2 billion for 'infrastructure' projects. Most of those projects are for things like building or expanding civic centers, convention centers or renovating the Ordway. They're even planning on spending $8,000,000 on a civic center in a town with a population of 800 people.
What they haven't had time for is to debate whether they should spend money on fixing Minnesota's state trunk highways' potholes. The bonding bill includes a paltry $25,000,000 for "Local Road Improvements." That's exceptionally interesting since Gov. Dayton said that transportation would be a major priority...in 2015.
Either Gov. Dayton isn't getting reports from the commissioner of MnDOT or he simply dropped the ball on this pothole crisis. That's disgusting. This is a legitimate and growing public safety crisis. The DFL, Gov. Dayton included, talks continuously about building new light rail lines. Apparently, they love appearing at the ribbon-cutting ceremonies.
Unfortunately, they haven't showed much enthusiasm for filling potholes and repairing bridges. It's time to focus on the projects that'll prevent injuries like the kind that Mr. Duarte suffered. He suffered a concussion thanks to government ignoring their responsibility.
If Gov. Dayton and the DFL aren't interested in maintaining Minnesota's roads, repairing Minnesota's bridges and filling Minnesota's potholes, then they aren't setting the right priorities. That's proof that they aren't that interested in keeping the public safe or doing the day-to-day things that Minnesotans expect.
Simply put, that's inexcusable.