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Cailin Rogers, St. Paul, Published February 01 2014

Letter: It’s about road needs first, then comes funding

The Forum’s Jan. 27 article “Coalition seeks money for Minnesota transportation” starts off rather boldly: “Transportation advocates have compiled one of the largest coalitions ever to fight for state money, but they do not know how much they will seek or where they would get it.”

As a member of the Move MN coalition, I take issue with your assessment. The press conference intended to publicize the need for transportation across the state, not to speak to the specifics of funding. This does not mean that Move MN has not thought about or planned for funding. Need simply takes precedence at this point in the process. From the 1,000 bridges in need of repair with

2.5 million daily users, to the thousands of potholes making commutes unpleasant, to the cold waits at ill-equipped bus stops, the need for a comprehensive transportation package in 2014 has become clear.

The discussion over money – and the arguments that will stir up – will come later. But first, we need to decide that we will prioritize a way to find a solution to our transportation needs this year at the Legislature. Once we have built our common ground, we can move forward with funding talks with our goal, a strong, cohesive transportation system that creates jobs, economic opportunity, and a livable state, at the forefront of our discussions.