Chart of the Day: Revenue Projections from MnDOT Freeway Tolls

As far as I know, Minnesota hasn’t had tolling since the Rock Island Swing Bridge connecting Inver Grove and Newport closed in 1999. (Wow, I would have loved to have driven over that bridge, and gladly paid the 75¢ toll.)

But via KARE 11, MnDOT just completed a report estimating revenues from a hypothetical freeway tolling program that might place tolls on key freeways like Interstates 94 and 35(W) and US highways 169, 610, and 52. [See map at bottom of this post.]

Here’s the results of the potential tolling.

At the very least, it’s a keen thought experiment about what could be done with this kind of funding source, and what the effects of tolling these major freeways might be. How much would it reduce driving? What kind of unintended consequences would emerge from this particular plan, as drivers sought to escape tolls?

Also, what kinds of things could you do with the billions of dollars a year in revenue? If Minnesota wanted to get serious about reducing CO2 emissions, there are a lot of programs I could think of…

Feel free to speculate! Check out the whole report here.

(PS. Of course this won’t happen in the current political climate.)

[Fantasy tolling trolling map below.]

Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.