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Congrats to our heroic city planners (plus certain Minneapolis City Council members, the Metropolitan Council, bike lobbyists and their ill-advised supporters, such as those dreaming of turning Interstate 94 into a Conestoga wagon path), lauded by their peers and anti-reality lobbyists ("Bryant Avenue bike lane called one of the best," April 8). I know you mean well in desiring 60% of trips by oxcart and pogo stick by 2030. I write this from beautiful Bramsche, Germany, where that vision is a daily delight. Unfortunately, the three-masted ship sailed on these ideas for the Twin Cities 100 years ago when we didn't build a subway or inner city rail (not light rail). Your fashionable and resume-building "solutions" are impractical, anti-progress, anti-small business, costly and will never achieve your ends. Please stop trying to take us backward. Your efforts have and will, if not constrained, continue to create commuting and transit nightmares and loss of the street-level businesses you claim to desire more of for the overwhelming majority who just want to get where they are going.

Mayor Jacob Frey, please stop hiring career-building idealists and find those who can provide realistic solutions to satisfy actual needs given our realities, not fantasies. Let me know if I should resend this by telegram or carrier pigeon, and I'll see what I can do.

Dan Patton, Minneapolis


What a gigantic mess

As manager of Rainbow Taxi between 1999 and 2009, I personally tried to impress upon Minneapolis City Council members that other metro areas had overall better transportation as well as actual peace between local government and the taxi business ("Mpls. council delays rideshare wage increase," April 12). But there were hard feelings that went back to an era before my time in the industry that were still in play. That was and still is a shame.

Now the council is trying to manipulate the very ridesharing system it allowed into the city! But it is dealing with multinational corporations with deep pockets who are not afraid of them and, conversely, Minneapolis politicos are clearly intimidated. As to relations with the old taxi industry, perhaps the adage of "better the devil you know" should have applied here.

To cite an idiom, the Minneapolis City Council made the bed; now city residents must sleep in it.

Frederic J. Anderson, Minneapolis

The writer is a training coordinator at Blue and White Taxi Corp.


The City Council is correct with its new rideshare minimum-wage law. If anything, the rules imposed are not strict enough to provide a decent wage for Uber and Lyft drivers. The first rule it imposed is $1.40 per mile driven. Research the true cost per mile of owning and operating your own vehicle as a taxi. The biggest cost few people think of is commercial insurance. Your car is no longer for personal use. Commercial insurance can be double what a driver used to pay. Depreciation, maintenance, repairs, etc., mean that $1.40 per mile reimbursement is paltry. The real cost could be much higher.

Then rule two is the 51 cents per minute driven. That comes to $30.60 per hour. No Lyft or Uber driver is going to drive 60 minutes constantly for eight hours. They will have plenty of down time waiting for their next fare. That 51 cents a minute might only total four to six hours of an eight-hour day.

All you Uber and Lyft customers, please leave the driver an appropriate tip. And all you Uber and Lyft execs, get real about the real costs your drivers face after your stingy driver compensation. Kudos to the Minneapolis City Council.

Wayne Dokken, Minneapolis


Trevor Turner's commentary hits right on the problem of transportation for people with disabilities ("Uber and Lyft mislead with talk of serving people with disabilities," Opinion Exchange, April 12). Transportation for people with disabilities has not changed in more than 40 years! Minnesotans with disabilities, in particular those with physical disabilities who use scooters and wheelchairs, need a transportation mode that is reliable and accessible. Uber and Lyft need to invest in vehicles that can accommodate scooters and wheelchairs. Only then will this service be fully accessible to all people with disabilities. This is an equity issue, as people with disabilities are the largest minority in the state and should have accessible transportation that is easy to use, reliable and can accommodate scooters and wheelchairs.

In January 2023 I was in a car accident when my car was disabled. I was fine, but I needed a way home. I use a mobility device like a scooter and, thank goodness, I was only 10 blocks away from my home. I had to scoot home because there were no reliable and accessible transportation modes for me to use at 6 p.m. on a Friday night!

We need to move forward and create a transportation mode that is fully accessible to everybody. It can be done, but we need everyone, including legislators, to direct the funding toward creating a fully inclusive equitable model of transportation for all.

Joan Willshire, Minneapolis

The writer is former executive director, Minnesota Council on Disability.


Residents deserve safety, like all of us

The vital issue of security at encampments of the unhoused in Minneapolis is finally being raised by the City Council Public Safety Committee. The Public Safety Committee is tasked with a difficult job, made more challenging through past neglect of issues. The attention of the new members of the Public Safety Committee to the difficult problems of our unhoused neighbors is appreciated.

A proposed solution is to hire private security. Would the security at the camps be armed, and if so what would their liability be? What kind of complaint system and accountability will these private security guards be held to?

A few months ago, a man was shot and killed in Camp Nenookaasi. The threat of guns was known by camp members and police. The police did not try to intervene or de-escalate in any way. How will using private security be better than a professionally trained police officer? If the Minneapolis Police Department can't get it right, why do we think private security is the answer?

Even considering the present state of the MPD (understaffed, rife with bias and with no meaningful accountability) our attention must be focused on why taxpayers have to pay for private security when the MPD should be protecting and serving all Minneapolis residents.

Janet Nye, Minneapolis


A tragic, unfair proposal

I was enrolled in the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe when I was a child in the 1950s. I am a member of the Mississippi Band, White Earth Indian Reservation. I used almost all of my savings to secure clear title of my retirement property in Waskish, Minn., 1,000 feet from Upper Red Lake on Jan. 1 of this year. Because the Red Lake Indian Reservation is exempt from Public Law 280, neither I nor my children nor anyone in my family will ever be able to fish on Upper Red Lake again, if the Democrats succeed in giving away the state land as proposed by two metro Democratic legislators during the current legislative session ("Legislation would give Red Lake Nation state land," March 20). Red Lake is a closed reservation.

Now let's disregard everything I've said in the previous paragraph. The real tragedy of this proposal is that all of the thousands of people who fish this lake every year will never be able to do so again.

Dennis Virden, Burnsville