The metro area’s freeways spent their first day ramp meter free since 1969 on Monday.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation reported higher than average congestion on interstates 35E, 494, 35W and Hwy. 77.
There were also areas that did better than normal — Hwy. 36, Hwy. 169 and 394.
The student commuter reaction to the shut-down has been mixed, with many drivers reporting average drive times.
Melissa Garrnet said that her drive was “about the same” and noticed no difference in her commute. Another student, Kevin Allen, found his drive to campus easier and faster.
Nolan Patrick had a different experience during his drive to school.
“It was horrible,” said Patrick. “People don’t know how to drive.”
Patrick said he saw people stop at the end of the on-ramp near a northeast Minneapolis shopping center, unable to merge onto the freeway.
“If they turn them off, it’s just going to lead to more accidents,” he said.
Mike Sobolewski, test project manager, said that it was much too soon to make any judgment on the study and that it would take about 10 days before commuters settle into their driving routines.
“It would be dangerous and very premature for anyone to draw any conclusions based on what you saw in one rush hour,” he said.
Seth Woehrle welcomes comments at [email protected]