Early Morning Commuters Take Toll On Suburban Roads

<p>In suburban Minnesota, the number of people getting up early for pre-dawn commutes to the city is on the rise, and it's changing the way businesses operate and how towns handle the demand on their roads.</p>
October 10, 2007, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Davis is part of a rising tide of Minnesota commuters leaving home long before sunrise -- a group whose ranks are swelling by 10,000 people each year, new census figures show. More than 300,000 are out the door by 6 a.m., nearly twice as many as in 1990. It's a national trend, but one that's hitting Minnesota harder than most."

"Although Minnesota is only a middling-sized state, it ranks in the top 15 nationally both for the growth in sheer numbers of pre-dawn commuters and the rate of that growth -- and close to the top among northern states."

"Predawn commutes are causing ripple effects that rise from the personal and intimate to the vast and societal. They're changing family lives. They're forcing businesses to change their hours and their ways. They're forcing many others to wake up early to serve them. They're raising concern about overcrowding of once-quiet rural roads -- and the cost to everyone of fixing that."

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Published on Saturday, October 6, 2007 in Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
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