The bridge: Will you change your habits?

Minnesota Public Radio’s Public Insight Network is a conduit for you to share your expertise and thoughts on news stories before they become news stories.

By way of my colleague, Michael Caputo, here’s one story they’re working on now:

What happens when you ask Minnesotans to weigh in on an issue like the reopening of the I-35W Bridge? You get some pretty good stories.

For a few years now, Minnesota Public Radio news has gone out to hundreds of you and your neighbors, asking for help to report and understand issues in the news. It’s called our Public Insight Network. And, by the good graces of Mr. Collins, we’re going to let NewsCut followers in on the questions and some of the early answers.

We’re asking a fairly straight-forward series of questions around the opening of the new bridge: How did you use the span before it collapsed… and how might you use it now? We’re also trying to find out if alternate routes (or means of travel) during the construction of the new bridge have become permanent.

Add your two cents by clicking here for a short survey.

Some in the Public Insight Network have already weighed in – and it’s hardly a surprise that many plan on resuming use of I-35W when the bridge opens. Others who used the bridge before the collapse say they will pass on it now, like a Roseville law professor who will stick to her new bus routine.

Others are uneasy about the span. A Minneapolis man said he’ll use the new bridge only after it’s been in use for “at least a week to a month.” A Minneapolis woman who was a first responder to the tragedy said she’s not sure if she’ll drive across it. “I cringe each time I see the work trucks on it,” she told us.

Then you have your unique views. A commuter by bike and one who prefers strolling to work say they look forward to safer, saner car-less commutes as the new span reduces traffic on other roadways. Then there is a man who said he was initially inconvenienced by the detours… until he started to learn about the Twin Cities during his travels on alternate city roads. “It expanded my personal map of the Twin Cities,” he said.

So what’s your take? Let us know. Fill out the form and join the conversation in the comments section below.