Minnesota's Department of Transportation today released a list of ramp closures during next week's RNC.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation will close the ramp from northbound Interstate 35E to Kellogg Boulevard and the ramp from eastbound I-94 to 5th Street at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29. The ramps will remain closed throughout the convention and will reopen at 6 a.m. Friday, Sept. 5.
The ramps are being closed to provide more efficient traffic flow and security during the event. Only delegate buses and other official vehicles will be allowed to use the closed ramps.
Inconvenient? Probably. Significant? Probably not.
Last week on MPR's Midday, both mayors said I-94 will remain open.
Now let's switch to Denver. On Thursday, I-25 -- the main drag through the city -- is going to be closed for 5 miles around Denver. In other words: Denver will be closed.
Advantage: St. Paul. Maybe.
Light-rail stations (there doesn't appear anywhere near as significant a bus system in Denver as in the Twin Cities) are closed near Pepsi Center.
Nonetheless, a local traffic reporter's blog confirmed what I observed this morning. The day-to-day, get-to-work traffic here this morning was not a big deal.
I took light-rail into the city around 8 this morning. If this, as the traffic reporter suggested, was heavier use than normal, it must usually be near empty.
While the stretch of I-25 that will be closed is the busiest stretch of road in the state, it won't mean that Denver will be closed. At least no more than saying Minneapolis is closed because a stretch of I35W, due to the bridge collapse, is closed. It will mean that there will be big delays for many people that would normally use that stretch of road Friday evening. This is something that wouldn't have been necessary if it Obama had not decided to play weekend rockstar and simply gave his acceptance speech at the Pepsi Center.