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Cold Spring Record
Cold Spring , Minnesota
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August 6, 2013     Cold Spring Record
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August 6, 2013
 

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013 Cold Spring Record Page 5 Letters to the Editor continued from page 2 needs and challenges through- out the City. Even though this has been an open process, not everyone hears about all of the information at the same time and it changes as we all learn new things from one another. One can't come up with the right solution if one doesn't fully understand the problem. The ideas have been great, the dis- cussion has been even greater, but we are approaching a "fish or cut bait" time on addressing transportation needs. I will do my best with the following para- graphs to give you the status of where we are at right now and perhaps debunk a few rumors. 14th Avenue. Any type of planning for this road, whether north or south of 1st Street South, always ignites strong opinions. The City has the task of thinking of the current and future needs of all of the people along a street, in a neighbor- hood, and across a community. The planning for this roadway has shifted from a comprehen- sive project that would link County Road 50 to State High- way 23 to County Road 49 as a county road to separate concepts addressing the northerly and cerns from citizens about pedes- trian safety, and the City takes those concerns seriously. We re- alize that there are no side- walks in this area and there are no plans to install them at this time. However, unlike many other areas of the City with similar or greater traffic counts, 14th Avenue South is a wide roadway with limited access points. Because of the road's width, there is the possibility of placing a painted bike and pedestrian lane along the road- way. The roadway has the ability to be as safe if not safer than other areas of the City. "So, what about trucks?" There is no intention to have a raceway or major truck route on 14th Avenue. There has been discussion about posting signs that indicate it is not a truck route, but nothing has been fi- nalized. In my three years here, I have escorted many way- ward trucks out of the west end of the City. The more ways we have to get them out of con- densed residential areas, the better. Again, by opening 14th Avenue on the south or north end we do not anticipate or wel- come major truck traffic. We plan to keep current stop signs in place. This makes the route less appealing as a high speed by pass. If speeding of vehicles is a problem, or becomes one, our police department is always happy to help. "What about a light at the in- tersection?" The Minnesota De- partment of Transportation has granted approval to open up 14th Avenue South to Highway 23; however, they have made it clear that they will not install nor allow a signal system at the intersection. There are a variety of factors that MnDOT uses in choosing the placement of sig- nal lights and which includes the proximity to other signals. Similar reasons were given for why there is not a light near the Coldspring facility and the Rich Spring Golf Course. We will monitor this intersection care- fully and encourage your input. Your local government sees this connection as a benefit to the City and we believe history will record it that way one day too. 14th Avenue North. The goal for the northerly portion of 14th Avenue is to make a resi- dential connection to the RO- CORI School campus and to County Road 50. As noted about the southern section, the inten- tion is not to make this a truck route. Connecting this area comes with greater challenges than the southerly portion. One, nearly any feasible easter- ly connection is through land in Wakefield Township. Any plan would likely need to include an- nexation. Two, there are wet- land issues in the area and the process to mitigate them takes time. Three, a large portion of the area is being farmed and there is a strong desire from the City's part to keep the land agricultural until the owners wish to develop it. Finally, there are the costs constructing such a roadway is a major ex- pense. The original financial support from Stearns County is no longer included because it will not be a county road. Still, I do not want to give the impres- sion that such an east-west con- nection is far fetched. The Planning Commission has dis- cussed the concept multiple times and sees a real need to have a connection. County Road 50. The Stearns County Highway De- partment plans to resurface County Road 50 next year from just north of the Cemetery to the junction of Red River Av- enue or County Road 2. The City has pushed this project off as we contemplated what to do about the intersection of County Roads 50 and 2. We can't push off the work on County Road 50 any longer. We have assigned City Engineer Brian Lintgen to develop a feasibility report for this project and present it to Council in the next few months. We have already met with adja- cent property owners and are considering water, sewer, curb and gutter, and sidewalk re- placements. Intersection of County Roads 50 and 2. We will be as- sisting the County Engineer to find a solution to the intersec- tion. Initially we were leading the charge on fixing it, however we have stepped aside to allow the County (who governs both roads) to take the lead. There have been many ideas for the in- tersection such as a round-a- bout, to switching stop signs, to installing lights, and even re- routing the current road. All of these ideas continue to get kicked around and nothing is set in stone. Fixes for the intersec- tion are planned for 2016. County Road 2. The recon- struction of County Road 2, or Letters to the Editor continued on page 6 rJ "A4"alVnj - ou ,.,,-i "" Your locally owned and operated home security company, offering you our Security and Home Entertainment and Audio expertise. Learn More at www.safeguardsi.com/special 320-685-5355 @ AI.~RM,P.J:IM southerly portions of the road. 14th Avenue South. You have probably heard or read about opening up 14th Avenue South to Highway 23. The plans to do this are certainly true and it was budgeted to do so this year. A recent review of bids showed that the bid price was higher than anticipated and the concept is being postponed for possible inclusion into other projects in 2014. The idea of connecting this roadway was to address the concerns many citi- zens who live on the west end of the City. They felt it should be opened for easier access to their homes. 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