Are you sick of talking about or reading about or hearing about what might become of traffic patterns on Main and Broadway in downtown Crookston? One couldn't blame if you if the topic is wearing on you a bit.
But, still, during the "focus group" meeting last week at city hall, at which 30 people and change discussed potential "traffic calming" measures on Main and Broadway to, the theory goes, make downtown safer, more inviting and more prosperous by slowing down traffic a few miles per hour, a couple interesting tidbits emerged and warrant further mention here.
For one, there were a lot of questions, rightly so, about how having two lanes of one-way traffic and a bike lane on Main and Broadway will impact snow removal efforts during the winter. We have long winters around these parts and lots of snow has to be moved around, so the concerns are entirely legitimate. But when K.C. Atkins of Toole Design, an engineering consultant assisting in the process, was told at the meeting that City of Crookston Public Works crews regularly load up snow downtown throughout the winter and haul it away, her jaw almost dropped. She couldn't believe that, in a town the size of Crookston, City crews go out in the middle of the night several nights each winter to load up and haul away snow. That fact alone should alleviate a lot of problems that could potentially arise involving snow and a traffic-calmed Main and Broadway, Atkins said.
For another, Atkins and MnDOT officials at the meeting said that when designers and engineers plan roadways and traffic and areas where people need to get around using a variety of transportation methods, they don't plan five or 10 years into the future, they plan decades into the future. And if the research cited is on-point, we are inevitably going to reach a point where not everyone automatically gets from Point A to Point B in a vehicle.
Are there a lot of bicyclists downtown right now? No. Who'd want to bike on Main and Broadway in their current state, which is overwhelmingly advantageous to and caters to people driving fast in their vehicles, while basically rendering anyone else to go downtown at their own peril?
And, with that, that will do for your daily dose of talk about Main and Broadway traffic, and traffic calming.