Students or any other pedestrians should not have to walk in the busy roadway, he says
Saying that it’s “not just a regular street” and that it serves as the primary artery to and from Crookston High School, Crookston City Council Member Tom Vedbraaten Monday evening called on City Public Works crews to clear snow faster and more consistently from the wide walking/recreational path that runs along Fisher Avenue.
While acknowledging that City snow-removal crews have been especially under the gun this winter with all of the snow, wind and storms, Vedbraaten said it would be worth it to “pull someone off” a truck or plow and get them behind the wheel of a large snowblower unit to keep the Fisher Avenue path clear of snow. The last thing anyone should want is students or any other pedestrians walking in the roadway on Fisher Avenue because the path is buried under snow and drifts, he said.
“The big trucks and all those other vehicles, they don’t give kids an inch,” Vedbraaten said. “That path needs to be open.”
Parks & Recreation Director Scott Riopelle noted that the path was cleared around a week ago, but with the snow on each side of it being so high, it doesn’t take much snow or wind to start filling it in again.
Then it needs more frequent attention, Vedbraaten said.
“Fisher Avenue is a pretty dangerous street to have anyone walking on it,” he said. Then, noting that he was a mail carrier for more than three decades, the at large council member added, “For 35 years I walked the streets; I know what they’re like.”
Ward 3 Council Member Clayton Briggs said he thinks primary city streets and other main thoroughfares need to continue to be the top priority for snow removal crews in the community, with paths being less of a priority. To that, Vedbraaten said he wasn’t asking for every path or trail in town to be consistently and promptly cleared of snow. “But (Fisher Avenue) is a bypass road, it’s not a regular street,” he responded.
“Metal can be bent back into shape,” Vedbraaten added, referring to a fender-bender that might occur at an intersection in town. “But that’s better than running over a kid.”
While no official plan of action going forward was identified during Monday’s discussion, it appeared as though the Fisher Avenue path would be monitored more closely.