MnDoT Presentation on Highway 19

couple_car.jpgThe Minnesota Department of Transportation (District 6) is holding the second of two Public Open Houses to discuss preliminary findings of the Northfield Area Access Management and Safety Plan for a section of Highway 19, east of Interstate 35 to Trunk Highway 3 in Northfield.

The Open House will be held tonight (December 13th) from 5 to 7 pm in the Northfield City Council Chambers, 801 Washington Street.

A brief presentation by MnDoT will be followed by a question and answer period. The presentation will include recommendations for existing and future accesses and safety improvements, as well as review of data collected for crash history, vehicle counts, travel behavior, and pedestrian movement.

Public review will be sought regarding the findings and recommendations for areas of concern within the project area.

For more information, call Peter Waskiw at (507) 286-7680.


  1. Griff Wigley said:

    Wow, great report, Bill. I see MnDOT planner Peter Waskiw has attached a comment to your post, too. Were you satisfied with his answer re: lack of a bike lane?

    December 15, 2007
  2. John Thomas said:

    Kind of a tangent to this post… but an interesting article in the Pioneer Press this morning, about our beloved bridge north of town:

    Bridge 3275 in Dakota County is showing its age. At 98, the span that carries Canada Avenue over the Cannon River in Waterford Township has the worst rating of any bridge in Minnesota.

    December 16, 2007
  3. John Thomas said:

    Darn enter key!

    What my question to the group is regarding funding. The article states:

    Funding problems are one reason some of the lesser-known bridges have deteriorated so extensively. The Waterford Bridge, for example, is owned by Waterford Township, population of about 500. Those residents would shoulder part of the cost of replacement – which could begin as early as 2008 – along with the state.

    I wonder how much of this bridge cost would fall on the residents, and how much that would average out per household. No cost estimate for its replacement was given, but I would be curious about how much impact this will have on Waterford’s homeowners.

    Anyone have any educated guesses? Has there been any preliminary communication from Dakota County or MnDOT on this to them?

    December 16, 2007
  4. Ross Currier said:

    Hey John –

    This is some valuable research and analysis, thanks!

    Not that I want to revive my “Mr. Annexation” title, but I’m wondering about the “cost per resident” comparison between a go-it-alone Waterford and a Waterford – Northfield combination.

    December 17, 2007
  5. Bill Ostrem said:

    I’m finally getting back to Griff re his question in post #2 on MnDOT’s statement regarding bike lanes on Hwy 19: I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the MnDOT response. I didn’t ask about motor vehicle lane widths and whether these could be reduced to accommodate a bike lane; sometimes that kind of reduction is done. I assume they have made their bike lane decision based on the current lane configuration, not the possible middle-turn-lane configuration.

    Now I’m worried that if they add a middle turn lane, the existing shoulder will be even narrower for bikes. On the new Woodley St., the shoulder will be only 1.5 feet wide on each side, a narrow width required by the middle turn lane.

    If the existing shoulder width around Malt O Meal on 19 can remain, that would be good. It’s hard to persuade people that a bike lane is justified when current bike traffic on the highway is low. One wonders how future development to the west will affect the corridor.

    The public right of way is a scarce resource, and bikes are low in the pecking order. This is hard to change unless more people get out there and ride. But then they’re less likely to ride on roads if they don’t see facilities such as bike lanes out there! It’s a chicken-and-egg problem that reflects our decisions long ago to make a vast social investment in automobiles and auto-dependent land uses.

    December 17, 2007
  6. Jerry Bilek said:

    bicycling magazine has a story in the Jan/Feb issue about bike/auto accidents. It is very long and graphic:,6610,s1-3-12-16637-1,00.html

    They also ran this piece:,6610,s-3-12-16651-1,00.html

    that finishes w/this:
    What becomes clear is that, as numbers of cyclists increase, the rate of fatalities decreases. This inverse relationship is borne out by a 2003 report entitled “Safety in Numbers” by Peter L. Jacobsen, a public-health consultant in Sacramento, California. Studying cities of varying sizes from California to Scandinavia to the United Kingdom to the Netherlands, Jacobsen found that collisions between motor vehicles and people walking or bicycling declined with increases in the numbers of pedestrians and cyclists, partly because motorists in foot- or bike-prone communities are themselves more likely to walk or bicycle occasionally, and thus give greater consideration to others who are doing it.
    Jacobsen’s fundamental conclusion: “A motorist is less likely to collide with a person walking or bicycling if more people walk or bicycle.”

    December 17, 2007

Leave a Reply