I was disappointed that the John Wade representing the Rochester Area Chamber came to Monday’s city council meeting to oppose safe streets. I support safe streets and safe neighborhoods.
The area in question is the neighborhood around the East Frontage Road in NW Rochester. This stretch of roadway has absolutely no safe way for the 40% of Minnesotan’s who do not drive to get around safely. While the area is known for automotive dealerships here are some additional facts. The area contains retail and restaurants on both ends of the stretch. 700+ employees work on the stretch. There is a school in the area. Traffic moves faster than most areas with sidewalks.
Here is what the Chamber says:
The Chamber in their press release suggest that having sidewalks is more dangerous than not.
The proposed sidewalk would line the east side of the frontage road of Hwy 52 North by 41st St NW. Due to the close proximity of the proposed sidewalk to the road, the snow plows clearing the streets would routinely plow unmanageable amounts of snow onto the sidewalk, causing a safety hazard for pedestrians. Also, the businesses in the area (mostly car dealerships) are designed to be accessed by vehicles. The pedestrians will be in harm’s way considering the number of vehicles visiting the drive-thru restaurants, car dealerships and mechanics.
Their comments about snow removal were already debunked at the meeting, but if you repeat a lie enough times…
Instead of encouraging pedestrians to use a proposed unsafe sidewalk, we believe it would be safer for them to continue to utilize the sidewalks in the adjacent residential area.
If you wanted to walk between Dairy Queen and Menards, it would be 0.9 miles. If you wanted to stay on pedestrain sidewalks / trails like the Chamber says, it would be 3 miles and you would have to walk through Kings Run, East of 18th Ave and use trails that are not cleared in the winter. Yup, that is the Chamber solution. If you wanted to walk from the school to the Dairy Queen, you would have to cross a stream, walk through yards, etc. There might be a shorter pathway through the park West of 18th, but you get the idea…