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Over 100 residents filled Crosslake City Hall for an informational open house concerning the CR3/CSAH66 intersection improvement held Tuesday, November 29th - photo by Cindy Myogeto
Crosslake residents Sonia Slack and Dodo Fraser review one of the options for the CR3/CSAH66 intersection on Tuesday, November 29th at Crosslake City Hall - photo by Cindy Myogeto

Open House Held for CR3/CSAH 66 Intersection Improvement Project

Web posted December 6, 2022
By Paul Boblett, editor

Approximately 110 Crosslake residents and interested persons attended an open house event on Tuesday, November 29th, to learn more about the County Road 3 and CSAH 66 intersection improvement project slated for 2024.

Crow Wing County Highway engineer Tim Bray, along with Phil Martin from Bolton Menk, and traffic engineer Jacob Bongard, facilitated the meeting.

Bongard gave a presentation based on the data collected, and four options were presented that included a traffic circle (roundabout), traffic signals, a four way stop or to leave the intersection as is.

The recommended option was for a roundabout, but Bray said by phone Thursday that nothing has been finalized, and ultimately, the Crow Wing County Board of Commissioners will have the final say on what will be done with the intersection.

“It’s not a done deal,” Bray said by phone Thursday.

The project team will meet again in a couple weeks to figure out how best to engage the public, and one of the next steps will be to take a closer look at the 4-way stop option, said Bray. “We did evaluate that option, but a resident requested it.”

“What is important, that with all these alternatives, except the ‘do nothing’, is that it will handle vehicles well,” added Bray. “However, the separator is how they accommodate pedestrians, the options are not all equal in that respect.

“We’re all concerned about that, and a roundabout is better statistically; with a 40 percent reduction in vehicle-pedestrian collisions, even over a signal or a 4-way stop.”

Bray stated that with the roundabout option, there are lower vehicle speeds, less distance to travel, one way to look, all those things show it is safer for pedestrians.

“The data shows signals and stop signs offer more conflict points, both pedestrians and drivers,’ he said.

“The conversation at the public meeting and consternation of roundabouts and differing options - this is playing out everywhere and is not unique to Crosslake,” said Bray, “and there are a lot of people in my position looking to explain the rationale.

“We’re taking a human approach to this and we realize humans make mistakes… With roundabouts, people will make mistakes, but it is less likely to have a catastrophic result and nobody should [have to] die for a mistake. The roundabout helps to eliminate those catastrophic failures that humans make.”

Bray closed by saying that this is what it’s about from an engineering standpoint. “We will always seek the safest option, and people can be opposed for many reasons, and some are just opposed to change - yes this will be an inconvenience, but if we can save a life, that’s worth it.”

Materials and presentations from the open house are available online by visiting crosslakeimprovements.com. Residents are also encouraged to submit comments at the same site.

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