In response to Ruth Lukarri's letter last week ("Why build tunnel under Hwy 41?) I would like to address her concerns regarding the pedestrian tunnel set to be constructed underneath Highway 41 in downtown Chaska.
As a downtown resident, I get to experience the daily routine of trying to turn off of Highway 41 and play the game of “hit the gap." This is challenging enough with oncoming traffic, cars pulling out of parking spaces, and only becomes more dangerous when pedestrians are involved, which they often are.
Yes it is unfortunate that this godforsaken tunnel will take away from the natural beauty of Chaska, particularly the unforgettable sights of “the median in front of the old barber shop” and “the historic turfgrass outside of Red Bench Bakery." It will hopefully allow us to still witness the majesty of all of the other great turfgrass and median masterpieces of our area.
I am confused about your concern that this will be a prime location for illegal drug users to gather; is it because the vast swamplands, parks, and bridge underpasses just don’t quite offer that “illegal drug ambiance"? I suppose we should cap all of the tunnels throughout Jonathan’s beautiful pathways to stay ahead of the impending storm of drug gatherings.
As to your concern about the homeless population utilizing this tunnel, and a desire to use our tax dollars in a “better way," I hope in time you realize that offering a safe, protected, public area that a downtrodden person can use temporarily in their time of need, perhaps in freezing temperatures, may be a “better way” to use our tax dollars.
Much thanks from my local friends and family to the city for taking on the continued development of our great downtown and striving to build a better community every day.