letter to editor stock art typewriter and notebook

This letter is primarily for the people who live along either side of County Road 27 between county roads 21 and 44. This section of 27 is scheduled for revision to a 55-mph four-lane divided highway. The reason for this letter, and several before, is to encourage Scott County to reconsider its current interchange design.

The current design focuses on keeping the speed up on this portion of the roadway. It does offer some help for leaving 27, offering left-hand turn lanes to leave 27, yet no assistance to safely gain access. This is precisely the design implemented on County Road 21 and Natchez, the intersection at which a 14-year-old boy was killed and his father injured earlier this year.

Scott County offered a change to this intersection to improve access to 21. Those people who use that intersection were very disappointed in the proposal. Regardless of what Tony Winiecki, Scott County highway engineer, told them to the contrary, they believed his design was no improvement at all, perhaps even a worsening of the problem. There was nearly universal agreement that a roundabout would be a much better solution.

Anyone who knows me will recognize my lobbying for using roundabouts for the three entrances to 27. Mr. Winiecki gave me several reasons why he didn't choose roundabouts, none of which showed concern for safely entering the roadway.

While I feel roundabouts are an excellent choice to serve the residential roadway, what I want are intersections that are significantly safer than the one that took the life of the 14-year-old boy. I believe there are many more people using these intersections than those on 21, providing many more chances for collisions.

I hope this will excite additional discussion on this proposed section of County Road 27. I encourage you to contact your Scott County Commissioner, Tom Wolf (twolf@co.scott.mn.us) or Tony Winiecki, Scott County highway engineer (twiniecki@co.scott.mn.us), to let them know if you share my concerns about safety.

William Wehrmacher

Prior Lake

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