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Transportation safety among highest priorities this year

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Koegel: Transportation safety among highest priorities this year

To the Editor:

We rely on the roads, highways, and transit options in our communities to go about our day-to-day lives. Whether it’s getting to work on time, taking the kids to school, or heading out of town on the weekends, making the transportation veins as safe as possible for drivers, pedestrians, and transit users must remain among our highest priorities.

Nowhere is that more true than along University Avenue. There have been multiple people killed along this corridor in the last several months, including a 28-year-old who was struck and killed in early March.

Safety improvements along this corridor could save lives in the future – and they’re long overdue. This session, I’m carrying a bill that would authorize a safety study to research solutions for University Avenue, along with funding for immediate upgrades.

But University Avenue isn’t the only challenge we face in our area. Hwy 65 is prone to congestion and safety issues as well. Since last year, I’ve been working to move us closer to making these critical improvements. The first step, as seen in my work on University Avenue, is investigating the problem. I’m pleased to see that MnDOT is developing a wide-ranging study of Hwy 65 to identify possible improvements.

Our transportation and transit systems are vital to the success of our communities and the safety of the pedestrians is paramount. Minnesota’s infrastructure has fallen behind and is projected to be billions of dollars short of the funding needed to keep up with our highways.

Now is the time to act. Prices for improvements will only continue to rise and we must not repeat the mistakes of past policymakers who kicked the can down the road instead of addressing the problem in front of them.

Erin Koegel

State Representative

Rep. Erin Koegel represents the citizens of Spring Lake Park, Blaine, and Coon Rapids in the Minnesota House of Representatives. She can be reached by email at rep.erin.koegel@house.mn or by phone at 651-296-5369.

 

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