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Letter to the Editor: Roundabouts can work, I've seen it

I attended the Minnesota Highway 33 meeting on Feb. 1 at the Cloquet Library. Here are some things I can say about the discussion.

I heard someone say the roundabout at Washington Avenue and 14th Street doesn’t work. I live close to that intersection, and when it first opened up, I took a walk along the sidewalk to the intersection and stood there for 10 or 15 minutes to observe the traffic flow. I saw cars, trucks, buses, and the big semi-tractor trailers, with the trailer, traversing it without difficulty. It worked smoothly.

I use this roundabout a few times every week and it works. I wonder what about it doesn’t work.

It was mentioned that a double roundabout at Cloquet Avenue would make it impossible to get to Dunlap Island. How could that be? It would also mean nobody could get to the West End businesses like Holy Smokes, the Pine Knot News, the VFW, and others. I don’t see an obstacle. I think traffic could get to the Island and West End businesses just fine.

I also heard that roundabouts are dangerous. So are traffic signals and stop signs. All intersections are dangerous when drivers get impatient, don’t pay attention, or take risks. No matter what design, we still have to be careful.

If traffic signals are the decision, I think the right-turn channels at both intersections should remain in place.

I wonder if much of the backlash is a case of resistance to change. If traffic signals are the decision, I’m OK with it. If roundabouts are the decision, I’m OK with it.

Dan Unulock,


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