Garden Street safety project

To the editor:

To my knowledge, this project started out as a street resurfacing project. Good idea as it definitely needed repair.

I question the need to take away parking spaces and narrowing the driving lanes. This street has a very high volume of vehicular traffic, a high volume of pedestrian traffic and a very low volume of bicycle traffic. The area has the Vogel arena, softball fields school, baseball field, football field and tennis courts. The project is trying to support safe bicycling. An alternative proposal was submitted to all council members, city manager and the city engineer.

The project requires the loss of parking on the west side of the street and using 16 feet of the street for two bike lanes and reducing vehicle driving lanes.

The proposal was to use the 10 foot right of way that the city has on the west side of the street for the bike trail. You could use two five-foot wide lanes that go in both directions. No snow removal would be needed for the winter season as bikers would not be using the lanes. Note: The proposed lanes on the project connect to no present or future planned bike trails.

This would maintain the existing driving lanes, save all parking spaces. A 20 mile per hour speed zone is permittable for this school zone area. This would also increase safety for everyone.

One councilor replied that they should support their engineer and the bicycle professional rather than a non-professional citizen. I believe some common sense should be considered. Sometimes there may be more than one way to accomplish the end objective.

Jim Hogen

New Ulm

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