Lee Brady of C.J. Olson Market Research, Minneapolis, explained to the Highway 23 Steering Committee Monday night in Paynesville, that 400 randomly selected residents were included in the sample. Additionally, 50 commercial businesses, 30 manufacturers, and 30 truckers were asked about their improvement preferences.
All respondents were asked to rank four possible improvement options... passing lanes, turning lanes, four lanes and limiting the number of driveways entering the highway.
Overall, the most preferred highway improvement, taking into consideration the limited funds available, is making Highway 23 a four-lane highway in some sections. The second most preferred improvement is adding passing lanes.
Users would like to see Highway 23 become a four-lane roadway for various reasons. Many identified major problems with the highway as having too much traffic, causing congestion and passing difficulties. It is clear, based on the results, that those who live in the area, as well as seasonal users, would prefer the four-lanes to the other options.
Cheryl Plathe, MnDOT, explained the next step, the Highway 23 corridor study, which will begin in July. The study should be completed by next January and will include public involvement.
Public meetings are being planned for September, December, and February.
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