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Paynesville Press - August 18, 2004

Safety measures approved for Lake Koronis Road

By Michael Jacobson

Lake Koronis Road - between Grandview Resort and Veteran's Memorial Park - will see a number of changes intended to improve safety on the township road.

The changes - including two new stop signs, a new no-parking zone, and studying the speed limits - were approved by the township board on Monday, Aug. 9. The changes are the result of the supervisors' meeting with a traffic engineer from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT).

Safety on Lake Koronis Road was raised as an issue by a group of property owners on the road, who told the township board that heavy vehicle traffic and pedestrian traffic on the road during the summer made the road unsafe. They urged the township board to consider closing the road to thru-vehicle traffic at a public hearing in July. That meeting was prompted by a petition signed by 40 local residents asking the township board to consider closing the road.

But at the public hearing a majority of township residents thought the road should be kept open. While safety concerns were recognized, residents thought the township would set a bad precadent by closing the road and that other safety measures should be considered.

At the meeting, a petition with over 200 signatures was submitted to the township board urging the road be kept open.

Following that public hearing, township board members met with a traffic engineer from MnDOT, who suggested a number of safety improvements.

Lake Koronis Road First, two stop signs will be added. The first stop sign will make eastbound traffic on Lake Koronis Road stop at the intersection with Crosswood Road by Grandview Resort. This will make this intersection a three-way stop and should slow down traffic on Lake Koronis Road coming down a hill.

A second stop sign will be added on the east end of Lake Koronis Road, near the city beach (Veteran's Memorial Park). This stop sign will stop traffic on Lake Koronis Road coming down the hill from Old Lake Road, hopefully slowing vehicle traffic before it reaches the narrow portion of Lake Koronis Road along the lakeshore.

Second, a no-parking area will be created along the lakeshore, from Grandview Resort to the city beach. This will hopefully increase visibility on the road.

MnDOT advised the township to trim trees to make its signs visible but otherwise to keep trimming to a minimum.

Third, the township will add four "Watch for Pedestrians: Warning 15 mph" signs on Lake Koronis Road. In some cases, these will replace the current 25 mph speed limit signs. Having "black and white" saying the speed limit is 25 mph gives a false impression, reported township board chairman Don Pietsch, since the road is not safe to drive at that speed. These warning signs will also enable police to enforce speed limits on the road under the definition of driving as fast as conditions warrant, not necessarily as fast as the speed limit.

The township board approved all these safety measures at their meeting last week. The township will have to order some of these signs, which should be put in place as soon as possible.

The township board also approved a resolution last week that asks MnDOT to conduct a speed survey on the entire length of Lake Koronis Road (from Co. Rd. 181 to Old Lake Road) and on Crosswood Road to check if the current speed limits are actually safe to drive. This speed study, which could take six to eight months to complete, could result in lowering the speed limits on these roads.

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