HWY 3 and West Third Street

Northfield.org carried an announcement this morning that the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDot) has decided to make the intersection of Jefferson Parkway and south Division Street (in the middle of the complex of public schools on the southern edge of town) a four-way stop. The decision to do this (or not) is entirely MnDots call since this stretch of road is also a state highway (246). This is terrific news for everyone.

Another change that would immediately benefit
pedestrians,downtown Northfield businesses, and drivers on West Third Street would be the installation of stoplights at the intersection of HWY 3 and West Third. On numerous occasions weve suggested to City staff and City Councillors that they pressure MnDot to include this in the HWY 3 improvement project scheduled to take place during 2005 and 2006.

3 3rd west3.jpg

3 3rd east3.jpg

The plans for that intersection call for electrical wiring to be stubbed in for possible future use, but not to install lights because there arent enough east-west warrants (vehicle trips) at the intersection. Our contention is that West Third is a major entrance to downtown Northfield that should be strengthened and made more secure. At the present time its impossible for pedestrians or cyclists to cross at this intersection. There are those brave souls who try and its only a matter of time before someone is tragically injured at this unsafe crossing.

With the news of MnDots change of heart on HWY 246, maybe theres hope for HWY 3. Why not share your feelings with them if you support this idea?