New Hope for the Traffic Light at 3rd and 3

Council Members Galen Malecha and Jim Pokorney recently approached me about the much talked about Traffic Light at 3rd Street and Highway 3. We met for the first time last week. Galen and Jim basically said they sense that a majority of community members believe that a traffic light at that intersection is important and they want to work together to get one installed.

Our plan was to assemble the pertinent information in December, get a Council Resolution and letters of support in January and then meet with MNDOT in February. Our goal was to get the light installed during the 2006 construction season. We divided up the work and agreed to meet again this week.

Galen was supposed to get information on cost estimates and traffic warrants. Instead he brought the source of this information, Director of Public Works Heidi Hamilton, to the meeting. Smooth move, Big Guy. (Click to enlarge photo.)

As she has stated previously, Heidi said her reading of the Manual of Uniform Control Devices does not convince her of the need for a traffic light at this intersection in order to address pedestrian safety. However, when coupled with the desire for increased economic development and the vision of improved urban design, she believes that there are potentially compelling arguments. She committed to working with us to obtain the traffic light.

Heidi suggested that we wait until we had prepared a model of the projected traffic flow for that segment of the highway after installation of a traffic light before getting a Council Resolution. She thought the model could be completed by February. Galen and I stressed our belief that some kind of official action by the Council in January was important to the community and the process. She said she understood and would prepare something. Look for action at the January 9th Council Meeting.