Don’t go backwards downtown

To the editor:

I see there’s still discussion about making downtown Minnesota Street a two-way street and making things more bicycle friendly.

The last I heard was that bikes, skateboards, rollerblades, etc. were banned from the downtown sidewalks as being hazards to the pedestrians.

Next, the idea of going back to a two-way street downtown is a terrible idea!

Years ago downtown Minnesota Street was torn up to redo and repair the underground pipes, get rid of metered parking and turn it into a one-way street, making it safer and more convenient for people. Unfortunately, the way alleys were done downtown made it harder or even impossible for delivery trucks to bring needed supplies to businesses there. Apparently, this was something overlooked and not all aspects of things that would be affected were studied sufficiently. Now numerous trucks have to double-park in one of the lanes downtown to make their deliveries, thereby blocking a lane. Traffic has to enter the other lane to get around them. Just think of the mess you’ll have if you have two-way traffic there!

Another thing, when you drive downtown and someone backs out of a parking space unexpectedly in front of you, you can swerve into the other lane quickly to avoid an accident. With a one-way street, the pedestrians only have to worry about traffic coming from one way.

I would also advise against changing to parallel parking downtown because you will be cutting down parking availability immensely. Even with tons of empty businesses, we currently have to go around the block several times looking for a place to park if we want, or, due to a disability, need to park near an eating place or hair/beauty shop. As an aside, we also run into the problem of some places downtown not being handicapped accessible, which I thought was against the law.

One more observance I have is that more regular citizens with knowledge of how things wer changed to how they are now hold places on various committees, along with people involved with the special interests of the community, so please get informed input from these knowledgeable citizens before you hastily proceed on things that may not be for the best. Let’s not start going backwards again and make past mistakes.

Bonnie Howk

New Ulm

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