Council member calls intersection 'death trap'
Alexandria City Council member Todd Jensen said that making the pedestrian crossing at Third Avenue and Kenwood Street safer needs to be a priority.
"That intersection is a death trap," he said at the council's July 8 meeting. "We need to be more vocal with the state before someone dies there."
Traffic zips along Third Avenue East at a fast clip — so fast that drivers aren't heeding the yellow crossing signs to yield to pedestrians who are at the crosswalk. One of the signs, in fact, has been knocked over repeatedly by drivers, Jensen said.
City Planner Mike Weber noted that the city has asked for more information from the Minnesota Department of Transportation about traffic and pedestrian counts at the intersection, and the speed of the traffic.
The discussion arose when the council was going over the recommendations from its highway committee.
The council approved the committee's recommendation to install two additional handicap parking spaces on Winona Drive near Lincoln Elementary School.
The spaces won't be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Instead, they are intended for parents with physical disabilities to pick up their children without exiting their vehicles. The school requested the spaces.
Other items from the committee didn't require council action — the traffic calming island at Fifth Avenue and Lake Street will remain temporary not permanent; more information will be collected about traffic calming island requests at four other intersections (Fourth and Kenwood, Eighth and Lake, 11th and Lake, and Rosewood and Snowbird); and more information is still being collected to determine how to make the pedestrian crossings safer at Noonan Park, and at Third Avenue and Kenwood Street.
Following are other items from the July 8 meeting not covered in other council stories.
ATV ordinance tabled
The council tabled the second reading of an ordinance that would clarify that the operation of all-terrain vehicles and utility-task vehicles on city streets is not legal. Under the ordinance, the operation of snowmobiles on city streets would remain legal subject to limitations the council may impose.
The council approved a preliminary reading of the ordinance at its June 24 meeting but tabled it by a vote of 4-0 without discussion at its July 8 meeting.
The current ordinance, according to City Attorney Tom Jacobson, created some confusion whether those types of vehicles may be used on public roads within the city limits because the city previously authorized the limited use of golf carts on certain city streets if the operator obtained a permit.
Snowmobiles would still be allowed on the Central Lakes Trail and the DATA trails.
Food truck license
The council issued a food truck/vendor license to Margret Hawley of Alexandria, who operates Happy Camper Catering, LLC. The truck will set up at random locations in the city, including Big Ole Central Park.