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Accidents continue at Glencoe intersections

Thursday afternoon, a group of law enforcement officials, fire department and emergency medical service personnel, folks from the local funeral home and the county highway department, a public health educator and others, all gathered at Glencoe Regional Health Services to discuss the possibility of a creating a McLeod County “Safe Communities Coalition” to partner with the Southwest Minnesota Towards Zero Deaths (TDZ) program to reduce traffic fatalities in McLeod County.
During that meeting, several pagers went off alerting responders to a traffic accident, with injuries, at the intersection of Highway 212 and Chandler Avenue here in Glencoe.
Glencoe’s two major intersections with Highway 212 — Morningside Drive at the east end and Chandler Avenue at the west — continue to be high-incident accident areas. There has been one accident at each intersection in the past month, both resulting in injuries.
Although neither accident resulted in a fatality, they pointed out the need for an effort such as the TDZ program, which according to its mission statement, is “to move Southwest Minnesota toward zero deaths on our roads, using education, enforcement, engineering and emergency medical and trauma services.”
We are glad to see this effort get under way in McLeod County, but still feel more immediate action needs to be taken to reduce the number of accidents on Highway 212 in Glencoe.
It’s hard to understand why so many accidents occur at Morningside, a controlled intersection with a four-way stop. Is it inattentive driving? Unfamiliarity with the area? Trying to come to a complete stop in a 65-mile-an-hour speed zone?
As to the Chandler Avenue intersection — those of us who travel it regularly are pleased with the new electronic signs that were installed. We tend to look twice when the “traffic approaching” lights are flashing.
We very much believe that speed is an issue at Chandler and 212. Trying to cross two lanes of traffic when traffic is approaching at 65 miles an hour, or faster, can be daunting. We think many people find it difficult to judge just how quickly traffic is approaching on Highway 212.
So what is the solution for these two intersections?
We feel that traffic speed on Highway 212 should be reduced to 55 or 50 miles per hour within the city limits. It will slow the traffic “flow” for a couple of miles, but it’s worth if it helps reduce accidents.
Let’s keep pressure on our transportation and legislative officials to find ways to make these two intersections safer.
And let’s support the efforts of the newly forming Safe Communities Coalition to make all roads in McLeod County safer for all of us.