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New transportation study will benefit area

Last week, both the Glencoe City Council and the McLeod County Board of Commissioners agreed to foot a share of the cost of a new Minnesota Department of Transportation study on the Glencoe area.
The vast majority of the cost of the study — estimated at $150,000 — will be picked up by MnDOT. The state transportation department is asking that the two other transportation entities that are involved — the city of Glencoe and McLeod County — pick up 10 percent of the cost, or $15,000. That results in a net cost to each of $7,500.
During discussion of the proposed study at the County Board meeting, Commissioner Doug Krueger revealed that he had an initial “knee-jerk” reaction to the proposal, worrying that it will just be more money spent and wasted.
That isn’t surprising to anyone who has followed local government — be it cities, counties or schools. All of those seem to go through a never-ending cycle of studies and feasibility reports that, all too often, end up on a shelf collecting dust after they are finished. Eventually, they are dusted off … only to discover that they need to be redone in order to incorporate new data.
In fact, the last transportation study, in 2003, pretty much ended up shelved as the economy tanked in 2009-10, and we all went into survival mode.
But as Krueger also said, we need data in order to make informed decisions.
There are some pressing transportation issues in this area. In particular, the safety concerns on the Highway 212 corridor through the city continue to be of prime concern. This study will supposedly take a look at the continued accidents that occurred at the intersections of Highway 212 and its two main connections to Glencoe, Chandler Avenue and Morningside Drive. Despite safety improvements, those two intersections continue to be plagued by numerous crashes.
The proposed study also will build on a point-of-origin, point-of-destination study of Highway 22 between Glencoe and Hutchinson. The city has long struggled with trying to find ways to deal with the influx of traffic as Highway 22 winds its way through Glencoe.
It also seems that there is an accident-prone section of Highway 22 near 120th Street, northwest of town, that needs to be addressed.
Those of us concerned about highway safety, as well as traffic congestion, are looking forward to the results of the study.
Hopefully, this study will be a living document that will benefit the community and not become another pile of paper collecting dust on a closet shelf.