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A stoplight at Second Street? by

As curious onlookers gathered around the intersection of Second Street and Highway 41 Thursday afternoon, where a young woman lay on a stretcher after being struck by a vehicle, more than one person could be heard commenting on how dangerous the area is.

Statements like "No big surprise" and "It was just a matter of time" echoed through the crisp air. Many added they don't dare try to cross Highway 41 for fear of a similar situation.

The city has been working with MnDOT to come up with solutions for slowing traffic through downtown. Many local residents and business owners have spoken out for a stoplight at the intersection.

What do you think? Is a stoplight at Second Street necessary? Would it help manage heavy traffic on Highway 41? Is there another solution that would work better? Share your thoughts.

Nov 03, 2006 | 3000 views | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print

I think all of this
by Greg Boe
 in response to A stoplight at Second Street?
Jun 05, 2007 | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print

I think all of this discussion, and these types of unfortunate incidents, all point to the obvious need for a new river crossing / bypass around downtown Chaska. On an average afternoon, 95% of the traffic traveling through our downtown isn’t there to shop. They are merely trying to get somewhere else, and most of the time they are in a hurry to get there. The heavy levels of traffic make it dangerous and unpleasant to walk or drive downtown, and the truck traffic is hard on our roads (and our historic buildings). The solution is to get that “pass-through traffic” routed around downtown – and the sooner the better. Our local businesses will not suffer from a bypass, because none of that pass-through traffic stops to spend money here anyway. On the contrary, they will benefit from a bypass, since we can then begin to promote our historic downtown as a quaint and quite place to gather, shop, and visit!
I used to live downtown, and my neighbors and I were happy when the river would flood and close down Highway 41 for a few weeks (other than our greatly-increased drive times to work, that is!). Suddenly, the constant roar of the traffic was gone, and the downtown was a quiet and pleasant place once again. Unfortunately it didn’t last, and soon the road was open and the traffic was back.
Only when the Hwy 41 new river crossing and bypass is complete will we be able to concentrate on creating a safe and enjoyable downtown. Only then will we be able to enjoy a downtown full of businesses that are all vibrant and prospering. The City has some great plans on the drawing-board for our “new” downtown – and I am looking forward to it!

This comment about
by Mark Olson
 in response to A stoplight at Second Street?
Jun 01, 2007 | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print

This comment about everyone's favorite intersection (Second Street/Highway41) was recently e-mailed to the Herald office:

"On Tuesday it was necessary for me to drive into Chaska. I parked in front of the dentist's office and walked across 41 to get coffee at  Dunn Brothers.

"That was a mistake as I was taking my life into my own hands. Apparently no one in Chaska observes the law that a vehicle MUST stop for a pedestrian in a marked and unmarked crosswalk.

"Why doesn't Chaska alert drivers by placing the yellow pedestrian right-of-way signs at several intersections? That just might help.

"Also, I can now understand why others have told me they avoid Chaska as often as possible with all the truck traffic that is there."

I trust the stretch of road
by 2nd thought
 in response to A stoplight at Second Street?
Dec 15, 2006 | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print

I trust the stretch of road on Engler by the Fire Station, is now consistently traveled at safe speeds. The straightest, widest and most harmless stretch of roadway in town is monitored by the Chaska PD during both rush hours nearly everyday. A woman was apparently shot by a BB gun a ½ mile away. A pedestrian has never been injured by a motor vehicle in that area to the best of my knowledge. In fact, the waning Jonathon Associations 6 ft. wide walking paths are located nearly 50 ft away from the road.
Perhaps the Chaska PD can abandon their post at the Fire Station. I think we’re OK there guys. People are nearly being killed in downtown! There is a higher calling for the Chaska PD…To “PROTECT and serve”.
By the way, I have not been ticketed…YET!

If you're insinuating (and I
by txaggie94
 in response to A stoplight at Second Street?
Dec 14, 2006 | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print

If you’re insinuating (and I think you are) that someone who drives the speed limit is driving too slow, I suggest you brush up on Minnesota law.
Personally, I don’t exceed the speed limit, but that doesn’t mean I drive 20 in a 30, or 40 in a 50. If the road conditions are appropriate, I drive 50 in a 50, or 30 in a 30. The posted speed limit is the maximum safe speed, as designated by the State of Minnesota, for the road on which you are travelling.

I don't think that's
by Annette S
 in response to A stoplight at Second Street?
Dec 12, 2006 | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print

I don’t think that’s accurate. There are two kinds of drivers, defensive drivers and other drivers.
The defensive drivers are those drivers that drive sensibly and follow the rules of the road, and the other drivers are the drivers that drive without any regard for anyone, not even themselves. The other drivers are eating, making phone calls, singing, yelling at their kids, reading maps, grooming themselves, speeding, disregarding any number of traffic laws, have pets moving freely about the car, etc.

There are 2 kinds of bad
by technical0ne
 in response to A stoplight at Second Street?
Dec 08, 2006 | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print

There are 2 kinds of bad drivers. Those that drive too slow and those that drive too fast. Both kind endanger everyones lives on the road.

Even if you're cruising
by txaggie94
 in response to A stoplight at Second Street?
Nov 20, 2006 | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Even if you’re cruising along on Highway 41 at 26 MPH, you might not see a pedestrian trying to cross at 2nd Street. The sidewalks are narrow, and there is limited visibility due to construction signage.
A light is necessary. The Chaska PD had a sting operation at the intersection a few months ago. It even made the Channel 5 news. But it didn’t make a difference. A pedestrian was still struck, and, next time, someone might be killed.
Plus, we have a small department – I don’t know if we could afford to have our officers all hanging out in downtown giving out speeding tickets. The only way to have “strict enforcement” would be to have an officer posted downtown 24 hours a day. That’s what it would take to make a difference. And that’s not feasible.
A stoplight is what’s needed. If nothing else, it gives pedestrians a safer crossing.
As for the other comments about poor drivers in the area – AMEN TO THAT! Last week, while attempting to turn left off of Pine Street onto Highway 212, I received the “honk and gesture” from the man behind me. He was upset that I wouldn’t take the lives of my 4 children for granted and cut off an 18-wheeler on 212. He was busy on his cell phone, so I am sure that he is far more important than my children and me. ;) I don’t exceed the speed limit, and I have my fair share of angry tailgaters. If the police were trying to strictly enforce the speed limits around Chaska, they would never have any time to investigate other crimes – they’d have their hands full with all the bad drivers!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Skip the Traffic Signal and
by Carroll
 in response to A stoplight at Second Street?
Nov 17, 2006 | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Skip the Traffic Signal and use our City Police Officers to STRICKLY ENFORCE the LEGAL POSTED SPEED LIMIT of 30mph. Then get the Sheriff’s office and State Highway Patrol to do the same.
Not only would this save the cost of constructing a Traffic Signal, but increase the City’s Revenue and make it safer for everybody.
This could be done immediately without delay and send a notice to everyone that you had better slow down on Chaska streets. We could then much more safely cross at any intersection.
Since, I have worked in the Civil Engineering field for almost 29-years now, we have always had a saying “SAFETY by DESIGN, NOT by SIGN”. Hence putting up a Traffic Signal is not going to slow down the people, they will just race from one light to the next making it more dangerous.
I have witnessed so many drivers violating the Traffic Lights, that it is getting scarier all the time. Most drivers barely slow to make a Right Turn on a Red Light. When I come to a complete stop I have had other driver blow their horn at me and a few times had others pull up on my left and pull out turning Right in front of me.
Please ENFORCE the posted Legal Speed Limit and put people on notice that the Limit is 30.00MPH, not 31, 35 or 40+. Then add a few decoy crosswalk checks and ENFORCE the CROSSWALK LAWS. When you bust the Speeders and Crosswalk VIOLATERS, publicize their names along the the FINES and COURT COSTS.
Once you get the SPEED LIMIT downtown under control, begin STRICT ENFORCEMENT on ALL other Streets and Highways within CHASKA.
Think of it, Saving of not putting up a Signal and the Revenue gained from all the Violaters = SAFER STREETS.
I recall reading an article about a Speed Study that was done on approx. 5 years ago with a comment that people were not speeding, even though the average speed was 33mph. If I recall correctly, the person quoted was a Public Official, is this why so many drivers speed through downtown CHASKA?

Bring 'em on, I say! In
by Cohort of Sugardog
 in response to A stoplight at Second Street?
Nov 08, 2006 | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Bring ‘em on, I say!
In order to call attention to the plight of the pedestrians and noble steeds downtown, perhaps we should add another lane each direction and post cameras there to catch as much blood and mayhem as possible on film. We could send the delicious morsels to the new television reality show entitled “Atrocities in America” on enough of a regular basis that we become famous for it. Then Chaska’s downtown could become a bit of a tourist trap—until all residents and workers have become roadkill, of course.
At least the vulture and crow populations would flourish.
A light on second street would be most helpful, especially since pedestrians are not easily visible until drivers are too close to stop.

I think a light is
by txaggie94
 in response to A stoplight at Second Street?
Nov 06, 2006 | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print

I think a light is absolutely necessary. Drivers do not yield the right of way to pedestrians in downtown Chaska like they should. I refuse to cross anywhere but 4th Street, which can take me (and my four little kids) up to 6 blocks out of our way – 3 up and 3 back – just get to Dunn Brothers.
Maybe significantly slowing traffic downtown will help decrease the truck traffic, and, therefore, help downtown flourish.
I sure hope that poor woman is doing okay. :(

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