Rochester, MN City Council Ward 5 & 6 Members Shaun Palmer and Annalissa Johnson proposed a Council-Initiated Action (CIA) directing our City Staff to proceed with prior City Staff recommended safety improvements, very similar to a “Road Diet”, for Elton Hills Drive and Assisi Drive. This same request by City Staff was rejected by the former City Council in 2016. Currently, the City Staff requested a Traffic Safety Study to be completed prior to any City Council Action, to justify the desired changes.
The premise for the road conversions, or Road Diet, is safety, speed reduction, and to become more bike friendly.
A “Road Diet” would change these major 4-lane arteries down to 2-lanes with a center turn lane. An added ‘benefit’ to this change would also be adding a bike lane in each direction. According to the City Council, the bike lanes are not the reason for the Road Diet, although the original CIA does mention the Rochester-Olmsted Master Bike Plan, which shows Elton Hills Drive as a “Major Bikeway”.
The Rochester 2020 Capital Improvements Project Budget already has $2,300,000 allocated for this project.
Many of our neighbors believe the study and neighborhood input/feedback meetings are a formality to the formal approval and commencement of this project. We feel that this will all be too little too late and we are taking action now.
This petition is to show our City Council Members that the residence of Elton Hills Drive and the surrounding neighborhoods and residence of Rochester do not want these changes.
Please note, we are not an anti-bike group, we are simply looking for common sense decisions from our City Council. We feel there are better locations for bike lanes then on these 2 major arteries. We also feel the ‘Road Diet’ would be detrimental to our neighborhoods, cause congestion around our schools, hurt the local businesses, and are fiscally irresponsible.
Sponsored by ‘Take Back Our Streets Rochester”.