Create an Account - Increase your productivity, customize your experience, and engage in information you care about.
Anyone who drives Highway 252 through Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center knows that it's a busy place. MnDOT estimates the annual average daily traffic on 252 is nearly 60,000 cars. The real question is how to manage the gridlock.
Two workshops this week looked at just that. A study of Highway 252 is underway to consider how to best alleviate congestion. The hope is to improve the roadway from Highway 610 to I-649 and I-94 as it heads into Minneapolis near Dowling Avenue North.
The cities of Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center, along with Hennepin County and MnDOT are gauging public opinion. In the first of several public workshops, the goal is to get ideas from commuters, residents and businesses about how they would like to change 252.
Possible options include turning the highway into a freeway, which means all of the traffic lights would be removed and overpasses would need to be built to access the side streets. Another proposal involves additional lanes, including MnPASS lane, where drivers can pay to use a designated fast lane.
“It’s kind of a balancing act,” says Kent Barnard, MnDOT spokesperson.
“At this point we know there are a lot of differing opinions about what should be done out here. The residents may not exactly agree with what the commuters look for, and the businesses may have a different view point. What we hope to do is gather all that information and try to come up with a plan that meets the greatest number of citizen’s views for this corridor.”
Also this week, Governor Mark Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature designated Highway 252 a Corridor of Commerce, That designation allots up to $163 million, including up to $31 million in committed local funding, to the project. That is an important step. Now that at least some of the money needed to improve the road has already been committed, it's more likely all of the departments that need to make a decision and move forward.You don't have to attend a workshop to share your ideas. All the study materials are posted on the MnDOT website with a spot to weigh in with your opinion. Go to: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy252study/
Jennifer Anderson reporting