It’s good to know improvements will start in 2015 for Sartell’s extremely busy Pinecone Road corridor.
At its last meeting, the Sartell City Council approved an engineering study that will determine precisely the best kinds of improvements to make – and where.
Such improvements cannot come soon enough, as any motorist or pedestrian would likely agree.
Even just five years ago, the city council at that time had concerns about the increasing traffic on Pinecone Road. Someday, the council predicted, such massive traffic is going to lead to major wear-and-tear, traffic snarls and safety concerns. And they were right. The prediction has come to pass, and then some.
To drive the length of Pinecone Road, one must be very cautious. There are so many visual distractions along parts of it. Near the Pine Meadow Elementary School, vehicles seem to be coming from every direction at once, and motorists often seem confused, baffled and afraid. It is also extremely dangerous for pedestrians, especially when “blind spots” occur.
At certain times of the day, all along Pinecone Road, traffic snarls and long waits develop, causing some motorists to become impatient and testy, taking chances they would normally not take. The engineering study will examine the possibility of installing roundabouts at some intersections along Pinecone Road. Let us hope a few more roundabouts will facilitate the traffic flow.
To make matters worse, the road surfaces have deteriorated badly in some areas. Although road crews do their best to patch and seal those troublesome areas, they keep deteriorating. Obviously, a more permanent solution is needed.
Now, for the bright side. Some cities and towns would love to have the road-and-traffic problems Sartell has. Increased traffic is a sign a city is growing and flourishing. All of the developments on or near the Pinecone Road corridor have caused traffic and road wear-and-tear to increase year by year. They include the mini-malls at the intersection of Pinecone and 2nd Street and further north; the Bernick’s Arena, the Grand View Estates apartment complex, Lions Community Park, Sartell City Hall and events that occur there, Pine Meadow Elementary School (as well as the middle school and high school to the east), Oak Ridge Elementary to the north, the opening of Pinecone Central Park just off of Pinecone and apartment complexes, neighborhoods and new churches to the north. Is it any wonder Sartell has road headaches and traffic woes?
Let’s take a deep breath; let’s be patient. Within a year or two, things will improve along that corridor. Thankfully, the engineering study is soon to begin, and long-overdue Pinecone road projects will begin, giving that corridor and the rest of us a new lease on life.