by Dennis Dalman
The “all-stop” four-way stop signs at the intersection of Pinecone Road and Heritage Drive will remain in place, at least for quite a few more years.
After a traffic study, which was suggested by the city council, Sartell City Engineer Jeremy Mathiasen told the council at its Aug. 27 meeting that, in his opinion, the intersection should remain a four-way stop.
Traffic lights or a roundabout could be considered some years from now if the traffic becomes much heavier there, Mathiasen noted. Installation of traffic lights would cost about $120,000, which is about one-third the cost of putting in a roundabout, he added.
In the past four or five years, there have been only seven accidents at the intersection of Pinecone Road and Heritage Drive, and only two of them resulted in injuries, Mathiasen said.
Mathiasen showed the council photos of roadways from the least amount of cars to a jam-packed road. The traffic levels ranged from A to F – A being the least-crowded roadway. The intersection at Pinecone Road and Heritage Drive is Level C (medium density) most of the time. However, during the peak hours (mornings and afternoons), traffic is often backed up for a block or more, Mathiasen noted. The busiest time is from 7:30-8 a.m. in the morning when people are driving mainly south on Pinecone Road to get to work.
Mathiasen said the Minnesota Department of Transportation does traffic studies at intersections at least every four years. That intersection, he said, could be checked periodically for traffic through the coming years, and someday perhaps a traffic signal – or roundabout – could be installed if needed.