Rochester residents are voicing their concern for Elton Hills Drive lane conversion

The city wants to turn Elton Hills Drive into three lanes from the original four lanes.

Posted: Dec 4, 2019 5:49 PM
Updated: Dec 4, 2019 6:06 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn.- Elton Hills Drive sees a lot of traffic everyday, so you could imagine converging the lanes would cause even more congestion. That's why residents there are so upset. 

This has been in the talks from City Council and citizens for a few months now. The city wants this change for more safety, better speed control and to be more pedestrian and bicycle friendly. Residents are saying along with more traffic, this could also cause a delay with emergency responders and cause a hassle for students heading to school. 

The organization 'Take Back Our Streets' started the initiative to do just that - help keep Elton Hills Drive how it is now. The conversion would personally impact homeowner, Craig Ugland. He's lived on Elton Hills Drive for almost his entire life. Ugland said the community is very involved with this process. "We've had two community meetings that were very well attended," explained Ugland. "Our last one we had well over 125 people, including four council members and the Mayor."

Residents are calling this conversion a 'road diet'. Ugland said the city needs to listen to their residents. "It's not a textbook road diet," said Ugland. "They need to take into account the experience of neighbors that have lived on Elton Hills Drive for 40 and 50 years."

On December 9th, city staff is having a community input meeting at Hoover where everyone is encouraged to attend. The city engineer will then take the information and come up with a proposal to present to city council on the 16th. If the proposal isn't accepted, it will not be reconsidered until next November.

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