Otsego’s input on transportation sought

by Dawn Fedderson-Poindexter
Contributing writer

The Otsego City Council heard about important transportation projects that City Administrator Lori Johnson planned to present to the Wright County Board of Commissioners. Also at their regular meeting on Oct. 8, council members discussed a survey city staff will be putting together to receive feedback from residents.

Transportation projects
Johnson told the council that she and City Engineer Ron Wagner were planning to attend a meeting of the Wright County Board of Commissioners, at which the board had asked to hear suggestions for upcoming transportation projects. Johnson and Wagner had four potential projects that pose safety concerns in Otsego to present to the board.

The first involves County Road 42 from Highway 101 to 85th Street, particularly the entrance to Otsego Elementary School where cars and buses wait to turn into the school and back up traffic.

Another area needing improvement is County Road 39, from County Road 42 to about a quarter of a mile west of where the two roads meet. This section has several areas where the road narrows to one lane and briefly widens to two lanes again at an intersection or for commercial access, causing confusion and unsafe passing and merging.

On County Road 37 from Quaday Avenue to Highway 101, westbound vehicles merge from two lanes to one on a downhill section, a situation which has proven to be deadly in the past. Also on County Road 37, from Oakwood Avenue to Highway 101, the shoulder and curves do not meet current standards.

“We were able to list all of these projects as safety projects,” Johnson told the council. “Hopefully, they’ll put safety projects higher on their list.”

In other matters
Johnson showed the council a survey that had been professionally prepared and administered for the city of Coon Rapids at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars. The council hoped to glean some insight into what to ask of Otsego residents as the council and city staff move forward with designing their own survey, which they plan to administer online through Survey Monkey for just a few hundred dollars.

In other matters, Mayor Jessica Stockamp happily reported the success of the first Free Friday Nights at the Movies.

“We had 70 people in attendance for our first movie night. We had to move inside because of the wind and cold, but we had a good time. And we had good attendance,” she said.

The next Free Friday Nights at the Movies will show “Puss in Boots” at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at Prairie Park.