Gregg Smith, Minot
It was wonderful to see Oak Park back and people enjoying the splash pad and walking paths. Kudos to the many volunteers and the Minot Park Board for this wonderful moment in our recovery.
But sadly, just a little bit west is the sad and dangerous reminder of progress that has not been made. It has been one year since the flood, and it has been one year since we had working traffic lights in the valley.
I know all the excuses: we have no money, it takes time to make the traffic lights, each one is different etc. It's time to stop the excuses, the safety of the citizens should be a priority. The intersection of Fourth Avenue Northwest and 16th Street is a nightmare. Motorists are becoming increasingly reckless (I was almost wiped out last week by someone who never even stopped) and frustrated, and are not even trying to wait there turns to go. If you hesitate one second, some one will go out of turn.
At 4:30-5:30 p.m. the cars are lined up 20 deep to get through same in the morning rush hour. Also at this intersection is one of two lasting monuments in this area to the flood. Three sandbags sit on the city sidewalk for almost a year. They sit right on the southeast side of the intersection.
Farther down 16th in the dead slough is another lasting reminder of the flood, the red deck and garbage in the trees and on the banks. How much money or special equipment do we need to pick up the sandbags or get the deck out?
It's great the city is making some progress in some areas, but the traffic light situation is an embarrassment. If temporary lights were constructed at the Third Street Southeast and Central Avenue location last fall, why hasn't something been done else where? What happened to the contracts being let for dead slough clean up and traffic light repair?
The fair is coming and we still have unsafe roads which will be even more unsafe with the additional traffic. What's happening city leaders? The citizens would sure like some updates.
Here is a suggestion, how about placing the police at the busiest of the intersections during the rush hour times to help control these dangerous intersections? That would be some progress.