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Letter to the Editor: Motorists, Please Take Caution When Driving Near Eagan High School

Eagan residents Bob and Theresa Eisele share their concerns about traffic congestion near the intersection of Diffley Road and Braddock Trail.

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On any given school day between 7:00-8:00 a.m. and 2:15-6:15 p.m. within a one-mile radius of Braddock Trail and Diffley Road, traffic congestion results from hundreds of vehicles traveling to/from work and the three schools (Northview Elementary School, Dakota Hills Middle School, and Eagan High School) clustered in this area.

Despite school zone designation and Diffley Road labeled “hazardous” by District 196, the speed limit remains 45 mph. Did you know a pedestrian has a 10 percent chance of survival when struck by a vehicle at that rate of speed? Undoubtedly, their definition of living would be compromised.

Area residents are increasingly concerned regarding the high volume of traffic
mixed in with pedestrians. No matter what the day or time, without access to
sidewalks, people of all ages are forced to walk on the road or cross four-lane
Diffley Road, often in non-crosswalk areas, to access the only plowed trail in that location.

After observing these dangerous situations, we tried to find a more viable solution. Despite countless phone, e-mail, and in-person contacts with the City of Eagan including Mayor Mike Maguire, Council Members, Public Works Department, and Police Department, it is apparent that no taxpayer-compensated representative wants to step up and help remedy this public safety issue anytime soon … if ever.

At this moment, options seem limited except to plead with our fellow drivers:
Please—for everyone’s sake—slow down, be attentive, stay off your phone, obey the traffic/crosswalk laws, and show courtesy to other drivers and pedestrians no matter if you’re driving in a parking lot, a neighborhood, or on one of our many roadways.

Our mission and main concern is for the safety of pedestrians—the students
walking to school, the parents pushing a stroller or holding a child’s hand, the
joggers, the owners exercising their pets, the bicyclists, and so many others. Those people you encounter while driving your vehicle are irreplaceable neighbors, classmates, siblings, parents, and friends to someone, whether you know them or not. Drive with care.

Bob and Theresa Eisele

Want to publish a letter to the editor or guest column on Eagan Patch? Send your submission to Editor David Henke at david.henke@patch.com.

Alison Brown January 14, 2013 at 02:27 PM
Absolutely concerning situation! I drive my DHMS and EHS boys to and from school each day (no bus service for us) and I agree that the amount of traffic which sometimes includes seemingly rushed anxious drivers, especially at the high school start and end times when it includes parent drop off and pick up as well as student drivers who drive and park at school is a daily safety concern. At this time there is the added issue of darkness and sometimes slippery conditions in the morning too. I would not feel safe if my kids were walkers having to cross these busy streets.
Val Jackson January 14, 2013 at 03:45 PM
Yes, big concern! Traffic patrols before and after school would be very helpful. Use bus service if available, and city should make clearing all sidewalks within walking distance a priority.
Jenni Nello January 14, 2013 at 04:28 PM
Agreed. I've witnessed this and I don't see many options for remedy except precautions by drivers. However, what is extra concerning is the average age of the drivers during these times. More signage and a police traffic director might be nice additions.
Marsha Marsha Marsha January 15, 2013 at 12:59 PM
If everyone rode the bus that should/could there would be very little traffic in the area but you don't look cool if you ride the bus and walking, just forget about that!

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