By Mark MItten
During the open forum at the Cokato City Council meeting Monday, resident Agnes Fellinger voiced her concern about the crosswalk designs on Highway 12. She said she believed the current signs are not visible enough, and described a recent personal experience when she spotted an oncoming vehicle whose driver appeared unaware that two people were crossing the street.
“I was blowing my horn, flashing my lights ... finally I got his attention and he noticed those pedestrians,” Fellinger said. “I realized this is a problem everywhere. As pedestrians, we have bullseyes on our back.”
Fellinger implored the council to address the issue, noting that her 89-year-old mother recently relocated to Cokato, and Fellinger was concerned about her safety crossing the street.
Mayor Gordy Erickson and City Administrator Annita Smythe explained that plans for improved crossings were already underway.
“The council discussed this last fall, and the city ordered some speed tracking radar signs where the speed limits go down ... to let people coming into town know to slow down. And also, some newer, brighter flashing lights for the different crosswalks,” Smythe said.
In addition, she explained how MnDOT, next year, is planning to add “bump outs” at the crosswalk locations “to shorten the distance of highway that needs to be crossed.”
Already on the agenda was an update from Public Works Director Jeff DeGrote regarding the status of the crosswalk improvements.
DeGrote said he received the new equipment that was ordered, described the installation process, and said he would install the new signs as soon as it could be arranged.