Big Lake Pedestrian safety is at risk! Yes, you read that correctly. Even though many of our Council Members have touted “Public Safety is #1” and “Residents Voices Matter” they continue move in the opposite direction.

If you walk, run, skate or board in Big Lake….BEWARE. The current street project is now being reviewed and despite the desire of residents, Powell/Will Street and Sherburne Ave sidewalks are being eliminated from the project.  All City residents share the sidewalk costs and all residents benefit from sidewalks.

Comments from the Big Lake Council Members: “I feel perfectly safe walking in the street”, “We have yet to experience a safety issue”, “The vehicle traffic is too low to warrant it”, “We do not need to follow a policy as a One Size Fits All”.  Seriously? So, you feel safe walking on your street that is 34’ wide, these streets are 19’ to 22’ feet wide.

This project is designed to build roads to last 30 years.  Are we really okay with having our school children wait in the street for a bus? Or having our 7 year old walking in the street? Are we really okay saying that we need to experience an accident before we are willing to take action? Are we really okay saying that we should not plan for the future?  Are we really okay with our Council ignoring the 2010 Complete Street Project and the 2018 Comprehensive Plan that was largely produce by residents?

Originally when this project went before this council in Workshop we were assured that input from 2020 would be considered. On Wednesday, the 10th we heard “There weren’t really resident responses that mentioned sidewalks”. Why would there be? Our residents responded loud and clear in 2010, 2018, 2020!

To recap, our Council Members feel comfortable walking in the streets so we should too. People play Frisbee, Flag Football and Soccer in the streets so we should too. So, let’s dodge the delivery, garbage, repair and mail trucks – go ahead walk in the middle of the street. Public Safety is #1!

Bettina Potter, 

Big Lake

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