Lights not in plan for Columbus intersection

Issue explored at resident’s request


Paul Rignell
Columbus Reporter

Columbus residents have an option to share concerns with the city leaders in an online “suggestion box” found through a link on the city website. The public may be assured that the City Council takes all honest comments sincerely, as they talked one over Dec. 12.

A resident typed in a request Dec. 6 for lighting at the angled corner of Broadway Avenue and Kettle River Boulevard. Especially turning from Broadway onto Kettle River after dusk, it’s “too dark,” the commenter wrote. “Help!”

City employees emailed Anoka County highway staff within about an hour of receiving the resident’s note to ask about lighting over county roads. A traffic engineer replied the city should contact Connexus Energy, which could apply to the county for an installation permit.

Columbus pays for light maintenance at one other county corner, Zurich Street and Lake Drive.

Staff took a question from council Dec. 12 on whether lights around the eight-side stop sign perimeters could be a solution. City Administrator Elizabeth Mursko replied those have been considered and would not meet the county’s “warrants,” or safety criteria.

She noted the county has applied for a grant to consider a roundabout to regulate traffic at Broadway and Kettle River.

Councilmember Denny Peterson reacted to hearing “roundabout” in a manner to suggest though it could not be called a four-letter word, some in the area may consider it an “R-word” based on persistent mixed feelings for the roundabout at the east end of Broadway in Forest Lake.

Replying to this concerned citizen with talk of a roundabout, Peterson said – “That will get her attention, and we’ll get some more emails on that one.”

As of the end of the meeting Dec. 12, the Columbus council had not made a motion for contacting Connexus Energy. The council was closing its 2012 schedule with an evening meeting Dec. 26.