The residents of Little Falls, Minnesota, should be given more credit for their sense of road design than whoever designed the mess that’s called an intersection on Highway 27 on the east end of town. For those of you familiar with Little Falls, you’ll know this as the intersection where you turn to go to Wal-Mart. When a divider was put into the road along the stretch leading up to this intersection, and new traffic lights to boot, residents were wondering how we were going to manage turn-arounds from LeMieur Street, the street leading from KFC, Taco John’s, Moll Ford, MacDonald’s and etc., etc. You see, there’s no opening in the divider to let cars take a left from LeMieur Street in order to go west back into town.

The road designer’s solution was that cars should make a right from LeMieur Street, go to the traffic light and then take a U-turn. Yes, a U-turn. Any idiot could see that this was going to cause a conflict with people taking a right turn from 18th Street (the street Wal-Mart is on) onto Highway 27 because Minnesota state law allows for drivers to take a right turn on a red light.

What seemed so obvious to city residents has now become obvious to MnDOT. According to an article in the Morrison County Record (April 13, 2008, issue), the suggested solution to all of this turning confusion is to install a lighted sign that will show when drivers are allowed to turn and when they are not. Why someone didn’t think of this in the first place, I have no idea. Maybe someone should have consulted with a few residents.  (But what do we know?)

Shaking my scaly head,

Phineas F. A. Pickerel