New Highway 252 Safety Task Force holds meetings on construction project
The proposed Highway 252 construction project in Hennepin County has been discussed for years, but Brooklyn Center City Council is doing something new by giving residents a seat at the table as plans are being drafted.
An environmental review is underway to develop plans to reduce congestion, improve safety and address reliability on Highway 252 between Highway 610 in Brooklyn Park and Interstate 694 in Brooklyn Center, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
The Brooklyn Center City Council approved the "252 Safety Task Force" proclamation for the citizen group to examine traffic safety, the environmental impact, bus service, the impact on Brooklyn Center communities, pollution and the increase of traffic on Highway 252 and on other Brooklyn Center Streets.
"This is not a situation where we are against fixing 252," Stephen Cooper, a 252 Safety Task Force member, said. "We're enthusiastically in favor of it but we need it done in a way 10 years later people saying, 'My goodness, why didn't we do it right.'"
The new committee held two meetings the first week of February at Brooklyn Center City Hall.
"I've lived here since 1985, I was here before Highway 252 was constructed," task force member Thomas Kouri said. "It affects the quality of life of our residents."
Kouri said the safety of the locations of the proposed ramps to get on the possible six-lane freeway is key to reducing collisions and accessibility for residents.
The 2.6-mile stretch of Highway 252 has five troubled intersections that make it on the top 100 Statewide Crash Cost ranking, according to state data. Those include:
- Hwy 252 and 66th Avenue North—Brooklyn Center
- Hwy 252 and 73rd Avenue North—Brooklyn Center
- Hwy 252 and 85th Avenue North—Brooklyn Park
- Hwy 252 and Brookdale Drive—Brooklyn Park
- Hwy 252 and Humboldt Avenue North—Brooklyn Park.
State data estimates more than 60,000 vehicles travel down that stretch of road in Hennepin County daily.
"There have been different concerns that have percolated up, lots and lots people upset, lots of people have been concerned," Cooper said at various neighborhood meetings over the years.
But now the citizen meetings will be held at City Hall in Brooklyn Center and are open to any resident.
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