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Make Downtown More Pedestrian-Friendly

By Staff | Jun 30, 2015

To the Editor:

On several occasions recently I have run into friends or acquaintances on the streets in downtown Emmetsburg. We tried to stop and have a conversation. However, the drive-through truck traffic was moving so fast, was so loud, was so dusty, and so disruptive we could not hear each other talking. We finally gave up. Last Thursday I worked with fellow members of Trinity Episcopal Church (corner of Lake & Main Streets) in cleaning up the courtyard on the East side of the Church. Again, the truck traffic was so loud and disruptive that each time one passed, and there were many, we had to stop talking.

Now that the official truck bypasses are complete, it is time for Emmetsburg to ENFORCE our local city speed limit of 25 MPH and require trucks who are not Emmetsburg-bound to use the appropriate bypasses. I hear truckers “don’t like the turn they have to make” Southbound on Route 4. As a state highway that should be a DOT or County issue and if it needs correction, then we need to communicate that to the proper entity. Our downtown should not have to suffer the noise, dirt and damage that these trucks do as they thunder through Emmetsburg.

It is also clear that we need our Pedestrian Crossing signs replaced now that street lines have been repainted. Crossing to Hughes Drugs or the Pizza Ranch can be hazardous to your health!

As before, I am asking City Council to direct our law enforcement officers to secure appropriate signage for posted speed limits, post signage reminding drivers that we ENFORCE our speed limits, and directing truck traffic to use the bypasses. A few tickets issued upon violations will get the message out loud and clear, not to mention the benefits of additional revenues into our city. Without exception, EVERYONE with whom I speak on this topic agrees that the truck traffic is a MAJOR unpleasant issue in Emmetsburg. We CAN do something about it. Please, please, let’s do it NOW! Downtown needs to be more pedestrian-friendly is we want to encourage people to be there!

(signed) Margay B. Grose

Emmetsburg IA