The e-mail, one of scores the department receives daily, arrived on July 16
at Mn/DOT’s Information Center in the Central Office. Urgent but not brusque
in tone, the message described a situation the writer termed as hazardous at
the intersection of Hwy 12 and Hennepin County Road 6 in Orono.
The writer, Jan Hedberg of Mound, said faded centerline markings made turn
lane boundaries unclear, creating a hazardous situation.
"This is a potentially dangerous intersection, even when the lanes are
marked clearly, due to the off-center left turn lane heading west on Hwy 12,"
Hedberg wrote. "Recently, when approaching the intersection westbound on
Hwy 12 to turn left on County Road 6, a motorist making a right-hand turn to
travel east on Highway 12, thinking the white line was the center of the road,
entered our lane, approaching us head-on. This was in the daytime in clear conditions.
Please hear my plea and address this situation!"
Hedberg’s plea was sent on to the Metro District’s where it reached Dave Schmidt,
traffic services supervisor.
"We got the note and checked it out," he said.
Schmidt said the intersection is a "high shear" area—where vehicles
turning on sand left from winter maintenance operations rubbed off about a 60-foot
section of the markings.
"It was part of our plan for striping," he said, "but upon hearing
the citizen’s concern, we addressed it as soon as we could."
On July 19, Hedberg contacted Mn/DOT again, expressing her gratitude that the
situation had been quickly resolved.
"Thank you so much for responding to my request and painting the center
line on Hwy 12 so promptly. Whether it was already scheduled and a coincidence,
or whether my e-mail had an impact on getting it done, I am very relieved and
appreciative. It makes a huge difference!"
By Craig Wilkins