October 2, 2008

A safety issue

A safety issue

Bigger may not always be better. Sometimes "bigger" can create problems.

That is just one of the reasons that the Garrison Chamber of Commerce’s Governmental Affairs Committee is proposing that County 15 should be widened.

At Monday’s committee meeting, members expressed concern that the county road leading from Garrison to Fort Stevenson State Park is ripe for disaster.

"Shouldn’t our goal be to widen that road with the size of recreational vehicles now days?" That question, posed by Bruce Schreiner, generated additional concern about vehicle size. Others in the group offered related concerns about the size of farm equipment that travels on County 15.

With a current width of approximately 26 feet, the road doesn’t provide ample room for a motorist to safely pull over in the event of a flat tire noted Dick Messerly, state park manager.

Steve Brannan, superintendent of the Garrison School District, aired another safety concern. He said the present width of the road doesn’t allow the school bus to pull off the traffic lane to pick up children on its route. Brannan noted that the issue is even more dangerous during the winter months when the roadway is still dark when the children board. "It does need to be widened," Brannan said.

Although the committee has previously discussed the addition of a walking/bike path between Garrison and the state park, that idea has taken a back seat to the hopes for a general widening of the road to accommodate larger vehicles and increased traffic that is anticipated after the completion of Garrison Bay Marina.

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