LETTER: Resident blows whistle on Century Avenue hazard


The railroad intersection with Century Avenue was recently upgraded to help avoid collisions after Oakdale receives railroad quiet zone designation. However, a Maplewood cyclist sees the curb added to this intersection as a hazard for Centry Avenue’s non-motorized users.

To the Editor:

It appears Oakdale conducted a project at four different locations where the railroad crosses streets in Oakdale and Maplewood. As an avid cyclist and advocate for cycling issues, I am not on board with this action. Attached is a photo of Century Avenue just south of Larpenteur Avenue. The photo shows a newly installed and dangerous obstruction to those of us that use the roadway shoulder, such as walkers, joggers, wheelchairs and cyclists. This obstruction on the right shoulder is only on Century Avenue and not the other three crossings recently upgraded. 

This action railroaded through by Oakdale has endangered those of us that use our roadway shoulders for our  transportation needs becoming a safety issue for both motorized and non-motorized users by forcing us onto the roadway with no alternative. 

The obstruction is located in Maplewood not Oakdale. As soon as it was installed without due process to Maplewood or Ramsey County stakeholders, I contacted both Oakdale and Maplewood as well as MnDOT officials to raise safety concerns. I explained to them that with more than fifty years of cycling across America and Europe, I have never seen such an obstruction to cyclists at a railroad crossing. Their response was that they didn’t understand the thinking behind it and could not explain either. 

I am hoping this letter can sound a horn and recall this issue back to the station for a sound resolution that we all can be on board with.

Ron Cockriel, Maplewood

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