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Editorial: Speed limit needs to be lowered

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Last week we wrote of the importance of getting a portable barrier erected on Highway 61 to keep southbound traffic from crossing into the northbound lanes, and vice versa.

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This week, we are proposing one more change to the area. All it would take are a few white and black signs.

Let's lower the speed limit between the base of the bridge and the intersection with U.S. Highway 10. And let's get it done right away.

What's the right speed limit there? We're convinced the roadway would be dramatically safer and fewer lives would be lost if we could lower the speed limit to 40 mph in that stretch of road.

Thanks, it appears, to prodding done by residents and elected officials, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is studying the area.

We think their study should be a quick one: Six people have died on the small stretch of road in five years. The crashes have been horrific, as was the one May 3 that claimed the life of a young veteran who served two tours in Iraq and leaves behind a wife and two children.

A barrier would have saved his life.

A lower speed limit could have lessened the severity of the crash altogether.

Yes, drivers need to take responsibility for their actions. We don't mean to discount their role in all this, but the simple truth is that the current situation on the road has led to far too many deaths for it to remain the same.

There's a problem.

So let's get it fixed.

If you'd like to voice your opinion, we'd encourage you to contact Lynn Clarkowski at MnDOT via e-mail. She is the south area manager and her e-mail address is lynn.clarkow ski@dot.state.mn.us.

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