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City Council drops proposal to reconstruct Morningside Avenue

City engineers were considering turning the stretch of Morningside Avenue between South Lakeport and South Nicollet streets into one lane in each direction with a turning lane in the center.

Tonight's City council meeting was full of people opposed to that plan. In fact, that the council decided to drop it from the agenda.

An employer along that strip, Bill Drilling's said, "I just can't imagine what it would be like...the traffic flow would be like having Morningside avenue, Transit and South Saint Aubin all feed into one lane of traffic on Morningside Avenue. I mean it would just be bumper to bumper traffic all day long."

That's just one of the many opinions voiced at the meeting about proposed changes to Morningside Avenue that would reduce it to three lanes with diagonal back- in parking replacing current parallel parking spots.

That proposed change didn't sit well with business owners in the area.

Drilling also said, "It would basically render all the parking in front of our businesses useless because I mean people would not be able to get in or get out of the parking places."

Instead of approving the change, after hearing the overwhelming opposition, the council decided to remove the plans from its agenda.

Mayor Bob Scott, agreed with most of the public's concern and said he doesn't understand the need for such change.

"It's worked for a hundred years. I grew up within blocks of that place and why we want to change it as dramatic as we're talking, I don't understand it. So, I think the business owners they have a legitimate argument", Scott said.

Many employees were elated that the Mayor was on the same page.

"I thought he was awesome. He was dead spot on with every one of his comments. Ya know, he lives that area as well. He works there. He sees it every day. What happens in theory in the book isn't necessarily what happens in reality on the street", Sharon Drilling said.

Public Works Director David Carney says the idea of back- in diagonal parking would ultimately increase safety for drivers.

"We didn't...wouldn't propose head in diagonal parking because pulling/backing out on Morningside Avenue would be a dangerous situation. We opted to look into back-in angled parking", Carney explained.

With the council removing the item from its agenda, its future is uncertain.

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