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home : columns : rahn larson
July 18, 2019

6/12/2019 10:24:00 AM
Road rage in Windom
The caller on line 1 was clearly an angry motorist, but I wouldn't put her in the "road rage is OK" camp.
"Could you please write something about the traffic at the McDonald's corner?" she pleaded.
She was neither the first nor the last to make that request. Your wish is my command.
Road rage is not common in Windom. The closest we typically get to a traffic jam is when a Toro shift ends.
So the slow-downs at McDonald's and across Highway 60-71 at Casey's, are a fairly big deal. The key factor is this summer's Highway 60-71 resurfacing project.
The four-lane highway has been funneled down to two lanes, starting near McDonald's and Casey's. That leaves a stretch of six or seven blocks with no opportunity to turn or cross.
So, at the Casey's-McDonald's corner, folks either exit Highway 60-71 in search of a parallel north-south street (First or Third Avenue), or they simply cross the highway.
The other day, while waiting for the traffic signal at that intersection, I saw a few cars waiting behind an eastbound Impala driver who was determined to turn left into McDonald's. Cars waited behind her, stacked up to the highway.
A couple of cars back, a guy behind the wheel of a blue sedan was literally pounding on his steering wheel.
That's classic "Minnesota Nice" - hammer the wheel, rather than make a scene. In New York, the driver would have hit the horn six times, screamed out the window and added a "one-finger-salute.
The caller pointed out there are back exits at Casey's and McDonald's. Sitting too long in one spot is not a good idea, she added.
Let caution be your guide near Highway 60-71 entrances. I'll add two more suggestions:
• If you are leaving a business that serves food, don't start munching until you are well out of the area.
• Keep an eye out for youngsters trying to cross the highway to get to ballparks on the east side, or the pool at Island Park.

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