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Answer Man: Crosswalk at Saint Marys may go away

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A plan for the redesign of Second Street Southwest past Saint Marys Hospital includes doing away with the pedestrian crossing out front of Saint Marys' Tower Building entrance. The plans remain up for grabs.

Dear Answer Man, I've read a lot about the transportation study along Second Street Southwest and how it's one of the hangups for the new hotel planned there, etc. What does the study actually call for? I've heard that the crosswalk in front of Saint Marys Hospital might go away.

It might. I heard this a few weeks ago, and after the car-pedestrian accident last month in front of Saint Marys, it's an especially important concept. The plan would be to divert pedestrians toward new crossings at 12th and 13th avenues Southwest. As you probably know, those are now unofficial crossings where people take their lives into their own hands, even during rush hour.

To begin at the top, the city has been working on Second Street from downtown to West Circle Drive for years. The only segment left is the trickiest, from 11th Avenue -- the Virgil's corner, as most of us know it, and I've heard interesting gossip about that corner, by the way -- to 16th, past Saint Marys.

Construction was planned tentatively to begin in 2017, but all bets are off on the timetable. Dillon Dombrovski, the city public works construction manager, said this morning it's on hold, as a result of DMC planning related to Saint Marys, the proposed Holiday Inn, the possibility of a pedestrian tunnel under Second Street from Saint Marys to that proposed hotel, the need to incorporate bus and transit plans and some neighborhood concerns.

You also can toss into that salad bowl the possible changes on the west side of Saint Marys, where there's been talk about new culs-de-sac and streets to deal with congestion around there.


By the time they get this all sorted out, we'll all be driving battery-powered cars, and there'll be a Zip Rail terminal along U.S. 52.

But you might be interested in the plan as it stands, and I'll add links online. There was an open house at the United Way building in October and planners got an earful at that time. The plans were developed by Stantec Consulting Services, the international planning firm, which has an office in Rochester .

Dear Answer Man, there's a new Mexican restaurant in Red Wing called Fiesta Cancun. Is that the Fiesta Mexicana under new ownership?

No, it's a whole new fiesta. Fiesta Mexicana has been there for years at 2918 N. Service Road, west of downtown along U.S. Highway 61, and was owned by the same people who also have the Rochester restaurant by that name. The new Fiesta Cancun is at 240 Harrison St., closer to downtown. The latter is owned by a family that has three other restaurants in the metro area.

Anything with the word "Cancun" in it sounds magical to me at this time of year.

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