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Letter: Action on MnDOT safety outcomes essential before DMC makeover

Recent Post-Bulletin articles have described the vast nature of Destination Medical Center plans to reinvent how downtown Rochester looks.

Have city and county officials been so busy strolling dazed through the Michelangelo-esque dreams drawn by the Mayo Clinic artists, gazing open-mouthed, that they have completely forgotten to do their jobs?

A 15-year-long divisive fight led to a recent $500,000 detailed examination of Rochester's existing rail transportation infrastructure, encompassing all of the concerns raised and the complete universe of alternatives to ensure its safety. The Minnesota Department of Transportation recommended "the local agencies should take action to ensure preservation of this asset ... as a multipurpose transportation corridor" for freight and passenger rail. Further, "Olmsted County, the Olmsted County Regional Rail Authority, the city of Rochester and (the Rochester-Olmsted Council of Governments) should cooperate in mapping, defining and designating the corridor as a valuable transportation asset and zone or restrict the land appropriately to confine future use and property transfers in the corridor to this use. ... Parcels adjacent to the railroad ... should be zoned for land uses that are compatible with freight and potential passenger rail. ... All local government jurisdictions were represented in the discussion and strongly recommended further work on this issue."

If they were so concerned about safety, why have they buried this important study? Why has acting on these important recommendations not been a priority?

John Meyer

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Stewartville

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