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County Road 6 Change Alters Commute

The intersection at County Rd 6 and Old Crystal Bay Road has changed, surprising some students at the beginning of the school year.

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The first day of school was met with surprise for students who did not drive near the school campus this summer.

To reduce the risk of accidents, the City of Orono, Hennepin County, the Orono Police Department and the Orono School District coordinated a traffic redirect at the intersection of County Road 6 and Old Crystal Bay Road. Commuters used to entering the campus from the East on County Road 6 have had to find new routes to school, as reflective delineator poles block off the entrance from that direction. The change has resulted in new traffic patterns and residential complaints; however with time, the initial chaos has diminished.

The first two weeks of school have been met with an influx of late students, although it is not possible to judge if the increased tardiness is a result of the traffic redirect or students still adjusting to the start of the school year. More busses have arrived later than usual as well. School Liaison Officer Tony White said that the bulk of the traffic has been moved to Kelley Parkway and Wayzata Blvd. West, but more cars have started to enter from the other side of County Road 6.

The first day of school was a traffic jam for those entering Old Crystal Bay Road from the South; luckily, the congestion has improved as more students have opted to arrive to school earlier.

The OHS main office has also felt the change, as upset parents and nearby residents have called the office with questions and complaints. Those who live along County Road 6 have had to endure school commuters using their yards and driveways as turning points. U-turns, albeit less common now than they had been at the start of the school year, have also been a source of annoyance.

The delineator poles will stay at least for the fall semester. Director of Public Works for the City of Orono Adam Edwards said that if the traffic change is successful then it will be made permanent.

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County Road 6 Change Alters Commute