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Elton Hills Drive road diet opponents win out for now

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- Potential road changes along busy Elton Hills Drive have garnered a lot of talk and community concern lately, prompting the formation of the group "Take Back Our Streets Rochester."

Rochester City Council debating decreasing the number of traffic lanes, in exchange for other changes, aimed at improving safety. But Monday night, the "no's" won out, at least for now, as the "road diet" plan has been put on the back burner.

Community members showed up to the meeting with signs voicing their displeasure with taking away a lane of traffic.

During the meeting, Rochester city staff recommended just that, moving to a three lane road with bike lanes and only one side of parking.

However city council members eventually decided to table any changes for Elton Hills Drive, choosing to wait for another 3 to 5 years to revisit the road. Something some community members consider a win.

"We were just a bunch of concerned community neighborhood members who decided to take this issue up and luckily for the time being we won and hopefully in the future when they do bring this up, we'll have a different set of [city council] members and they'll see the same thing we see," said Take Back Our Streets member, Jason Tupper.

While major road changes are being put on hold, city council did say they would be willing to look at minor safety changes on an individual basis.

Something community members feel is the right way to move forward, Tupper says he hopes to see a new stoplight at 9th Avenue NW.

Holden Krusemark

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