Some Kasson community members oppose new roundabouts on Hwy 57

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(ABC 6 News) – In a small town like Kasson, the idea of installing two roundabouts in town has become quite a divisive issue.

The plan is for the city to put two new roundabouts on highway 57 in Kasson. The project wouldn’t begin until 2022.

A group of community members in Kasson are fighting that change. At a public information meeting Thursday, they said they would rather have traffic lights in their city.

Also at that meeting, Kent Keller, who lives in Kasson stood up and took over the state’s presentation with his own anti-roundabout slideshow.

Some people were concerned about the pedestrian crossings at the roundabouts.

"What we’re gonna have is people getting hit by cars rather than cars hitting cars," one man in the crowd said.

The city engineer said the pedestrian crosswalks are separated from the roundabout and clearly marked.

"There has been zero pedestrian crashes in Minnesota since roundabouts have been built," one roundabout engineer at the meeting said.

Mike Dougherty with the Department of Transportation said the roundabouts are meant to improve both safety and traffic flow.

"While people think traffic signals are safer when you think about it, you still have to rely on somebody stopping when they’re supposed to stop, and that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes they’re racing that light trying to get through it and that’s when you have some of those bad crashed happen," Dougherty said.

The city and MnDOT held the public information meeting as a chance for the community and city to share ideas and information. No decisions were made.

The construction of the roundabouts is still planned for next summer. They will be placed on highway 57 at the county road 34 and main street intersections.