Et Cetera …

One-way creates speed

We found it instructive this week to consider a Fairmont City Council decision on a petition submitted by residents living on Lake Park Boulevard. They wanted the city to make their narrow street a one-way, with parking on one side.

One thing on the mind of residents is speeding vehicles on the street. But the police chief noted that making a street a one-way will actually increase traffic speeds. And data show that the traffic on the street is slower than residents believe, and accidents are actually rare.

So the council rightly agreed to limit the parking, but not create a one-way.

Cooperation continues

Martin and Faribault counties have been leaders in government innovation, working together to streamline services. Rather than create duplicate costs in neighboring counties, the two entities have been involved in a more regional approach.

And so it goes again. The two now could become partners in their transit systems. The Minnesota Department of Transportation hopes a study to be done next year will reveal whether combining operations makes sense.

We know the two counties will do all they can to help make things work.

Cities should help pay

Faribault County commissioners are absolutely correct in wanting to have cities help in the cleanup of properties that create a public hazard. The most recent worry is a house in Frost that burned more than a year ago. It is uninhabited and not secured. Demolition is estimated to cost $10,000.

That is the bill the county is facing. A state law makes hazardous properties a county’s responsibility. Of course, that doesn’t make it right. Taxpayers throughout the county will pay the bill, but Frost – and its taxpayers – will be benefit the most. Frost should pay half the cost, as should other cities in similar situations.

Tough choices remain

Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., have formulated a short-term compromise to end the government shutdown and raise the nation’s borrowing limit. The fix is rightly short-term because the long-term problems are going to require some creative thinking and a lot of political courage.

House and Senate budget committee members will now meet to talk about the nation’s current and looming fiscal challenges. There is no reason they cannot formulate a workable solution. But they must choose to cooperate rather than fight.