The Killing Field

State Highway 5 through Victoria is a killing field.† It has been a killing field for a very long time.† Itís killing mobility.† Itís killing safety.† Itís killing nerves.† Itís killing patience and sometimes courtesy.† Itís killing common sense.† Itís killing confidence.† Itís killing faith in the stateís ability to grasp realities about the situation.† Itís killing minutes and hours and days.† Itís killing the spirits of thousands of people who must drive Highway 5 every day but not killing enough bodies to warrant sorely needed improvements for yet another 20 years -- as if to say we need more killing on the killing field to halt the killing.

††††††††††††††† It is insane to maneuver unnecessarily on Highway 5 during maximum congestion times each day, so I went out to snap these photos just before rush hour traffic on the afternoons of May 28th and May 29th.† It was still scary because there arenít the proper lights and lanes and I was relieved to get back home without incident.

The driver and her passengers in the photo below, waiting at the Park Drive stop sign to make a turn onto Hwy 5, are looking to their left at the traffic above, barreling in their direction.

This unlighted four-way intersection on Highway 5 (also called Arboretum Blvd) has become the most dangerous intersection in Victoria if not in all of Minnesota.† It is dangerous to turn right because oncoming traffic (see above) isnít visible below the hill; it is almost impossible to turn left.† The three white cars in the background here are stationary, hoping to make a left turn onto Park Drive before theyíre rear-ended by fast moving traffic behind them or front-ended by fast moving traffic coming toward them.† There are also cars waiting for access at this intersection from Kochia Lane, directly across from Park Drive.† It is extremely hazardous to the health and welfare of individuals and community.† This intersection is located one mile east of the downtown Victoria lighted intersection.

Highway 5 traffic from the east continues its procession up the hill toward the Park Drive intersection and downtown Victoria.

The wait to make a right turn from Park Drive seems interminable, but it is safer and easier than making a left turn.

Traffic on Highway 5 is almost always bumper to bumper.† The Park Drive intersection is at the top of the hill in the background.

The driver at Park Drive continues to wait for an opening.† The three stationary vehicles on Highway 5 await the same opening in order to turn left onto Park Drive.

It is not safe to leave or enter the Park Drive neighborhood for several hours of each day.

Finally there is an opening and the escape is made.

This is the Hwy 5 intersection located one mile to the east of the Park Drive intersection.† Although there are lights at this Victoria intersection, the lineup of cars here often backs up for miles toward Chanhassen before it snails west toward Victoria and Norwood Young America.†

People living in, and moving to, this precious quadrant of the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area are not receiving their due when it comes to safe and efficient transportation in the State of Minnesota.

One of the reasons people canít get on and off Park Drive safely is that the intersection just to the east (with Bavaria & Rolling Acres Rd) is extremely busy from all directions and seldom gives a long enough ďbreakĒ in the traffic patterns with all the right turns to the west on red.† But Rolling Acres would back clear up to Hwy 7 if right turns on red were not allowed here at Hwy 5.

Same Hwy 5 intersection with Bavaria Road/Rolling Acres Road.

Same Hwy 5 intersection with Bavaria Road/Rolling Acres Road

Same Hwy 5 intersection with Bavaria Road/Rolling Acres Road

Same Hwy 5 intersection with Bavaria Road/Rolling Acres Road

Same Hwy 5 intersection with Bavaria Road/Rolling Acres Road.† Daring souls who must use their private driveways that have access directly onto Hwy 5 find little comfort using the right turn lane, as you can see, while turning left (east) is nearly impossible for them during much of the day.

Notice the several private driveways with direct access onto Hwy 5.† These five or six homes are slated for demolition with the eventual widening of Hwy 5.† At the top of the hill is the unlighted dangerous intersection with Park Drive (to the north) and Kochia Lane (to the south).†

This stream of cars moving west through Victoria (coming from the Park Drive intersection just around the bend) is not a funeral procession, but it is a daily procession and almost ongoing.† It often stretches for miles without a break between Waconia and Chanhassen.† It becomes very dangerous for people at many Victoria businesses -- such as the Marathon Gas Station and Hi-5 Convenience Store (above), as well as Cabin Fever Sporting Goods, Subway, Rouletteís Pizza, Hartman Offices, Dr. Bakerís Building, Diggerís Polaris, Holiday Gas Station, Victoria Auto Werks, Victoria Auto Haus, Timberwall Landscape, and others -- to get onto the Highway during several hours of each day in each week.† The particular businesses just named are unlike the Victoria House or Floydís or Mackenthunís, for example, that have access to the signaled intersection in downtown Victoria.

Many times both lanes of Highway 5 are completely filled with slow moving vehicles.

Sometimes the traffic through downtown Victoria is lighter, as photographed here, but the Victoria Firefighters and their Fire and Rescue Trucks use 80th Street (see green street sign) to get onto Hwy 5 and thereís no place for cars to get out of their way when traffic is heavier.† In other words, itís not just a matter of safety; itís a matter of life and death for people who call 9-1-1.

The End

Love, Sue