Rolf Standfuss: What is wrong with U.S. Highway 71 J-turns north of Willmar?
What's wrong: This occurred two days in row that I happen to be traveling on North 71/23. I can only imagine how many times a day this happens.
I traveled U.S. Highway 71 north of Willmar recently, on Dec.1 and Dec. 2.
On. Dec. 1, as I entered Highway 71 from the Minnesota Highway 23 bypass, my friend and I noticed a vehicle rushing across Highway 71 at the J turn, coming from the west on County Road 90 (in the wrong lane) proceeding through the J turn area and entering County Road 90 to the east. This vehicle narrowly avoided oncoming traffic from the south in both lanes.
On Dec. 2, as I was heading to St Cloud and entering, as I did Dec. 1, with two trucks following my family and me off of the bypass, two vehicles coming from the south on 71 merged with us. Then suddenly one of the vehicles in the left lane slammed on its brakes to make a left turn into the J turn at County Road 90 instead of proceeding to the correct J turn to make a legal left.
The vehicle following closely behind them slammed on its brakes and as I saw brake lights come on and didn’t know if he would be able to stop or would come over in my lane, I applied my brakes and was able to continue.
I am pretty sure the truck drivers behind me cussed us out as they were barreling down on us in both lanes. We narrowly avoided a tragic accident.
I believe there is a design problem or there should be better signage or have a Kandiyohi County Deputy or Minnesota State Trooper be there to hand out citations for these drivers that are taking dangerous shortcuts.
This occurred two days in row that I happen to be traveling on North 71/23. I can only imagine how many times a day this happens.
If this continues, I believe that it is only a matter of time before students heading to the Willmar Senior High School will come across one of these situations and then we all will regret this design.