Buses will stay on Monroe Street in Spring Lake Park

Spring Lake Park city staff met with Metro Transit Jan. 9 to discuss busing on Monroe Street.

There are 12 bus stops on Monroe Street in Spring Lake Park, a street little more than a mile long.Photo by Olivia Koester

There are 12 bus stops on Monroe Street in Spring Lake Park, a street little more than a mile long.Photo by Olivia Koester

With construction scheduled to close Monroe for several months starting in June, the city wanted to give Metro Transit advance notice, according to City Engineer Phil Gravel.

Bus traffic will detour onto Terrace Road for the duration of the construction, as it has in the past for the Tower Days Parade and other events, City Administrator Dan Buchholtz said.

Many living on Monroe Street asked for the buses to be rerouted permanently at a public hearing for the 2014-2015 street improvement project Nov. 18. The project calls for construction on Monroe Street and University Avenue Service Road this summer and Arthur Street, 81st Avenue and Township Highway 65 Service Drive in 2015.

Duane Stombaugh told the council that traffic, including buses, travels down Monroe Street at speeds well above the legal limit.

Echoing Stombaugh’s comments about buses whizzing by, Jolene Alger Hansen added that each time they drive by her home, her house shakes.

Asking Monroe Street residents to raise their hands in agreement, Barbara Bisschoff called for the buses to be eliminated in an impassioned address to the city council.

“I don’t think they’ll get eliminated,” Gravel said at the hearing, but he promised to speak with Metro Transit and see if there were buses that could be rerouted to calm traffic on the street.

There aren’t, the city discovered at its meeting Jan. 9.

“They have adequate ridership to continue on with their current schedule,” Buchholtz said.

Metro Transit has not considered rerouting buses that travel up and down Monroe, and it is unlikely to do so, Metro Transit Public Relations Specialist Drew Kerr said in an interview this week. Buses have used Monroe Street for more than 40 years, Kerr added.

The city did confirm that out-of-service buses do not drive down Monroe; they take University Avenue.

“There’s not any buses on Monroe that don’t belong there,” Gravel said.

Olivia Koester is at olivia.koester@ecm-inc.com

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