Opponents continue quest to eliminate rumble strips

East End residents are not happy about the new rumble strips recently installed by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) on Highway 61 between Grand Marais and the Canadian border. On September 10, citizens were on hand to speak to the county commissioners personally about the matter during the public comment portion of the county board meeting. 
Citizens were informed that the county board supported their opposition with a letter to Minnesota Transportation Commissioner Charles Zelle written September 4, 2013.
Bob Carter thanked the board for the letter but asked for a resolution decrying the rumble strips.  “For those of us who live there and hear them every day, day and night, they’re intolerable,” he said. 
Carter said people who live as far as two miles from the highway can hear them.  He said he had heard from over 60 people who are bothered by them. 
Commissioner Garry Gamble said when they presented the letter to the transportation commissioner the commissioner listened and seemed responsive. 
Gamble acknowledged that there are a lot of deaths on Highway 61 and said they want to protect public safety but also reduce the noise.
“We’re not opposed to public safety,” said Carter.  He said people who move up here know the highway is there and are prepared for traffic noise.  “There’s a huge difference between the sound of traffic and rumble strips,” he said.
The letter to the transportation commissioner states “While the safety goal is one we support, the Cook County Board of Commissioners and many, many residents along Highway 61 have concerns about the negative impacts resulting from the length and location of these recently installed centerline rumble strips.”
The letter asks for data on the number and causes of Highway 61 accidents in Cook County.  It suggests that the rumble strips will decrease quality of life and property values and negatively impact the tourist industry.
The board asks the commissioner to send MnDOT personnel to Grand Marais to discuss the issue at a public meeting.