LETTER: For the public good

To the Editor:

There is a good reason laws are written at all levels of government “for the public good.” A local example of this is when the North St. Paul City Council recently approved a road reconstruction project involving a controversial pedestrian pathway within the road right-of-way on one side of and adjacent to Lake Avenue near Silver Lake. Although the opponents made a few valid comments at the public hearing, it is my opinion they weren’t convincing enough to override the public good.

We all pay taxes to drive from point A to B on these public roads. Roads don’t just serve one neighborhood, but the whole community. Those in the Lake Avenue area who opposed the project as designed apparently want a road with no accommodation to safely separate those who want to walk to the park and motorized vehicles.

It reminds me of the mindset that a lake is their lake. Under Minnesota Law, lakes are designated as public waters because they are a resource owned by all Minnesotans. That’s why many lakes have public access ramps to accommodate the general public for the public good, just like public roads with pathways or multi-use trails built within a road right-of-way serve the public good.

Kudos to the city council for finally realizing a project like this serves the entire community and not just those who think “their” street serves only “their” neighborhood and “their” needs.

John Fax, North St. Paul

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