What’s The Worst Intersection In Brainerd/Baxter?

Is there any contest as to which intersection in Brainerd is the worst?  And how should one define “worst?”

To me, there is no contest, when it comes to a long wait, anyway:  It’s at Northwest 4th and Washington Street/Hwy 210 in front of Walgreens.  That light has to be the  l o n g e s t  light in the history of the city.  As I pulled up to take the attached photo, OF COURSE it was red as I was on NW 4th heading north from CLC toward Walgreens.  Stopped.  Always stopped.  As I approached, I did a “sort-of” timing as to how long I was there… it was AT LEAST 90 seconds.  Which, if I think about it, 90 seconds is not going to kill me, but WHY, sweet mother of Kelly Clarkson, does it always seem to TAKE FOREVER!?

I was mercifully not turning right to go toward downtown and stuck behind that first person in the right lane who doesn’t pull up just far enough for you to sneak between that car and the curb in front of the Simplified Notions shop.  Even if you DO get lucky to sneak by, the next car in line to go straight blocks the next person.  I vote for a right turn lane there…. but not at the cost of the store.  I guess my definition of “worst” is the one that holds me up.  Others think there are more dangerous intersections… or annoying intersections.  Read on.

I asked around the radio station to see what some of my co-workers had to say:

Bill Satre commutes from the Garrison area to get to Baxter and is having a real issue with the intersection of Hwy 25 that now has to turn north onto 8th Ave. NE to get to the lights on Washington Street to turn left.  The little short cut has been barricaded and it’s driving Bill a bit nuts to have to zig-zag north to that light when before, he could scoot-on over and get onto 210 with no light.

Dan Goshey lives in Deerwood, but works in Baxter and his least favorite intersection is just north of the Brainerd Police Department and Fire Department…which is N. 1st Street & Washington/210.  His complaint is that when heading north on 1st toward Washington, simply trying to take a right onto eastbound Washington is very difficult because there are vehicles from a dealership parked right up to the curb (which he does not blame them for, it’s their business), but he says inching out ever-so slowly to try to get onto Washington has been tricky and slightly treacherous.

Ken Thomas recalled his last accident and went straight to that intersection, which is NW 4th Street and James Street… right BEHIND Walgreens.  He says getting onto NW 4th from James to go north or south is almost impossible during heavy traffic times.  He got nailed there a time ago… and YES, that one, to me, is certainly a contender!  I think the city has a plan for that stretch of NW 4th from Washington to Jackson Street by the Essentia Health Sports Center which may alleviate some of that congestion.  Dare we say, Roundabout?

Roundabouts.  That’s a “whole ‘nother blog.”