While neither rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night may keep U.S. Postal Service carriers from their appointed rounds, Brainerd's Laurel Street reconstruction is giving fits to people who'd like to mail a package from the Post Office.
Laurel Street runs through the center of the downtown business district and the burgeoning government campus. The road reconstruction project extends from East River Road to South Sixth Street -- from the fire hall to the Borden, Steinbauer, Krueger and Knudson law office. It runs past the Brainerd Post Office, The Crow Wing County Courthouse and the Brainerd City Hall.
The problem is parking. There was no off-street parking before the construction project and parking is even more scarce now that Laurel Street is torn up.
A certain amount of inconvenience is to be expected when a major thoroughfare is torn up but better planning and communication between our government entities would likely have made the adjustment smoother for postal patrons and the customers of the law firms and optometrists on Laurel Street.
City Council member Bob Olson has maintained that a solution to the parking problem should have been worked out long before the construction season began. His colleague on the council, Mary Koep, pointed out that at least two public hearings on the Laurel Street were conducted and representatives of the post office didn't attend to raise any concerns.
As in most cases where communication is lacking, there's plenty of blame to go around. The post office and Brainerd City Hall are literally a stone's throw away from each other. How hard would it have been for officials from the two organizations to sit down and map out some of the likely problems that would be caused by the Laurel Street reconstruction?
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