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Input Topic: Ashman & Rodd Two-Way Conversion

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Traffic Flow

City Hall said about 1 year ago:

Traffic Flow

The City's Complete Streets Policy, approved in 2010, directs City staff to review its street network to ensure it accommodates all forms of travel; including automobiles, bicycles, pedestrians, personal mobility devices, transit and freight. With this in mind, the City has been considering the future of Ashman and Rodd Streets since at least 2016 in conjunction with Downtown Development Authority, Center City Authority, and MDOT projects. 

While one-ways were traditionally designed to move as many vehicles as quickly as possible from one area to another, research has shown that two-way streets have been found to be as efficient (or even more efficient!) as one-way streets in individual trip-serving efficiency. Click here for more information about this. In February 2022, the City contracted engineering firm OHM Advisors to study Ashman and Rodd to determine if they could function efficiently as two-way streets. 

For reference: The photo to the right provides a summary chart of the findings from OHM's study of Ashman and Rodd. (You can read the full study and find this chart in PDF form here.)

Key takeaways from this study include:

  • Both Ashman and Rodd Streets function at an acceptable level for traffic operations as one-way streets and can also meet this same requirement as two-way streets.
  • The capacity of Ashman and Rodd is adequate with excess space for the volume of traffic they handle as one-way streets. While there would be less roadway capacity with a two-way street conversion, the ability of the streets to handle these traffic volumes remains adequate.
  • For more information on traffic volumes currently found on Ashman and Rodd Streets, check out the "Traffic Safety" post in this survey.

Based on the information provided above, please provide any comments or concerns relevant to traffic flow within the Ashman and Rodd corridors only.

43 comments

Name not shown about 1 year ago

We as a city must have a better use of resources than to spend time and money on converting two acceptable, functioning one way streets to two way streets. Talk about searching for solutions to problems that don't exist. First the "road diet" nonsense and now this nonsense. We need to spend resources on things that matter and are problematic like our horrid sewer system and our the ongoing loss of power in this town, the many many deteriorated city streets to name a few issues. I've lived here on an off for over 30 yrs and can't think of one legitimate problem having Ashman and Rodd as one way streets. This entire conversation is beyond silly. We have a wonderful community with a lot of smart, caring people who do a lot of good for the City of Midland...this Ashman/Rodd discussion needs to put to bed and let the fine people of Midland help where help is needed.

 

Name not shown about 1 year ago

Thank you for this comment. I agree.

 

Shelley Hobbs about 1 year ago

Other cities have changed their one-way streets to two-way with positive results. As a native of Midland, I remember the line of cars going into and out of Dow every day. You could tell time by it! Without that level of traffic daily, it is time for us to change too! Let's do it!

 

Name not shown about 1 year ago

What gain would come of the change?

 

Sally Youn about 1 year ago

I think the current two one-way configuration is most convenient for my daily travel needs. It allows me a direct connection to the Center City area and to avoid the higher speed, higher traffic corridors of Buttles/Indian and Eastman to get home. I would recommend making the right-most lane of Ashman at Indian a right-turn-only lane (similar to how the left-most lane becomes left-turn-only at Buttles), maybe with a green arrow signal to minimize accidents.

 

Name not shown about 1 year ago

As a lifelong Midlander, I find the circle and downtown areas very confusing for many drivers. While I drive Ashman and Rodd very often, and also own a commercial building at Rodd and Saginaw Rd. With this in mind, I am supportive of changing to two way streets. I usually agree with the info that the traffic consultants come up with. As with many issues facing Midland infrastructure, we can improve our city with quality, educated thought.

 

paul ormiston about 1 year ago

One observation I would make is the fact that to turn around and go east or west, traffic often uses many of the narrow, unmarked streets which run between Rodd and Ashman. These "side" streets also are at times congested by parked vehicles. I believe that making the changes being considered would make the side-streets safer for all traffic, including pedestrian. If may even increase the value of these homes.

 

Name not shown about 1 year ago

I live in a neighborhood off of Ashman, east of the Circle, and use Ashman and Rodd streets frequently. I have several concerns about these streets both becoming two-way. First, I feel Ashman will get heavier use since it goes quite a bit further east than Rodd, and it's closer to the more numerous neighborhoods to the north. Second, having both east and west bound lanes with presumably a turn lane in between will cause a slow-down in traffic for vehicles turning right or vehicles that need to pass a bicyclist and don't have enough space to the left. Third, it will make the section of Cambridge between Rodd and Ashman more difficult to cross or turn left, since there will be two-way traffic on Ashman to the west. Fourth, right now traffic can turn left from Ashman to Jefferson or Saginaw at the Circle, but with oncoming traffic that will be much more difficult to do even with a dedicated left-turn light, which means the Circle might need to be used for traffic flow instead of business parking. Or you just can't take Jefferson from Ashman any more, and require traffic to go to Rodd? I'm afraid I see a lot of problems and no benefits.

 

Name not shown about 1 year ago

I don't see Ashman getting more use here. For example, I wouldn't need to use Ashman at all to access the things I want on Rodd, as someone who lives North of Saginaw Rd.

 

Rhonda Lytle about 1 year ago

If the one ways, become two ways I have concerns with the current amount of traffic using 3 lanes, reduced to one lane, with a turn lane in the center , it will be much less efficient.
I don’t understand why a change is necessary. Same thing with this ridiculous need to change Buttles & Indian. I would love to see dollars spent to replace the sidewalks along these roads to accommodate more pedestrians, currently they are in very poor shape. I think it’s dangerous to reduce these roads to two lanes, causing difficulties for emergency vehicles to get through. Also, the traffic lights along this corridor should be pedestrian controlled crossings for safer pedestrian usage. Which is what is currently the statement given for the needed changes. Try pushing a stroller on these sidewalks or walking with children on bicycles or an elderly person with a walker, These poorly maintained sidewalks are dangerous. Let’s spend our money on logical solutions.

 

Tim Priddy about 1 year ago

The powers-that-be think slowing down traffic will increase their profit bottom line. They think that given a slowed down traffic, people will want to magically go downtown to eat an overpriced macaron, or go drink way overpriced and over-proofed beer. Or perhaps go to a Loons game. They think that slowing us all down will help to restore brick and mortar business models that are failing, and will continue to fail.

 

Marilee Morin about 1 year ago

I'm interested to know whether traffic lights would be installed near the church schools and Kroger.
Kroger has issues already with traffic flow and I believe getting into and out of their parking lot will become the scene of many traffic accidents and other issues.
I do not see this addressed in any of your pictures or diagrams.
So can you explain how 3000+ customers per day will be utilizing your two way street diagram?
And the church and church school already cause a bottleneck, I'm just thinking that more information needs to be shared in at least those areas if not in other areas that I have not seen or paid attention to

 

Jerry Crane about 1 year ago

Spend OUR money on a new Farmer’s Market instead of converting one way streets to two way streets and forcing people to get sump pumps

 

Name not shown about 1 year ago

There are many more pressing issues that need addressed. I was told it coat a million dollars a mile to completely redo a road. Maybe we should spend the money repaving streets in the neighborhoods. There are many that could use it. Plus the idea of 2 way traffic by Kroger would be a mess like trying to get out of Meijer or Walmart. We don't need to have another area like that in town.

 

Name not shown about 1 year ago

I have yet to see an explanation for the "problem" that the city is trying to solve. If there is a concern that traffic on the two streets is moving too fast, then slow it down. Lights, stop signs, traffic circles, speed bumps, actual enforcement of the existing limits which are totally ignored by most, whatever it would take for the residents to feel that they were living in a residential space. But two way traffic as a solution? Really? Much harder and more perilous for cars entering/leaving driveways, more difficult for pedestrians, more difficult for cyclists. So who would benefit?

 

Robin U’Ren about 1 year ago

First off, i have been a resident in this area since 1969. Actually i lived on the corner of Rod & Buttles when i moved to Midland.
I have nothing against change. Without change society wouldn’t have seen the advancements we have experienced.
But…there is always the BUT.
i’m not completely satisfied with just looking at a hired Consultant overview and recommendations with out knowing the background of the original implementation of the one way streets.
Sure a simple statement about Dow traffic getting out if work has been referenced. But nothing showing traffic studies or what is in our city’s archives back in the day as to why they chose one way traffic. Where are the studies, comments and numbers that show a good comparison from now and then?

 

Name not shown about 1 year ago

At first thought, I was leaning against any change. However, since attending last month open sessions and understanding of all facts (and traffic volumes), I'm neutral either way. It's OK to change and it's OK to keep the same.

 

Lawrence Stanos about 1 year ago

With the Rodd and Ashman conversion, $3.7 million would be spent on something that does not appear to be a problem. I wish all of our roads had over-capacity to permit swift transport from one end of town to the other. What a luxury! Why would we throw that away in one rare instance where it exists? Let's instead put that $3.7 million toward adding traffic capacity in areas that have bottlenecks, or to address more pressing issues that others have suggested. I think the project being implemented now at the corner of Eastman and Wackerly to add dedicated turn lanes to promote traffic flow is a better example of a beneficial road improvement initiative.

 

David Adams about 1 year ago

I live between the One Ways on E Collins St. I am against changing the One Ways to Two Way Traffic. For one now you are proposing that traffic will need to use the center lane, as a left turn lane and creating the potential for accidents. As for slowing down traffic flow, if people were diving fast on the One Ways then they probably will not change that habit. As far as Two Way traffic at South Saginaw Rd and Rodd St, I can envision traffic backups for those attempting to make a left turn on to Bayliss St, trying to get to the US Post Office. If the City is concerned about the One Ways being an over build road system, then remove a lane. I do not think that the public will go for that though.

 

Ann Beck about 1 year ago

I do think this would help with traffic flow. One would no longer need to turn down a smaller side street to make the turns to get back to where you wanted to be. I feel the traffic flow is not as heavy as it must have been when these streets were made into one-way streets.

 

Mark Marinan about 1 year ago

The result of the study: "the existing and all proposed alternatives have acceptable levels of service and delay."

In simpler terms, "it ain't broke". Thus, spending $3.7 million to "fix it" would be unwise. Don't be unwise.

Thanks,

Mark

 

Name not shown about 1 year ago

As someone who has lived in Midland for 20 years and traveled these corridors regularly for that entire time, I cannot see any efficiencies gained for any of the parties mentioned in the study. How do bicycles and pedestrians gain from two way traffic? It would add more cross traffic to navigate than what is present today. Also during prime traffic times 7:30-9am M-F and 4:30-5:30 M-F the amount of traffic on both Ashman and Buttles fills all three lanes. To get out of downtown Midland during these times can take 15-20 minutes. I cannot see how making these roads two way would be a benefit to our fine city.

 

Ted Oberhellman about 1 year ago

Make both Ashman and Rodd 2 way streets with 1 lane in each direction and a center turn lane.

 

Tim Priddy about 1 year ago

These desired changes by the powers-that-be seem to revolve around potential profit increase to the downtown/center city business corridor. Seeing that most people use Ashman/Rodd one-way street corridors to quickly and safely navigate from south to north. north to south, left turns will become a major headache, both north to south and south to north. This will require MORE LIGHTS at intersections, further slowing down traffic. The idea to change something that works perfectly in the short-term to increase potential profits to failing business owners at the expense of every
single driver in Midland is plainly LUDICROUS. BIG THUMBS DOWN. I tell you what, instead of putting out these stupid comment forums, why not PUT IT TO A COUNTYWIDE VOTE. But you do not do that, do you? Because you KNOW you would lose, by a super-wide margin. All the ridiculous changes to center city was a huge waste of money, unless you are going to tear down all the ugly business facades and start over. And gee thanks for destroying all the beautiful old trees that used to adorn S Saginaw Rd.

 

Name not shown about 1 year ago

If traffic flow and capacity are adequate in a 2-way configuration and the data shows a host of other benefits, then make the change to a 2-way street.

 

Marlene Meyer about 1 year ago

I am concerned that if it changes to 2 way, what will happen 5 years down the road when they realize that 75% of the traffic now uses only one of the roads and the road can no longer handle the traffic. And would the original budget of $3.7 million include figuring out the traffic issues with the circle or will that be another couple of million dollars.

 

Name not shown about 1 year ago

One thing I LOVE about Midland was how smart those early developers were in creating a road system that takes you in and out of town so quickly! I hate going into Saginaw and Bay City their road sytem is a nightmare but Midland I can commute to where I need to swiftly and with out issue. I agree with other comments $$$ could be spent on other things such as re-surfacing, etc. also why did our forfathers create the roads in Midland this way it is what make Midland so unique! When I drive into Midland I always am amazed by how smart our forefathers were in developing such. A well thought out road system and ease of getting to and from places in the city. Let look at taking that extra money and adding extended right turn lanes at Wackerly and Salzburg where Dow this is the most silly terrible design I have ever seen! The same goes for Gordonville and Poseyville by Messiah, the traffic build here is terrible to or lets add another 2 lanes to Gordonville road, when Dow closed its easy access in/outnof city this has made commuting a nightmare and Gordonville a roadblock of cars. Thank you for reviewing comments! I hope the city considers what is best for all who come to Midland.

 

Name not shown about 1 year ago

The first two of the three takeaway points given above under Traffic Flow appear to be very weak justifications for converting Rodd and Ashman streets to two-way streets:
(1) If both traffic modes operate at "acceptable levels" there is no reason to change the current mode.
(2) It is stated that the capacity of both streets is "adequate with excess space for the volume of traffic they handle" without providing a measure of the available excess. The conversion from two- to one-way traffic would mean, in each direction, a factor of 3 in capacity reduction, assuming the current three lanes of each street will become a single lane in each direction plus a center lane for left turns. Since during prime traffic alll 3 lanes on each one-way street are pretty much at capacity so during those times each of the two streets' capacities would also be reduced by a factor of 3, approximately; for both streets considered together, the traffic flow will be reduced to 2/3 of what it is now. That is not what can be called “the ability of the streets to handle these traffic volumes remains adequate.”

Another factor that affects traffic capacity is the synchronization of the green phases of the traffic lights with the speed limit for both streets. Currently, that synchronization is excellent, allowing one to drive without interruption from/to the Ashman Circle to/from downtown Midland (Main Street). This flow pattern cannot be maintained if each street is turned into two-way mode. For that reason, the effective traffic throughput over the full distance will be reduced again to fall below the 2/3 value derived above.

Another consideration is the interaction of Rodd and Ashman streets with the Bus-10 streets which latter ones are also one-way streets. Without going into details, it would appear to me that getting on and off the four streets at their intersections is easier and more logical (for symmetry reasons) if all four streets are one-way.

It would seem that the conversion of Rood and Ashman streets to two-way traffic is not an improvement for traffic flow but rather counterproductive.

 

Name not shown about 1 year ago

I am not against change, but after reading the overview and all of these posts I genuinely do not understand why these roads need to change. Can better explanations please be provided? The result would be two large two-way streets running parallel to each other. Does that make sense?

If the roads currently function at an acceptable and adequate level why are we considering changing them? I enjoy the efficiency that all of the one way roads in our community provide. The combination of one ways streets (Ashman, Rodd, Indian and Buttles) enables traffic to flow incredibly efficiently throughout our community. I have lived in other cities that do not have one way streets like this, and one of the reasons I was happy to move back was that I do not spend (waste) time sitting in traffic. In fact, the only areas of traffic I do encounter are on Eastman and Jefferson which are two way streets.

I have also heard the argument many are making that this will slow traffic and create a more "community feel", but the most comparable street seems to be Jefferson and I doubt we could find many people that say Jefferson give Midland a "community feel". Also if we're not changing the speed limit, it isn't really going to slow traffic. Speeders are still going to speed.

 

Name not shown about 1 year ago

Born and raised here, 63 years now. Used to work on Main Street when they had businesses that were worth going to. Worked in Midland for over 40 years, spent my money here, loved raising a family here. Not anymore. I spend my grocery, gas, entertainment and discretionary cash elsewhere. Current city leaders care about one thing, Main Street (Dow’s personal little playground) and trying to make Midland something it’s not. What made Midland great was it was Midland. Quit trying to make it someplace else. And before I hear “gotta change with the times” well that’s great to a point. City leaders no longer care about life long residents opinions and cater to people who have been here less than 20 years or are not even here yet. I used to admire retirees like my grandfather who would meet his old work buddies in town a couple times a week for coffee on Main Street. The two places that come to mind are long long gone and there is no place like them in this town anymore. City streets in neighborhoods are falling apart. Bring this up to city leaders and they say “if you don’t like it leave”. That’s a fact, that’s exactly what she said to me (omitting name but she knows who she is) After this ramble all that’s left to say is they are going to do it already. They seek input on things they have already decided. Like taking Buttles to two lanes. They’ve made up their minds. If we don’t like it, we’re to leave. Nuff said.

 

Name not shown about 1 year ago

1) "If it ain't broke, why fix it?" Per the Consultants: "Both Ashman and Rodd Streets function at an acceptable level for traffic operations as one-way streets......" "The capacity of Ashman and Rodd is adequate with excess space for the volume of traffic they handle as one-way streets. .... there would be less roadway capacity with a two-way street conversion..." IMO These two statements state the obvious and reiterate the comments by the majority of the opinions expressed in this survey. The rest of Table 19 also shows that Midland's One-Way streets are just fine.
2) WHY? This simple question has not been answered in a truthful manner. You want to spend $3.7 million of Midland taxpayers' money to correct what?
3) I attended one of the sessions, and it felt like a Time-share selling exercise. When I expressed some of my concerns, with examples and data, I was told (quote), "I get it. You are not a fan." I also wondered why no one was taking any notes about what folks were saying. I was told, "I am keeping notes in my head." These were clearly dismissive comments by staff to an engaged community member who took the time to attend a session. It was obvious that they did not really want to hear any pushback on their presentation.
4) Even though this answer does not directly pertain to Traffic Flow, I trust you will still take these (and everyone's comments) into consideration. You did not provide for an "Other" category or any kind of "Voting", and I assume it was because you knew what would happen.
5) In summary, PLEASE consider all comments, no matter what 'category' they are in. Community members spent a lot of time going thru this survey; we can only hope that city staff will review and listen to all of the comments, even if they come from "not powerful " citizens.
6) Thank You

 

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