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Input Topic: Ashman & Rodd Two-Way Conversion

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Traffic Safety

City Hall said about 1 year ago:

Traffic Safety

One of the most important factors to consider with any street network change is safety. Do two-way streets provide a safer experience for all corridor users than one-way streets? In most cases, research says that two-way streets are safer because they encourage lower traffic speeds and increased driver attentiveness.

But what about traffic patterns?

The image to the right contains 2022 traffic counts at key intersections for Ashman and Rodd Streets as well as other major two-way streets with similar context (surroundings/uses) in the city limits. (You can find this image here in PDF form for a larger version.) In most cases, Ashman and Rodd are handling similar or even fewer vehicles per day with three one-way lanes than other majors are handling with single-lane two-way traffic. The traffic volumes seen by Ashman and Rodd are not significantly higher nor less manageable than other areas of the city.

Below are lists of a few pros and cons for comparing one-way and two-way streets from a safety perspective, along with some helpful links to read below some bullet points.(These links should open in a new browser window so you don't lose your place here.) For reference: The posted speed limit on Ashmand and Rodd Streets is 35 mph. That is not expected to change if a two-way conversion were to be implemented.

Pros

  • Two-way streets encourage lower traffic speeds, which makes the corridor safer for all users and reduces the likelihood of crashes. 
  • Two-way streets are more commonly encountered in the street network by all corridor users, so both motorists and pedestrians know how to navigate them effectively.
    • This is especially true for visitors or non-local corridor users who are unfamiliar with the area's street network and may not anticipate a one-way street.
    • Click here for more information on this.
  • Two-way streets promote more attentive driver behavior, which reduces the likelihood of crashes and reduces speeds. This also decreases the need for extensive traffic enforcement on roadways. 

Cons

  • Two-way streets require corridor users to look in both directions when navigating into traffic or crossing intersections.
  • Two-way streets create the possibility of more conflict points for corridor users as traffic is traveling in both directions.

Based on the information provided to you above, please provide any comments or concerns you have relevant to traffic safety only.

21 comments

Shelley Hobbs about 1 year ago

As more and more people walk, bike or utilize the scooters, it is necessary to slow traffic for everyone's safety.

 

Name not shown about 1 year ago

"Two-way streets require corridor users to look in both directions when navigating into traffic or crossing intersections." I check both ways at a one way too, because people seem genuinely confused about how to navigate these.

 

Name not shown about 1 year ago

I agree and do the same. I used to live on Rodd Street and I saw people drive in the wrong direction daily. Frequently I had people drive their vehicle into my front lawn to avoid a collision. I always look both ways on those and other one way streets. Change it to two-way and there will be less confusion.

 

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

On the current one-way streets, there is room to drive around the occasional stopped vehicle (delivery van, trash pickup, mail truck) or slow-moving cyclist. Two way streets leave no option in these cases other than pulling into oncoming traffic.

 

Ann Beck about 1 year ago

I feel this would make it easier for new citizens and visitors to get around from Center City to Downtown. The slower speeds would make biking safer. Most people are driving 35-40 mph on Ashman and Rodd.

 

David Adams about 1 year ago

As someone that lives between the 2 One Ways, I am against changing them to Two Way Traffic. Now you would waste a center traffic lane for left turn only use, with the greater risk for an accident.

 

Name not available about 1 year ago

I believe once the city goes to the public for "ideas" , they have already made their minds up with what they will do. They are famous for going to the public, getting people involved , upsetting the community and all along they already know what they will do.
My suggestion is, leave well enough alone and address other traffic issues. There are serious traffic issues in the areas around the schools in Midland. I have brought this to the attention of the city several times, they even did a 15 minute traffic study ( which this was way too short), knows there is an issue and still does nothing about it.
Back in 2017 when it was voted by the council to close Saginaw rd. , we attended every single meeting on this topic because it affected us on Waldo Ave. The city along with Dow had their minds made up when those meetings started, it was just a formality as far as we were concerned. Dow gave the city a "grant" of $1,000,000.00 to see that it was closed. At the end of all that, and the residents of Waldo Ave. getting involved , voicing different senarios to keep Saginaw rd open and save our homes, nothing mattered. When the city of Midland wants something, they get it no matter what and how it affects its residents does not matter, just remember the "road diet" on Buttles street.

 

Name not shown about 1 year ago

I am picturing a person pushing a stroller heading from W Pine St to Grove Park. Currently they need to:
*look left for Ashman one-way traffic
*look left for people pulling out of the Live Oak parking lot

With 2 ways they would need to:
*look left for Ashman one-way traffic (same)
*look left for people pulling out of the Live Oak parking lot (same)
*look right for Ashman traffic (new)
*ensure someone behind them on W Pine isn't turning left on to Ashman (new)
*watch for a center lane turning right on to W Pine waiting for oncoming traffic to clear (new)
*watch for bicycle traffic (same)

As we continue to see good things coming to Midtown and the revitalization of Grove Park, we need to ensure there is safe crossing from W Pine/Ashman to Grove Park.

 

Name not shown about 1 year ago

I am all for safer streets. As we already have a two-way system on most of Ashman from Waldo to Saginaw, I don't see how this would be any different. You should already have the safety statistics from that stretch of Ashman and I would hope you could address any issues that may have arisen from that part of the street before making a conversion on the rest of Ashman and Rodd.

 

Name not shown about 1 year ago

As someone who uses the Ashman corridor multiple times a week including Meals on wheels delivery, the suggested change makes little sense. It would complicate turns and block traffic for delivery stops. The speed limit is already at 30 so how would slowing an already busy corridor even further help. It would certainly negate the bike lane to the downtown area as it would share a single lane with traffic. It would certainly block traffic in front of the school on Rodd as it does in front of Adams school as well as making it more of a safety and driving hazard as it does at Adams. No parking or stopping signs do not mitigate the problem. I see no advantages to traffic flow or convenience except for slightly less confusion in navigation.

 

Name not shown about 1 year ago

Two-way streets automatically double the dangerous Conflict Points at intersections. Instead of one way, there would now be several different ways for a car to turn. The street crossing area in front of Central Park school would immediately become more dangerous. The current bike lane would be eliminated. I am not convinced that you actually looked for positive one-way data results, but rather, you searched for results that bolstered your desired outcome. Several cities have used one-ways for many years with no issues. (Ann Arbor, Lansing, Naperville, IL, Port Huron, etc). Do you have any actual Midland data for one-way accidents?
If you are worried about speed, there are many ways to reduced speed: Change the light sequence, add a light, periodic radar traps or police posts, electronic speed check machines, etc.
Per your consultant, your traffic count was for one 24-hour period. Time of year? Any special events happening? Is it truly representative of the area traffic count?
Wil there be parking on the sides of the road? This was shown in the session. How can this possibly be safer? Cars pulling out into two-way traffic, doing a U-turn to go the other way, pedestrians, bicycles, Ugh!!
'Two-way streets promote more attentive driver behavior" - you will always have non-attentive drivers - one or two ways won't matter.

 

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