CITY RECEIVED GRANT FOR PICKARD STREET RESURFACING
The City of Mt. Pleasant received an MDOT Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF) Category F grant to mill and resurface Pickard Street between Mission and Bradley Streets. The existing curb and gutter will remain in place. This project is slated for the Summer of 2020 and, depending on the weather, will take approximately four weeks to complete.
PICKARD RESTRIPING AND ROAD DIET POSSIBILITY
As we prepare for the mill and resurfacing project, decisions need to be made regarding restriping. The Greater Mt. Pleasant Area Non-Motorized Plan, adopted as part of the City’s Master Plan in 2014, calls for the addition of bike lanes to West Pickard Street between South Lincoln Road and North Main Street through a 4 to 3 lane conversion (page 86). This lane reduction is often referred to as a, ‘road diet.’ A classic road diet typically involves converting an existing four-lane, undivided roadway segment to a three-lane segment consisting of two through lanes and a center, two-way left-turn lane as shown below. You will also see two bike lanes depicted in the image on the right.
Road diets can be relatively low cost if planned in conjunction with reconstruction, or simple mill and overlay projects (as in this case) since applying road diets consists primarily of restriping.
BICYCLE, PEDESTRIAN AND RAILROAD CROSSING CONSIDERATIONS *
Embarking on a road diet presents an opportunity to dedicate more space to other roadway users and create a more balanced transportation system. The bicycle lanes might make that route an option for many who would have not previously traveled the street. The high commercial truck traffic, and a 35 mph speed limit on Pickard Street should also be a consideration. For pedestrians, road diets might help reduce vehicle speeds and speed discrepancies midblock, making crossings easier and safer. The bicycle lanes create a buffer between the vehicles and the sidewalk, increasing the perception of pedestrian safety.
An important consideration in the feasibility of converting a four-lane, undivided roadway to three lanes is the existence of the railroad crossing. Vehicles queued at an at-grade rail crossing will need to be served by one through lane after the road diet conversion. This could result in queues that are approximately twice as long
when a train is crossing, as well as when busses and hazardous material trucks make their required stop at railroad crossings. If this type of queuing is not acceptable along the three-lane cross section, it could affect feasibility.
*U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration
PUBLIC FORUM SCHEDULED – YOUR INPUT IS NEEDED BY MAY 22
We would like to hear your input regarding this possible Pickard Street road diet.
The City of Mt. Pleasant is hosting a Public Forum on Wednesday, May 8 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at City Hall, 320 W. Broadway Street. At this forum, representatives from the Department of Public Works will be on hand to answer your questions and collect your thoughts on this specific project.
We look forward to seeing you on May 8 and hearing your feedback. Additional information on road diet projects can be found at: http://www.michigan.gov/mdot/ or https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/road_diets/.
If you are unable to attend the forum you may submit your comments to Stacie Tewari, City Engineer at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at 320 W. Broadway Street, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858.
There will also be comment cards available at the Public Forum and at City Hall beginning May 8. All feedback must be received by 4:30 p.m. on May 22, 2019.