Decision expected on Division Street traffic project

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Capital News Service
LANSING – Traverse City is looking at adding five roundabouts on Division Street to solve traffic problems.
“We have a preliminary design based on a plan that revolves around roundabouts and a number of intersections along Division Street,” Harry Burkholder, community planner for the Land Information Access Association.
“No decision has been made. It’s just a concept,” he said.
Laura Aylsworth, the URS Corp. branch manager at Traverse City, said, “We’ve been looking through a bunch of public input and we had received input from the public on potential solutions to what they thought the problems would be.”
URS, an engineering corporation, is guiding the planning initiatives for the project.
“They want to see more opportunities for pedestrian mobility both east and west and along Division Street. They’re concerned about safety so we concentrated on recommendations that would improve the safety and mobility on the street,” she said.
The city will decide whether to proceed.
A steering committee will decide what the future looks like. It consists of residents from the Central, Kids Creek and Slabtown neighborhoods, business owners, parks and recreation members, and state and local government officials.
The city wants to redesign Division Street to address traffic problems including speed, noise and neighborhoods, according to Ben Bifoss, the city manager.
Kirk Steudle, the Department of Transportation director, said Traverse City is “a real interesting issue.
“Six or seven counties came around to figure out how they want to grow what transportation looks like, and where the residential areas are. They’ve some grand ideas in their community visioning sessions,” Steudle said.
He said, “I don’t view the state Transportation Department as the authority that comes in and say ‘Here is what you need to do.’ I view our role as helping the region advance and develop,” he said.
“However, you have to work with the infrastructure you have. You can’t just wipe the place clean and start all over again,” Steudle said.
There is no estimate yet of the cost of the proposed project, Bifoss said.
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