Google maps reveal traffic inefficiencies
Small improvements to busy intersections could improve flow
Choices | August 14, 2013 | By James Bruckbauer
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- Pete Farmer: Nice to read about the big picture of music around here. I am sure the scene will only get bigger as TC grows. We plan on helping in our own little way with a small venue at our workshop. All procee...
- Pat Weber: The music tradition in Traverse City begins in its schools- the feeder system as it were. Traverse City Area Public Schools has had a long and rich music legacy in both vocal and instrumental instruct...
- Mario: Great article Hans Well written and an important message....
- Cory Johnston: Your reasons to vote NO are reason enough for me. This is 1960's mentality being used to fix 2015 and beyond problems. While mentioned, is there any guarantee that alternatives to one driver/one car w...
- Gerald Wilgus: Much of this is disingenuous rationalization in support of a "lesser of two evils" argument. This is how privatizing profit and socializing risk is maintained. We all agree that transportation inf...
A quick Google Maps satellite image reveals the inefficiencies of one of the area’s busiest intersections.
Here’s the corner of Division Street and 14th Street as you enter into Traverse City:
One by one, cars quickly line up to wait for their light to turn green.
Traditional traffic signals tend to be inefficient since motorist must wait for the cars traveling in the opposite direction to cross the intersection. This causes backups and traffic delays. (Think about the last time you sat waiting at a red light while no cars were crossing using the green light.)
Here’s a view of the same street just north of the intersection showing very little traffic:
Traffic that flows smoothly, even at a lower spead, spreads out along the road, and usually reduces travel time for motorists.
Small improvements, like reconfiguring traffic lights or redesigning intersections so that motorists stop less, would reduce backups on our busiest roads like Division and S. Airport. Those small investments would increase the flow of traffic for those traveling through town, and, at the same time, become safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
State transportation officials have taken the lead. When Traverse City voters last year opted to make land along Division Street available for planning, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) made Division Street a high priority. As the department seeks road funding over the next few years, they hope to work closely with the city and neighbors to develop a plan for the roads that serves all needs.