Attention to Details in Construction Zones Make a Big Difference
The current Traverse City Light & Power construction phase (TCLP) at Bay and Division St. is going to make travel through this area difficult for a few more weeks. They are burying the power lines along this stretch. This is a busy intersection for all modes of traffic and from the construction earlier this year we know pedestrians are often ill-considered. The intersection is dangerous by design on a good day, so when construction takes place it is critical to follow the standards that are clear. For example:
Michigan MUTCD Part 6 Section 6D.01: The needs and control of all road users (motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians within the highway, including persons with disabilities…) through a temporary traffic control zone shall be an essential part of highway construction, utility work, maintenance operations, and the management of traffic incidents.
Over a week ago when the project began, there appeared to be no consideration given. In the before shot above, looking north to cross Bay St., you see the crosswalk leading into the orange fencing right up to Division St. According to the photographer, Brian Haas, it left approximately a 1-foot gap to squeeze through from Division St. and motorized traffic. An uncomfortable situation for him traveling with his young daughter made worse because the actual construction hadn’t even began yet.
Instead of contacting the city engineering office, Brian Haas and I contacted TCLP via board chairperson Mike Coco (who is a strong supporter of complete streets) who in turn contacted the executive director Ed Rice. The reply was simple, affirmative and pro-active; we will take care of it.
I will follow-up today on this issue and ensure that all users of the Division/Parkway intersection are afforded proper consideration and access to transportation pathways during the period of TC Light & Power construction.
This week, after some periods where the complete area was shut-down for an understandable period, the construction zone crosswalk was set up to clearly separate pedestrians from traffic on Division and the construction on Bay St. In the image above looking south you can see there is now a clearly marked and inviting area for pedestrians to access the crossings of Division and Grandview. According to Coco, there will be times when this will be closed but only when construction is directly taking place underneath or near this area. The TART Trail running parallel to Bay St. remains open.
I’d just like to say thank you to TCLP for responding and showing the leadership to follow through and improve the situation. Nice job. Go team!