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The project limits will be from the intersection of M-66/Capital Avenue NE with Division Street, to Frey Drive. This section of road is considered a state trunkline, and under the jurisdiction of the Michigan Department of Transportation. The City of Battle Creek performs maintenance activities through a contract with the state.
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The current road surface is deteriorated and requires additional maintenance, which is costly and time consuming for the City of Battle Creek's Field Services Division to perform. MDOT is scheduled to resurface this section of road next year already, and this is an opportune time to incorporate the four-lane to three-land conversion.
Construction is scheduled to begin in May of 2018, and be completed by August of 2018.
The project will be constructed part-width to maintain traffic flow during construction, with sidewalk detours posted.
A four-lane to three-lane conversion, commonly referred to as a "road diet," will use the existing footprint of the road, and re-purpose the use to include one travel lane in each direction, a center turn lane, and one bike lane in each direction.
This is the proposed cross-section:
The city has a Non-Motorized Master Plan, adopted by the City Commission on March 7, 2006, as a single guide for non-motorized infrastructure planning, funding, design, and construction. Creation of the plan included community and stakeholder involvement, and the Engineering Division has since used the document to aid in the process of managing non-motorized infrastructure updates.
The project along Capital Avenue NE was included as an intermediate project, which was planned within six to 10 years of the plan's adoption. In addition to this, the project offers a number of safety benefits.
There are a number of safety concerns that can be addressed by a four-lane to three-lane conversion:
Cyclists are permitted to ride on public roadways, like Capital Avenue NE, whether or not bike lanes are present. The proposed configuration of the roadway makes this type of use much safer.
MDOT studied the impacts of the four-lane to three-lane conversion for this corridor (see document linked here).
When the current level of service (LOS) at the signalized intersections was compared with that of the proposed changes and 20-year projected growth, only the Emmett Street westbound and eastbound left turns decreased in service -- from a level "C" to a level "D." According to MDOT, this intersection will be improved in 2019 to help mitigate these additional projected delays.
Using this data, the increase in delay for a typical driver traveling the entire project in 2038 will increase by five to six seconds. Delays from local side streets are not expected to increase.
As a comparison, the Average Daily Traffic (ADT) for Capital Avenue SW near Golden Avenue, which has a similar configuration to that proposed for Capital NE, is about 16,000 ADT. The proposed project location on Capital NE currently sees about 14,000 ADT.
Below is a graphic that shows the proposed layout east of the curve at Division Street. As you can see, the bike lanes don't begin until the east sides of Chestnut Street and Elm Street.
To accommodate the new configuration, the on-street parking on Capital Avenue NE southbound from Emmett Street will be eliminated.
This graphic shows the proposed layout:
No. The Michigan Vehicle Code prohibits this type of behavior. Buses will continue to use this route, and drivers who follow buses along this route will see an increased delay.
Currently, buses run every 30 minutes from 5:15 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. weekdays, and every 30 minutes from 9:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Saturdays.
Dharmesh Valsadia, PE
Cost and Scheduling Engineer
Michigan Department of Transportation
Carl Fedders, PE
City Engineer/Assistant Department of Public Works Director
City of Battle Creek