Traffic plans: Busy intersection under review
The busiest intersection in Jamestown is under review as part of the Land Use and Transportation Plan under development in Jamestown, according to Bob Shannon, project engineer working on the plan for KLJ.
“We’ve heard a lot about connectivity,” he said. “The intersection of First (Avenue South) and 10th (Street Southeast) has no pedestrian accommodations.”
The intersection includes a third street, U.S. Highway 281, which leads to Mill Hill. The three streets that meet there carry more combined traffic than any other intersection in Jamestown.
Shannon said that while the bridges over the James River on U.S. Highway 281 include sidewalks, there are no accommodations for pedestrians at the intersection. Currently, the right-turn lanes of each street are controlled by yield signs, not traffic lights.
“People are often looking over their left shoulder when making a right turn,” he said. “Free flow right turns like this are an issue for pedestrians.”
Shannon said one possibility was to move the streets to form more of a T-shaped intersection. This would allow a new traffic signal system to control the right-turn lanes as well as the left turns and straight movements at the intersection.
That would allow the addition of crosswalks and pedestrian lights to help people on foot cross the streets.
“Most of the pavement would be left intact,” Shannon said. “Mostly it is moving the curbs and installing a new traffic signal system. Could cost about $300,000, possibly.”
This would make it easier for pedestrians to reach 10th Street Southeast which has its own pedestrian challenges, according to Marty Shukert, principal planner for RDG Planning and Design and one of the planners involved with the LUTP.
“The 10th Street (Southeast) is an interesting and challenging corridor,” he said. “There are a lot of traffic demands and it’s a tough environment for pedestrians.”
Shukert said there was room along the street to develop accommodations for pedestrians but said no possible plans had been developed.
Shukert said this visit to Jamestown was largely fact finding about the business districts. RDG and KLJ were not planning any formal presentation of possible plans but are scheduled to meet with city leaders today.
“A lot of this trip is to meet with people and gain confidence we’re moving in the right direction,” he said.
Currently, there are no plans for public meetings in April with a possible review of tentative land use plans slated for May.
The plan has a total cost of $340,000 with $220,000 contributed from state and federal sources. Work on the plan was approved in May 2013 and should be completed in October or November 2014.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org