Home > Chatter, Editorial > Reminder: Monday Night Study Session On Boardman Lake Ave. and Other Weekly Chatter

Reminder: Monday Night Study Session On Boardman Lake Ave. and Other Weekly Chatter

I’m struggling with the proposed Boardman Lake Ave. and plan on commenting on it here and at the meeting this Monday. I keep coming back to issues with 1) the process 2) the design. Please consider attending and/or sending your own comment (city commissioner emails).

I tend to agree with my friend Andy Olds, who writes about Traverse City issues over on “Hinge Line.” His argument against the bypass begins with a clear explanation of the traffic inducing element of a new road that will counter goals of reducing traffic. He writes:

My opposition is based on the fact that the proposed street will only create the problem it is seeking to solve. As a daily pedestrian I see a traffic speed problem, especially on Lake Ave, but not a traffic volume problem. Building a new road will only exacerbate the speed problem and cause traffic congestion.

Because building more roads will always lead to more traffic by definition – this is why traffic gets modeled as a gas – it expands to fill the space given to it. Does the city want to build roads or fix the traffic issues? – you can’t do both.”

I’ll just add, there may be good reasons to build a road, however, to simply move and encourage single occupant vehicles is the least valuable reason to do so.  With the current plan, we are not increasing the neighborhood network, we are building a bypass in the middle of the city. We shall see.

Weekly Chatter


To Wrap:

There is probably something more unique I could post here today, but after hanging out with 300 planners and engineers for two days at the Transportation Bonanza (wrap-up next week) this type of discussion is still on my mind. Here is the short version of Conversation with an Engineer. I should add, this video was created by a recovering engineer who realized he didn’t want to work for evil anymore and now, among other things, BLOGS at Strong Town Blog.

Have a weekend (It’s not too late)!

P.S. This week was MyWHaT biggest week yet. Most likely the week will top out with over 300 unique hits per day! Thank you for passing the word around.

  1. Raymond Minervini
    December 12, 2010 at 12:00 am

    The “Conversation with an Engineer, Street Project” is both hilarious and sad.

  2. December 12, 2010 at 7:54 am

    The level of verisimilitude is indeed astonishing and troubling.

  3. Franny Bluhm
    December 12, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    I live on Lake Ave near the stop sign on 8th St – It takes over 5 minutes of waiting my turn to get out of my driveway on to Lake Ave during the 3 pm to 5 pm traffic surge. Also, McGough feedmill has its patrons endangered regularly by speeding cars that charge toward the stop sign on 8th st. As the study commission takes up the Lake AVe plan – I hope they keep in mind that McGough is just one of the centennial homes built in this “1st addition” part of Traverse city developed in 1900.

  4. December 13, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Franny, I hear you completely on issues along Lake Ave. Starting at the 8th Street intersection the corridor needs attention and investment. Almost anyone would agree that there is no design applied to Lake. It’s simply asphalt laid down without thought to designing for targeted speeds, volume or car storage.

    I’m opposed to blocking Lake off from the community, but I’m very much for a redesign of the street beginning with the area between 8th and 10th. It could be a beautiful neighborhood street and draw some much deserved attention to the historical nature and value of McGough’s and adjacent homes. Those are attributes that the City could build off of to create a really great place, while still moving people and goods.

  1. December 11, 2010 at 11:12 am

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