Why are there three lanes now? If they were needed before, why aren’t they needed now?

A traffic study conducted by MDOT in 1959 proposed the idea of 2 one-way streets to relocate the main thoroughfare that then passed through downtown. Prior to 1962, Ellsworth Street served as the primary route through Downtown Midland. In 1962, the change was made to the 2 three-lane one-ways of Indian and Buttles Streets

 During the mid-century, traffic planners and road designers had one main goal: move as many vehicles through communities as quickly as possible with the only consideration given to cars. While this approach - called “Motordom” - was efficient for vehicles, it had little to no regard for the impact that those roads would have on the surrounding neighborhoods. This resulted in some very impactful trade-offs that weren’t all positive

Additionally, local traffic on Indian and Buttles during the 1950s - 1980s was heavily influenced by shift changes at the area’s manufacturing employers. As staffing levels have changed, and access routes have shifted into the industrial park, volumes during peak times has greatly decreased on Buttles and Indian Streets. In fact, traffic volumes during the roads’ peak rush hour - between 7-8 a.m. - are down 28% from where they were 30 years ago. This reduction results in a corridor that is overbuilt for current and forecasted future needs.

Show All Answers

1. Who was responsible for initiating the US 10 Corridor Study in 2015?
2. Who are the stakeholders that asked for this?
3. Why were earlier trials conducted before the current trial was started?
4. Why are there three lanes now? If they were needed before, why aren’t they needed now?
5. What is the purpose of the road diet trial now taking place?
6. What is the long term goal?
7. How does a lane reduction better connect downtown to the surrounding community?
8. Are corridor improvements only being considered to benefit the immediately surrounding properties?
9. What data is being collected during the current trial period?
10. What is the plan for evaluating the lane reduction?
11. Why are we considering closing a lane of traffic to accommodate bicyclists?
12. I don’t see pedestrians or bicyclists using the closed lane on Buttles Street. Doesn’t this show that the trial isn’t working and the lane closure is not needed?
13. Wouldn’t it be better to stop the trial until all construction downtown is finished?
14. It has been reported that Buttles Street has seen an increase in crashes because of the road diet. What is happening there?
15. How will this impact emergency vehicles traveling through the corridor?
16. Has future development, growth, and increased pedestrian usage been considered?
17. What has already been decided by City Council?
18. The decision on this trial has already been made. Why should I participate in any future meetings?
19. How can I share my experiences in the corridor with the City?
20. What happens to my comments after I submit them in writing to the City?
21. Does the City compile other communications about the road diet, such as letters to the editor in the Midland Daily News or posts on social media outlets?
22. How will City Council address the public feedback it receives?
23. The plastic bollards in place are ugly and make the area unattractive. Can’t we do something that looks better?
24. Why is the trial taking so long to complete? When will it end?
25. What happens at the end of the trial period?
26. Are there plans to do the same on Indian Street?
27. Who will be paying for any future changes to the road and what would the timeframe be to start construction?
28. How have road diets benefited other communities?