‘Consultants’ endorse gridlockWarning to drivers using NP Avenue and First Avenue North in Fargo: Easy access to and through downtown is in jeopardy.
By: Steve Strege, Fargo
Warning to drivers using NP Avenue and First Avenue North in Fargo: Easy access to and through downtown is in jeopardy. A consultant is recommending those one-ways be changed to two-ways. Efficient traffic flow will become gridlock. Imagine being trapped behind a stopped bus or someone trying to turn into a clogged intersection, without another lane to move over into.
A consultant from Omaha is being paid $260,000 to study why this change should be made.
In 2007 city engineers estimated $300,000 more would be needed for traffic signals, signs and striping. The consultant’s official Mission Statement: “This study will recommend a plan that accommodates all travelers: pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users and drivers. The plan’s design and safety features will improve the physical health of individuals, the environmental quality of the community and further increase opportunities for development.” Take note that drivers are dead last, and moving traffic isn’t among the goals.
The consultant’s literature includes a picture identified as an “example of a healthy street.” Most prominent is a bicyclist in a bike lane. A few cars are off in the distance. The consultant’s report states: “There is no doubt there will be an increase in congestion through the downtown area when compared to the existing condition.” This is what some people have in mind for the streets we pay for and drive on.
Change promoters say slowing traffic will bring business downtown. No, congestion will drive people away instead of attract them.
A public meeting about this will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday in the City Commission room at City Hall. Motorists and taxpayers should attend and tell the City Commission to stop this waste and leave well enough alone.