Another aspect of the City Center is that Highland Drive will receive a much-needed facelift. Our goal is to use some of the money generated through the Community Reinvestment Area (see previous post on this subject) to improve the look and functionality of the street.
One of the first things I heard after being elected to our City Council were complaints from business owners and residents who lived near Highland Drive. They were concerned about the traffic and general run-down look of the street. Residents didn’t like the speed of the traffic, the lack of sidewalks, and how difficult it is to cross the street.
Business owners also didn’t like the traffic speed and the congestion created by no turn lanes. They wanted a street that was an attractive entrance to Millcreek and that had an inviting boulevard feeling.
Because 1300 East is so close and can accommodate higher traffic volume, traffic engineers have proposed taking Highland Drive down to one lane each direction with a center landscape strip interspersed with a left-hand turn lane to both moderate traffic speeds and keep traffic flow moving without the current back up created by cars stopping in travel lanes while trying to turn left. They are also proposing right turn lanes and bus pull out areas to keep traffic moving while the bus stops to let passengers on and off.
Roundabouts were suggested at Miller and Elgin Avenue, though the traffic engineers are moving away from this idea. Engineers are concerned that roundabouts won’t provide enough safety for pedestrian crossing at these points and may slow traffic too much at these points. Once we have an engineered traffic study completed, we will publish it and seek public input before we proceed. I appreciate those who have shared their thoughts with me and I hope you will continue to do so throughout this process.