Garfield Avenue. Eighth Street. Fourteenth Street. East Front Street. West Front Street.
Chances are, every day you pass through at least one of these five transportation corridors in Traverse City. They are the primary hubs of activity in the region – for drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, business owners, residents and tourists alike.
Now, after an intensive eight-month study, a comprehensive plan for each of these five main thoroughfares will be unveiled between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. today at a public meeting at the Traverse Area District Library.
Want to be part of the conversation? Here’s a sneak peek at some of the suggestions – and problem areas – the study zeroed in on for each corridor:
West Front Street
• Munson Medical Center expansions and the new CVS could significantly increase traffic.
• Ace Hardware and Little Bohemia have opportunities to modernize and relocate parking to rear and street.
• A roundabout could help relieve traffic issues at Division and Front streets. Alternatively, a through lane should be added for east/west-bound traffic on Front.
East Front Street
• This corridor has high development potential, especially at the former Arby's lot and the vacant lot at East Front and Barlow.
• The city should reconfigure Railroad Avenue so it doesn't intersect with Front or Grandview Parkway, and add designated turn lanes from Grandview onto Front.
• The city could install a two-lane roundabout at Garfield and Front. Alternatively, it should add a designated through lane for north/sound-bound traffic on Garfield.
• The city should consider eliminating left turns onto Cass from Eighth.
• A roundabout should be considered at the Boardman Avenue and Eighth intersection.
• The long-discussed Boardman Lake Avenue (which would run from Eighth to Fourteenth) would alleviate traffic on Union and Cass. Eighth Street should also be improved to merge its residential and commercial components.
• The commercial potential of West Fourteenth should be maximized by encouraging large-scale development.
• The vacant lot beside Thirlby Field makes the area feel desolate and should be developed to protect the corridor’s streetwall.
• The city could install a two-lane roundabout at Division and Fourteenth. Alternatively, eastbound, southbound and northbound configurations should incorporate an extra through-lane.
• Garfield is the corridor most oriented to the automobile and most dangerous to pedestrians and cyclists.
• Major redevelopment at Garfield and Baldwin could be a catalyst for the south end of the corridor.
• Garfield and Eighth is one of the busiest intersections in the city. Both a roundabout and better retail development should be considered for this area.
So what’s next?
Following public input on the draft, a finalized plan will go before the TC City Commission for adoption. If adopted, the plans will guide city leaders’ future decision-making about transportation, housing and infrastructure. To view the complete corridors plan, click here.
To find out who’s behind the study, how it was funded and more, visit The Ticker on Facebook.