September 30, 2010 at 7:00 pm in INFORUM
Changing downtown Fargo’s one-ways divides publicResidents’ and business owners’ feelings go both ways on whether Fargo should convert its downtown one-ways. Continue Reading
Tags: downtown, Fargo, one-ways, streets, Traffic 24 Comments »
I was at the meeting last night with my concerns and objections. Steve Strege, who stated he would move his business out of the Black Building, after being there for 34 years. In addition, Mr. Strege, made another great comment. He said that when Fargo has a major construction project on a high traffic street, Fargo urges people to take alternative routs to avoid the congestion. Now Fargo wants people to be driving downtown in congestion, caused by changing the one ways into two ways with no left turn lanes. Go FIGURE???
According to the pole the Forum had about this subject awhile ago, the vote was about 4 to 1 against changing the one ways. I believe this change should be put to a vote by the citizens and not just given an OK by the city commission.
Changing the two one ways into two ways, with no left turn lanes would stop traffic dead in its tracks. With the 85 trains that roll through Fargo, and their blocking of the three crossings downtown for approximately five hours a day, will only cause more congestion if this radical plan is implemented.
Here is a worst case scenario. A few months ago there was a train pedestrian accident causing a tragic death of a man on the Main Avenue and Broadway RR crossing. It took the police three and a half hours to investigate the accident. This investigation meant that the train had to stop and block all of the RR crossings in downtown Fargo for three and a half hours. This accident happened on an early Saturday morning, with little traffic or pedestrian traffic.
Can you even imagine if this accident happened at the 4PM to 6PM rush hours on your way home from work? Just imagine being stopped in traffic for over three hours? Traffic would be backed up for miles on every street and every avenue in downtown Fargo and even into Moorhead.
It would be even worse for pedestrians, trying to get to the parking lots or parking ramps on either side of all of the RR crossings. One would have to walk, either to the Second Street underpass, the Tenth Street Underpass or the University Drive underpass, then back to Broadway.
This would be an even greater hardship for the elderly predestines,and the disabled, in wheelchairs or handicapped scooters. The Second Street underpass sidewalks are just too narrow for two wheelchairs to pass each other if they met coming from different directions. It is also to narrow for them to turn their wheelchairs around, so they would just have to sit there until help arrived. Also walking or wheeling ten to twelve long blocks to Tenth St, or the University Dr. Underpasses, then back to Broadway, would be quite a hardship for a disabled or elderly person to endure.
I have been lobbing the city of Fargo for over ten years now; trying to have them build a pedestrian overpass or underpass for pedestrians on the south end of Broadway. I even designed and drew a blueprint of a handicapped overpass for the south end of Broadway. It would look similar to the arch pedestrian bridge that crosses I-94 just west in University Dr, only on a smaller scale. My requests over the years have just been ignored.
Now is the time to build a handicapped accessible pedestrian bridge to everywhere in Fargo, not like the bridge to nowhere in Alaska
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Stay on topic dude.
I am right on topic dude. I am talking about all of the problems for autos and pedestrians if this stupid idea of changing one ways into two ways. Have you ever been disabled or handicapped and in a wheelchair and had to wait 3 and a half hours for a stopped train, unable to cross a RR crossing. Or waited out in subzero weather with 40 below zero wind chills, waiting for a 30 minuet or stopped train and had to pee in your pants and have it freeze your pants rock hard, because of prostate or bladder problems? I have seen this happen many times to 80+year old men, trying to get back home with their prescriptions they received from metro drug. There are a lot of poor, elderly, disabled and disabled veterans with out cars and have no choice but to walk. You might have the advantage to sit in a warm car, listening to RAP music while waiting for a train. If two way avenues become a reality, make sure you have a lot of CDs with you and you will need them to pass the time. Maybe you could do a good deed and invite one of these vulnerable people to wait in your warm car with you and rap with you.
The most concern of changing the one ways into two ways is SAFETY!
I like the one-ways. There is plenty of traffic downtown now. Why make it worse? If it gets more congested, I’ll probably just avoid downtown altogether.
I can’t believe they have wasted money on a study on how to make traffic flow worse. What nonsense!
Main ave will become much more busy. And a bike lane?? I ride bike downtown all the time, there is no bike problem. Six months out of the year we can’t even ride bikes, what a waste.
This feels whole subject feels like an out-of-town “expert” consultant trying to make a (more than a few) bucks off of a large town in a rural state that wants to feel more urban. The one ways are fine as is, the only people they confuse are those new to the area and they’ll get used to them quick enough, I did.
Yes the consultants were from Omaha. They even said last night that this would cause more congestion downtown.
The reason business are hurting downtown is the fact that they close early in the evenings, just when people who work can go shopping downtown. At
5 PM downtown Fargo turns into a ghost town, with only bars and restaurants open. Most are even closed on Saturdays. There are not blue laws anymore and they could even stay open Sunday afternoons.
Business can not make money by people just window shopping.
It should also be realized that there will be a significant cost to put additional traffic signals on the one ways as well.
It’s a very poor idea and a huge waste of taxpayer money. Why do they keep bringing this idea up and spending more and more money studying it? Our politicians seem to have turned a deaf ear to public sentiment.
Gosh, who would have thought we had so many traffic/logistics experts here. When will we learn what works in other medium sized cities will NOT work in FARGO!? The sooner we stop considering the opinion and observations of non-biased experts the better things will be.
Mac, a helpful hint, the adult education department can help with that ability to read deficiency if you want. The one ways are far more efficient in moving more traffic more quickly…Fact! One ways are far less expensive options because they require less infrastructure…Fact! These points are not only obvious but easy to research. The only thing here that is beyond belief is that our city planners spent this ransom fund to learn what is already readily available knowledge. We should have instead spent the money to provide them adult education classes in how to Google 101. Would have saved a bundle. There might be an argument against the one ways for other reasons like many people just don’t like them or they make navigating looking for parking spots more difficult, but that is about all that’s available to that group for which to hang their hats.
I couldn’t disagree more – our public leaders are responding to the concerns of non-automobile users (students, particularly). Please remember that there is more to quality of life than traffic congestion.
We all enjoy Broadway which ‘suffers’ from congestion and bicycles in the street. I suspect this is because pedestrians don’t have to worry about being murdered by speeding, careless drivers like you’ll find on NP/1st. This is both a traffic-calming solution and one that enables alternative transportation. I am hoping, along with our leaders, that this is the first step to broadening the downtown renaissance and revitalizing more than Broadway alone.
Really? I find crossing the one ways on foot much easier because the cars come mostly grouped together and from just one direction. And you don’t have to weave in and out of stop and go traffic backed up through the intersection.
Here’s my question: If getting rid of the one ways is the first step to revitalizing downtown, why aren’t the existing two-ways dowtown revitalized aside from Main and Broadway? Why have the two-way extensions of NP and 1st in Moorhead been utter failures at creating development? By the logic some people use since they are two-ways they should be thriving. But instead they are mostly vacant and traffic is overloaded onto Main.
Just imagine the chaos of trying to turn left across two lanes of oncoming traffic and a bike lane! At noon! With 25 cars stoped behind you! That left turn could take upwards to 30 seconds. Does anyone want to be behind that mess?
I don’t think so. The city needs to stop the madness now.
If they can add a bike lane while keeping three lanes of traffic and parking on both sides, as this plan suggests, then they could do that right now without converting to two-way traffic.
The lack of a left turn lane will be a nightmare.
I’m not convinced this will make it more pedestrian friendly. Traffic may slow a little, but pedestrians will then have to look both ways for traffic rather than just one way. Plus, traffic on one ways tend to move in groups, leaving natural openings to cross. This does not happen with two-way streets. To really make it more pedestrian friendly would probably require reducing the widths of the streets or the number of lanes of traffic to cross.
there are absolutely no positives to this idea. fargo city leaders are complete idiots!
Downtown Fargo is not 13th Ave S. It is a completely different environment, and as such, adjustments to that environment are warranted in order for it to continue to differentiate itself. That’s what makes downtown Fargo special. These street changes, if implemented, will make the area better, despite those of you that cannot bear to think you won’t be able to drive 35mph through the length of the corridors. You may not like the changes, but those that make downtown a destination, or their workplace, or their home, will appreciate them, and they are the ones that will allow downtown to thrive.
You are right, downtown is not 13th Ave S. Traffic currently flows freely on NP and 1st.
And the only reason people drive 35MPH down those streets now is because that’s how fast you need to drive to hit all green lights. The lights used to be timed so that if you sped you’d hit red lights. This was very effective at keeping speeds down, and there’s no reason they couldn’t be changed back. In fact, for the life of me I can’t figure out why they ever changed it, unless it was an underhanded attempt to justify this project.
Changing these streets is utter and complete foolishness. Use the money to repair the potholes we have to drive over everyday.
Mark, I work downtown and see Broadway backed up for blocks for lack of a left turn lane. Just exactly what “improvements” will we see from these changes? Downtown won’t be a destination place if you can’t move the traffic. Or will we be able to jump out of our cars and run into shop whilel the traffic is backed up waiting for someone to turn.
Please bear with me as I bring my thoughts full circle. This issue represents a much larger â€œproblemâ€ that I find the so called Leaders of this city find themselves spending time addressing. If these so called leaders would step back and reassess their views on what the â€œvisionâ€ of Fargo is to a majority of residents, and where they spend their time and $$$, then these leaders would be in a better position to represent the will of the majority, and not their political allies, conflict of interest friends, and Good Ol boys club that dominates decision making here.
I believe the time has come to change the thinking of what the citizens of Fargo consider â€œdowntownâ€. The downtown designation needs to be moved to the corridor between Main and 13th along I-94. Whenever my family talks about going downtown to the mall, we are implying that 13th/I94 is the center of our Fargo experience.
If a downtown is a reflection of its communities people and heritage, than West Acres is a correct location for this communities people, who struggle by making barely livable wages, needing to find cost conscientious deals to keep their families afloat. Implying that the Broadway Historic district represents a reflection of the average Fargoan is laughable. Few can afford the leisure time to stroll down a long expanse of large buildings seeking that just so cute boutique for that ohh so unique precious gem of a item that has likey been marked up for appearing in that boutique.
Broadway may indeed be an essential part of Fargoâ€™s historic identity, however it doesnâ€™t have to represent our cityâ€™s DOWNTOWN. It can represent a district, just like many cities have a historic waterfront district, or a warehouse district etc etc..
I continually find that we have a mentality (driven heavily by old(er) citizens) who insist on spending tax revenues in an area of town that fewer and fewer citizens desire to spend any time near. Fargo needs to face reality that without city government, and a couple of the banks and the Sanford Hospital complex being down there, that portion of the city would have already withered away on its own. You see that is one of the classic problems with Fargo, its leaders, its identity, and its future. There is no cohesive belief amongst all stakeholders as to exactly where to focus a united effort on a real City Core that the citizens can get behind.
And sadly due to the skewed self interests of a corrupt City Government, we as citizens will have to continue to bend over and take it as the City of Fargo continues to over-promote this congested pet favorite area of an overall larger City.
A downtown area is the place where the majority of citizens congregate when looking for social, shopping and recreational opportunities. What do you believe the majority of people who are asked that question about Fargo? What would they say about where they go for those activities?
The current downtown should be permanently renamed the â€œFargo Historic Districtâ€, and we need to now let that area thrive or die without further extra incentives. City Governement needs to recognize that as Fargo continues to grow south, fewer and fewer residents frequent the Historic District area. Fewer feel compelled to have to go down in that bottleneck surrounded by the Berlin Wall of BNSF, narrow cobblestone roads, parking nightmares and congestion.
Case in point. Wasting $$$ on this road changing idea being pushed by a minority against a tide of opposition from the majority who want to see the roads remain the way they are.
Enough with spending our valuable tax $$$ trying to prop up a dead horse! Enough with wasting $$$ trying to change traffic!
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