MPCA Position Traffic

March 07, 2017

Traffic Section of the Michigan Park Citizen’s Association (MPCA) position in opposition to the proposed EYA development of the St Joseph’s Seminary property dated 1/24/2017, amended 03/07/2017:

MPCA held a meeting with EYA and Gorove/Slade Traffic Engineers on January 24 focused on traffic conditions in the vicinity of the proposed PUD at St Joseph’s Seminary.

The following revisions to the traffic section of the MPCA letter in opposition to the PUD reflect community input from that meeting and the regularly scheduled MPCA monthly meeting held on March 7.

  1. Traffic and Parking

    a. Traffic:

    i. Michigan Park currently experiences significant, heavy traffic that worsens at rush hour and hospital shift changes. The dangerous condition has already prompted two requests for traffic calming measures.
    ii. The Gorove Slade traffic study, in its Peak Hour Vehicular Capacity Analysis Results, notes:

    1) Three instances in which the current level of service (LOS) is rated as unacceptable (Levels 3 and 4).
    2) The number of unacceptable instances is expected to increase to five without the PUD.
    3) This bad and deteriorating situation can’t handle even the slight traffic increase that the study expects the development to produce.

    iii. We note that the bulk of traffic issues in Michigan Park are generated by commuters driving to downtown and to local destinations. The extension of Webster Street through to 12th Street alters traffic patterns on 12th, 13th, Allison and Webster streets.

The efforts by EYA to engage the community to develop traffic mitigation are welcome.   We strongly encourage a livability study that would take into account the effect of this development’s proposed density with the density of other recent developments on South Dakota Avenue. These and other developments coming to the neighborhood in the near future will have a major traffic impact on Michigan Park that was not taken into account in the Gorove Slade study.

13th Street/Sargent RD NE and Webster NE intersection is of particular concern:

The intersection is currently treacherous for traffic and for pedestrians exiting Webster and intending to travel either north or south on 13th/Sargent Road NE. The intersection is near the top of a rise on 13th St to the south.  This rise, together with parked cars on 13th/Sargent NE, blocks sight lines while exiting from Webster St.

We propose constructing bulb-outs on the 13th St/Sargent legs of this intersection to place pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles in a better position to observe and be seen by crossing traffic.  We further propose adding four way stop signs to the intersection to further slow traffic on Sargent/13th St NE.

12th St NE and proposed extension of Webster Street NE:

The revised PUD documents change Webster St extended from one way east to two-way at this intersection.  This intersection is immediately adjacent to the emergency room entrance to Ascension (Providence) Hospital.  Adding crossing traffic to this section of 12 Street worsens an already congested and periodically hazardous entrance to the hospital emergency rooms.

We propose returning proposed Webster St extended to one way east at this intersection and adding stop signs to the 12th St. NE legs of this intersection.

12th St NE and Varnum NE intersection:

This intersection is listed as currently failed during peak time conditions in the Gorove Slade Study. The chief problem with this intersection is its signal timing. We propose optimizing the signal timing to account for the increased traffic imposed by the future background conditions assumed by the study, the proposed development at St Joseph’s, as well as other nearby proposed developments.

b. Parking

i. Gorove Slade outlines on pages 8-10 several options for 12th Street on-street parking. MPCA has expressed concerns about the PUD’s guest parking, but on further examination changes such as curbside parking and/or bicycle lanes are being proposed with insufficient attention to Providence Hospital’s needs
ii. Any changes along 12th Street must consider and account for:

1) Safety and access to the emergency room for emergency and law enforcement vehicles approaching from both the north and the south.
2) Clearance and adequate turning space for the extra large delivery vehicles and mobile medical vehicles to the loading docks and parking lots on the 12th Street side of the hospital.
3) Any changes to the design of the 4400 and 4500 blocks of 12th Street need the review and approval of Providence Hospital.


MPCA strongly recommends traffic mitigation changes to the intersections of the proposed Webster Street NE extended and 12th Street NE and 13th Street NE as well as a general livability study for Michigan Park to examine general traffic issues in the area.

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