Ann Arbor: 3 Lanes for Jackson Road, Please

At its April 2, 2012 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council voted to submit a request to the Michigan Dept. of Transportation to convert the segment of Jackson Road between Maple Road and South Revena from four traffic lanes to three. The request to MDOT will be shared with the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). If the FHWA were to approve the proposed lane conversion, it would be implemented by MDOT, when the length of Jackson Road is resurfaced by MDOT from the I-94 interchange to Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor. That project is scheduled for 2013 or 2014.

The resolution was opposed by two councilmembers – Mike Anglin (Ward 5) and Jane Lumm (Ward 2).

Benefits of the lane conversion cited in a staff memo accompanying the resolution include: (1) safe deceleration in the middle lane for left turns; (2) elimination of lane weaving; (3) uniform speeds and the resultant traffic-calming effect; (4) reduction in number and severity of crashes in a number of categories; (5) potential extra width for bicycle lanes; and (6) potential creation of additional marked pedestrian crossings.

The memo mentions several successful 4-to-3 lane conversions in Ann Arbor: South Main (Ann-Arbor Saline to Eisenhower); Platt (Packard to Ellsworth); Packard (Stadium to Jewett); Huron Parkway (Nixon to Plymouth); West Stadium Boulevard (Seventh to Pauline); and Green (Plymouth to Glazier Way). All of those segments have an average daily traffic (ADT) flow of less than 15,000.

Roadway segments with greater than 15,000 ADT, like Jackson Road with 15,500, require a greater level of analysis and public involvement. And to that end MDOT held a public meeting at Slauson Middle School on Feb. 2, 2012.

[Google Map showing segment of Jackson Road] [.jpg of static image of Jackson Road segment]

This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]