UWM Dorm Traffic, Transit & Parking Plan
This was the third of four meetings being held to discuss Mandel Group’s proposed UWM resident hall that would be located on the former Hometown gas station site. This meeting was held to discuss traffic, transit and parking issue connected to dorm. Ken Voigt, Senior Traffic Engineer for Ayres & Associates Inc., gave an extensive overview of the traffic studies being conducted and the potential improvements for the North Avenue and Cambridge Avenue intersection.
The results of the traffic study indicated traffic signals at this intersection would satisfy a four hour warrant justifying the improvement, and would improve pedestrian safety. It was explained that although one concern with installing traffic signals was that it would encourage Cambridge Avenue to become a “short cut”, the planned timing and the intersection’s offset should stop that from becoming an issue. The plans also included, enhancing the current gateway island by adding landscaping to make it more aesthetically appealing which will have the side effect of slowing traffic entering the intersection. Other improvements discussed included count down timers, additional on street parking and the addition of street trees. Although curb bump outs are often a street improvement used to make an intersection more pedestrian friendly it doesn’t appear likely they will be pursued at this intersection because of its configuration. Alderman Nik Kovac speaking about the proposed traffic signals said, “it’s not a panacea. There are advantages and disadvantages”, though he went on to indicate that he felt the traffic signal is a good idea.
There were a few questions regarding the new traffic including, if there would be sensors in the street, what else would they do to make it safer for pedestrians, would the light flash at night, and general concerns over a change in traffic flow throughout the neighborhood. Specifically one resident was concerned about the addition of the new traffic and how that would impact the neighborhoods further from the dorm’s location, but judging from the turnout and level of discourse the concerns proposed at the meeting were minor and items that Mandel Group could address. In fact opposition seemed so light that when a show of hands was taken to see if there were residents living on Cambridge Avenue in attendance, no one raised a hand.