[Vision2020] Moscow subcommittee taking hard look at Third Street

Moscow Cares moscowcares at moscow.com
Thu Nov 23 03:45:52 PST 2017

Courtesy of today’s (November 23, 2017) Moscow-Pullman Daily News.


Moscow subcommittee taking hard look at Third Street
Group formed to discuss potential traffic calming measures as bridge is expected to bring more vehicles

Amy Ball, president of Citizens for a Livable Community, Inc., would rather not see Moscow construct a $580,000 multimodal bridge on Third Street to connect the roadway with Mountain View Road.

She doesn't like the idea of increased vehicle traffic along the road, which is popular with pedestrians and bicyclists, and she thinks the project is a waste of money.

"I don't think that there is any need for the bridge right now," Ball said. "I think that the potential damage that could be done by putting it in is really great and I think that there are other solutions for connectivity as the city grows. And I also think that if you ranked the needs of work to be done in the city, there are many better uses for $580,000."

Ball's preference would be to stop the project, but that's not likely to happen. City officials have already budgeted for the work and construction is expected to begin next year.

With that no longer an option, Ball did the next best thing - she joined a subcommittee tasked with identifying traffic calming measures and improving the corridor's safety and operation.

The Moscow Transportation Commission has been working toward developing traffic calming measures to address potentially increased traffic on the street after the bridge is constructed, but Moscow Public Works Director Les MacDonald said the commission recognized there likely is not enough time during monthly commission meetings to dive deeply into the traffic calming options, so a 10-member subcommittee was formed.

MacDonald presented two plans to the Transportation Commission during its Nov. 9 meeting, and the subcommittee is looking at how the two preliminary plans may be modified or if there is a need to create additional plans.

"That's really what their focus is," MacDonald said. "Should we and how do we make changes to the corridor to address safety concerns?"

MacDonald said the subcommittee consists of three Transportation Commission members, Chairman Ben Calabretta, Philip Cook and Brian Johnson; four members of the public, Ball, Becker Gutsch, Marshall Comstock and Dan Carscallen; one technical adviser, Mike Lowry, associate professor in the University of Idaho's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; and Kathryn Bonzo, Moscow City Council liaison to the Transportation Commission; and MacDonald, city staff liaison to the commission.

The subcommittee has met three times and is scheduled to meet again 5:15-6:45 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5 and Dec. 7 at City Hall's council chambers. MacDonald said the public is welcome to attend the meetings, but public comment will not be allowed since the meetings are simply group work sessions.

"It will allow us to delve much further into the detail about how best to address the corridor," MacDonald said of the subcommittee's meetings.

The subcommittee will report its findings and suggestions to the Transportation Commission at its Dec. 14 meeting, MacDonald said. He anticipates the commission will review the subcommittee's report and select a traffic calming plan to issue to the public for its input, likely some time in January. He said he expects a workshop or two will be held in which residents can ask questions about the plan.

MacDonald said he then expects the Transportation Commission will discuss public input during its January meeting and potentially forward its suggested plan to the City Council.

If the council approves the concept suggested by the commission, the design phase will commence, MacDonald said.

MacDonald said the goal is to complete the construction of the bridge and corridor enhancements by mid-fall.

He said there is not a cost estimate for the traffic calming measures since the plan has not been finalized but there is money available and the funds will come from the city's Capital Projects Fund.


Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

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