Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Consultant: Wal-Mart Key to Bishop Blvd. Traffic Control

A traffic consultant who conducted a traffic study of Bishop Blvd. has recommended traffic lights be installed at the intersections with Harvest, Footloose and Fairmount by 2012. Wal-Mart, of course, has already agreed to help pay for traffic signals at Harvest and Fairmount.

From Wednesday's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
The council heard from Bellevue, Wash., consultant Gary Norris, who presented the findings of a recently released Bishop Boulevard traffic study. The council requested the study in order to prepare for increased traffic loads in the Bishop Boulevard area due to new retail, such as the proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter.

The study was compiled through use of traffic counts, speed and delay studies and collision data to estimate future needs for stop lights, pedestrian crosswalks and other elements that would provide for safe multi-modal transportation. Estimating a 2.8 percent rate of growth, Norris said the city should install stop lights at the Bishop Boulevard intersections of Harvest and Footloose drives and Fairmount Road by 2012. U-turns also should be provided throughout the corridor and medians to calm minor street traffic.

The cost for the five-year plan is estimated at $2.1 million, with the understanding that Wal-Mart will pay for signalization of Fairmount Road and Harvest Drive if it locates on Bishop Boulevard.

Norris said the roadway should be expanded to two lanes in each direction by 2027. By that time, additional turn lanes and a signal on Johnson Avenue should be added at nearly every intersection onto Bishop Boulevard. The 20-year cost estimate is $9.1 million, which also would include landscaping.

Public Works Director Mark Workman said he will continue to review the study and evaluate funding options.

"The traffic is getting worse and it's something we're going to have to deal with," he said.
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