I’m excited about the prospects of a safer Osborne Rd. For the record I am for the 3 lane conversion the most of the proposed options. If the county were to mill and overlay tomorrow, this is a great low/no cost way to drastically increase safety and accessibility.
However, I feel this particular study does not draw from other cities past experience well enough. At the study meeting it was mentioned that the city of Crystal lamented that they did not do the 3 lane option for the full length of the roadway. I see the same sort of trepidation here.
Why not lower the speed limit to 30MPH? Residents in attendance at the meeting were obviously concerned about the speed as they’re asking for more enforcement. The real answer to enforcement is self-enforcement and the road diet would provide that. But why not lower the speed limit to 30? The odds of a pedestrian fatality at 40MPH is two times of that at 30MPH – and lets face it, travelers on a 35MPH road are going to be driving 40MPH.
Still Double-Wide in Places
I’m disappointed that the road starts with double-wide lanes at MN-47 and MN-65. I understand this is to accommodate the double left turn lanes from those roads onto Osborne. The real solution would be to reduce those to a single left turn lane and decrease the cycle time on those traffic signals so the single left turn lane does not back up. I realize this is MnDOT territory, and not likely to change.
Different East/West Treatment
The proposed treatment of the western side of Osborne is very different from the (preferred) treatment on the east side of Osborne.
Rather than creating a left turn lane(s) into lots that don’t yet exist, just use the 3-lane treatment for the entire roadway. Better to have a flexible system that accommodates existing users (like bicyclists) rather than reserving roadway such as dedicated left turn lanes for future development that doesn’t exist today.
More planters and crosswalks
For a consistent driver experience, and a much friendlier pedestrian experience, I’d suggest duplicating the planter option on all offset Fridley/Spring Lake Park cross-streets:
Adding more crosswalks and medians (stuff in the road) will help let drivers know that this is a complex environment with students, kids on bikes, emergency vehicles, hospital visitors, cyclists, pedestrians – all of which gives a clear indication to drivers that they should not be speeding through.
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