October 22, 2014

AuGres city management looking at options for street safety improvements

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AuGRES — AuGres city management is researching options to make city streets safer for all users, including pedestrians, within the guidelines of new Complete Streets legislation.

City Manager Patricia Killingbeck said the legislation was signed as the city was putting together its master plan.

“New criteria was recently added,” she said. “We have to plan to meet that criteria.”

The new criteria that Killingbeck is referring to is Public Act 135, also known as Complete Streets, which was signed into law Aug. 1 by Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

“(Complete Streets) looks at the total transportation picture,” Killingbeck said. “It looks at motorist safety, pedestrian safety, the whole picture.”

According to the Complete Streets website, the law establishes a Complete Streets Advisory Council, with representatives from many stakeholder groups, to educate, oversee, and report on implementation of policies in the Department of Transportation and across the state.

Killingbeck said the city has some concerns.

“We have a large (population) of senior citizens, tourists, and younger (children) in our area,” Killingbeck said. “Its very difficult to cross US-23 on foot.”

She said the city is looking at a number of transportation options with its master plan.

“We have some ideas we are looking at,” Killingbeck said. “One option would be to narrow (E. Huron Road) to three lanes with a left turn in the center.”

She added that many motorists use the city limits as a place to pass.

“You can’t blame traffic,” Killingbeck said.

One spot she said motorists seem to have trouble is when E. Huron Road narrows from five lanes down to two at the bridge between Walter Street and S. Main Street.

Killingbeck said that although the city is adding a transportation section to its master plan, that does not mean there will be changes anytime soon.

“This does not mean we are going to change anything,” she said.

Killingbeck said it has been about six years since the city last developed a master plan and is used to keep the city prepared for what is ahead.

“Everyone updates their master plan,” she said. “We just wanted to include this in ours.”

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