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Traffic study needs more study before proceeding
Written by Erin Belfry, Northeast Minneapolis resident
Posted  12/1/2010
In response to the traffic study for the proposed household hazardous waste site in Northeast:

The study concluded that University Avenue carries 16,000 cars a day but could handle up to 25,000. Traffic levels for Lowry Avenue were taken from 2007 before the bridge demo—13,800 cars daily but could handle up to 25,000. This was based on the study of "a four lane road with a speed limit of 30 mph and parking not allowed" (section 2.1, page 10 of study). But, parking is allowed on both of these streets and was not taken into consideration.

The city/county presented its household hazardous waste plan at the Holland Neighborhood meeting on Aug. 19. The traffic study was discussed at that time, and residents wanted to know if Broadway would be included in the study. City officials could not answer the question at that time. Well, Broadway was not included, MnDOT reported 18,800 cars daily for Broadway heading east off 94 for 2009. I suppose that the study would have said Broadway could handle up to 25,000 cars daily.

The completed study bodes positive for the proposed household hazardous waste site, but there have been some key exclusions. Can the streets really handle the traffic increase? There is no mention in the study to change the parking restrictions on Lowry and University, will those streets become no parking zones? If only 5 percent of Mpls residents use the current household hazardous waste and transfer station sites but the city plans on increasing citizen usage, can the roads handle that? What about the effect of added pollution from car exhaust?

Who came up with the idea that 20 percent (section 2.6, pages 15-17 of study) of people would drop off stuff at both buildings therefore reducing the overall number of daily visits? We live in a more densely populated area than where the household hazardous waste site exists in Bloomington, and both Hennepin and Anoka Counties will be able to use this site. Where are the numbers for Anoka County usage?

There are so many unanswered questions; I think the city needs to table the purchase for now. A public hearing should be scheduled before the purchase of said property, not after.

Erin Belfry
Northeast Minneapolis

Northeaster Opinion