Thursday, August 10, 2006

Access limited for a reason at Woodmen/Powers Wal-Mart shopping area

QUESTION: There is only one entrance to the Wal-Mart shopping area at Woodmen and Powers. If you miss the entrance, you have to try to get turned around past Powers, and there is no entrance if you turn north.
- Rick

ANSWER: Here’s your answer from Tim Roberts, city transportation planning engineer:

"The Wal-Mart shopping center actually has two access points to Woodmen Road, the full-movement signalized access at Duryea (Drive) and the right-in/right-out access 700 feet to the east. A second full-movement signal to this shopping center can not be provided for several reasons. First, another signal into the shopping center would disrupt traffic flow on Woodmen Road even more than the existing signals do along the corridor.
“Second, the progression of traffic through a second full-movement signal on Woodmen Road would be hard to achieve given the spacing between the two access points, which would result in additional delay on Woodmen Road.
“And finally and probably biggest factor with allowing another access to Woodmen Road at this location would be the operational and safety impacts it would have given the future exit ramps for the Woodmen and Powers interchange. This interchange design has been completed and is ready for construction in the near future. Powers Boulevard has environmental clearance as a freeway north of Woodmen Road, which would preclude any access points off of it. There is a balance of providing access to commercial development for convenience while maintaining traffic flow and safety along our public streets."

Several other readers wrote in upset with the long wait for the left turn into the shopping center, and on Aug. 9 traffic engineer John Merritt said drivers should see an improvement: “Good call, we’ve upped the time on that left turn as of this week."


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