Thursday, September 8, 2011
Not exactly a Frogger situation
The intersection at Pleasant and Arlington Streets on the University of Minnesota's East Bank got some new traffic lights to handle a projected increase in traffic flow. The closure of Washington Avenue through campus for Central Corridor construction has forced local and express bus traffic to go through here. An increase in car traffic was probably also expected, though I'm guessing most of the former Washington Avenue automotive traffic will simply disappear.
My biggest complaint about this intersection's new configuration is that this former 3-way stop now has pushbuttons to activate the crosswalks—At the University of Minnesota, one of the most heavily pedestrian places in the entire state!
This image shows the most baffling part, where Pleasant Street is a single-lane one-way street with a contraflow bike lane. Do you really need to have a pushbutton-activated "Walk" sign to cross here? And, when the walk sign does get activated, how can it possibly change the timing enough to make a significant difference to car travelers?