« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Mark Voxland and Vern Bennett, Published February 18 2012

Major efforts under way to solve downtown Moorhead traffic snarl

To update ongoing efforts to improve traffic operations in downtown Moorhead:

There are several efforts being pursued by the city, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, and the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Council of Governments to address concerns expressed about traffic conditions.

The close spacing of tracks and high-volume streets present unique physical challenges and constraints. For that reason, the city is working with a national expert in railroad and traffic signal operations to identify improvements to traffic operations. A report and recommendations will be discussed with the City Council in March.

In 2012, MnDOT will implement an aggressive signal and Intelligent Transportation System project along Eighth Street and Main Avenue. This project will upgrade and replace many of the traffic signals along these corridors. The project includes enhancements to the current railroad preemption system and will implement signal interconnect for many MnDOT and city signals.

An innovative element of the 2012 project involves the deployment of ITS devices including advanced traffic data collection tools and traffic cameras. These devices will allow MnDOT, the city and MetroCOG to access historic and real-time traffic operations data to evaluate and modify signal operations.

Lastly, as part of the 2012 project, Main Avenue from the Red River to Eighth Street will be resurfaced.

By 2013, Moorhead and MnDOT signals are expected to be fully interconnected with city of Fargo signals on major east-west corridors such as Main Avenue, Center/NP Avenue, and First Avenue, allowing enhanced coordination through both downtowns.

MetroCOG is currently studying longer-terms needs on Main Avenue, Eighth Street and Center Avenue through downtown Moorhead.

We recognize that some aspects of the Quiet Zone improvements have introduced frustration for the traveling public, and we are working to address these issues to the greatest extent possible. It is important to recall that implementation of the Quiet Zone was a long-standing priority for the city and its residents, and was the result of nearly a decade of work to implement. Since its inception, the Quiet Zone has greatly increased safety and supported reinvestment in downtown Moorhead.

Voxland is mayor of Moorhead; Bennett is a Cass County commissioner and chairman of the MetroCOG Policy Committee.