• Fri August 07 2009
  • Posted Aug 7, 2009
Traffic engineers are proposing reducing Ingersoll Avenue from four lanes to three, a complete street design that would slow down traffic and add bicycle lanes. Cycling advocate Carl Voss said it's something he's been hoping would happen for years. "If you go to many progressive cities in the United States, you'll find they have bike lanes in areas, multiuse or multi-mixed areas, just like Ingersoll," Voss said. To better accommodate all of the cars, buses and bikes that use Ingersoll, Des Moines traffic engineers want to reduce the road to one lane in each direction, with a left-turn lane in the middle. "What it does is it gets the left-turning vehicles out of the lanes of the through traffic and it also gives them much-better visibility to see around other left-turning vehicles," said Des Moines traffic engineer Mike Ring. Drivers will only have to cross over one lane of traffic instead of two when making turns. The plan would also add additional space for parking and a bike lane on each side of the road. "Having bike lanes on Ingersoll is going to be huge for people who live in West Des Moines and Clive if they want to bike commute to downtown," Voss said. "This would be a direct way they can do that." Some questions remain about how the plan will impact traffic flow for drivers. "It just seems like there's too much traffic for one lane in each direction," said business owner Kathie Anderson. She said she likes the fact that the changes would slow traffic on Ingersoll, but she fears what it would mean for her business. "I'm afraid they'll bypass Ingersoll and go up onto Grand," she said. Ring said the city has studied traffic along Ingersoll and found that the levels would support the three-lane plan. The Des Moines City Council will consider the proposal on Monday. If council members approve the plan, the only change needed would be for the city to repaint the traffic lines.

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