Saturday, July 16, 2011

Monona City Council to Hear East Broadway Traffic Study Review

NOTE: I updated the information below for the Monona drive intersection. The second left turn from EB Broadway to NB Monona Drive would be needed by 2021. The extension of the left turn lane would be built in 2011.

On Monday, July 18, 2011, the Monona City Council, along with the Public Works Committee, will hear a review of a Traffic Impact Study for East Broadway performed by KL Engineering and Vierbicher associates.. You can find the study at the link above. The study was commissioned primarily due to traffic impact from new developments, which will add 10,000 traffic movements by 2021, including 1004 in the PM peak hour.

A summary review can  be found here.

Some of the major recommendations for intersection improvements (all intersections are with East Broadway) are described below. No major changes to E. Broadway itself are recommended.

Monona Drive. Extend the eastbound left-turn in 2011 and add second left turn lane onto northbound Monona Drive by 2021. Add a right turn lane for northbound Monona Drive to eastbound Broadway.

Copps Avenue. Construct a roundabout. Several alternatives are also included.


  1. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has an excellent overview of roundabouts from March 2011, explaining the growing body of evidence that modern roundabouts are much cheaper and safer. They also reduce delays and congestion, thus reducing pollution and commuter headaches.

    Roundabouts typically cost less to build and much less to maintain, since they do not require electric traffic signals, and thus, they function safely for motorists and pedestrians even when the power goes out. All this saves taxpayers money.

    But more importantly, roundabouts are proven to reduce accidents by 40% and fatalities by 80%, which is the primary reason that we need to seriously consider upgrading our intersections to roundabouts as we make improvements to our roads.

    However, I must offer a word of caution. Roundabouts, like any other roadway feature, have standardized design elements which MUST be followed so that motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians are able to navigate safely. Our roads MUST conform to these standards, avoiding unique or goofy designs which only serve to confuse people and create hazards (I am alluding to the poorly designed bump-outs on the south end of Winnequah. If we had embraced time-tested good design elements, then we would have succeeded in creating safe bike lanes while slowing down motorists.)

    I think the people of Monona expect elected leaders to consider cost and public safety as we improve our roadways. Many other communities in Dane County have installed roundabouts to reduce costs, improve safety, and to reduce traffic delays. Sun Prairie, Mount Horeb, Middleton, Madison, and many other communities are cutting costs and improving the lives of their citizens by installing roundabouts.

  2. Uh, Chad... Monona already has a roundabout over by Walmart, so pretty sure we all know what the deal is, but thanks for the pep talk.

  3. I think Chad's little write up is good since many people aren't used to roundabouts and seem to hate them by default.

  4. Uh, Anonymous, note how Chat mentioned the "standardized design" part? I'm relatively certain that the roundabout near Walmart doesn't even come close to following any type of federal standard. And as he notes, neither does the "parking/bike lane and random sidewalk-bump-outs". Federal guidelines are there for a reason... when design firms (and city councils) disregard them, we get 5(+?) years of contentious debate after it's been built, like with Winnequah.

  5. I never go over near WalMart, and neither do a lot of us so I appreciate Chad's information.

  6. I'm just tired of roundabout preaching, is all. Seems like anytime anyone says "roundabout" we have to hear about decreased fatalities, learning curves, some other city has one, etc. We get it! They're a good idea! Great! Build 'em!

  7. As this area becomes more commercialized (and more congested), can we do long term alternative transportation planning? 10,000 additional cars is a LOT, and if you figure on each car weighing 4,000lbs, that's an extra 40 million pounds of vehicular traffic on our roadway, every day.

    I don't know whether it's adequate public transportation to get to these areas (for work, or for medical visits), or pedestrian/bicycle infrastructure, but it would be great if we could continue the trend towards getting people out of their cars for simple, short-distance trips. Even just maintaining Madison's 5% number of people who bike to work would be 500 less cars on the road.

    Just a thought.

  8. Traffic design standards exist for a reason. When they are violated, you end up with screwy situations that don't work as intended. The latest and greatest example was the stop sign at Frostwoods and Winnequah. Speed data showed cars were actually going faster after it was installed. What is so ridiculous is that the engineers said the stop sign would not slow cars down so it's not as if the council didn't know this, but they did it anyway. Can't we follow normal traffic standards and build normal roads from now on? Roundabouts are increasingly common, there are standards for building them, statistics to prove their safety. I hope sure hope our council gets out of the road design business.

  9. It would be wise to remember that this is a blog, Anonymous. Chad wasn't preaching to you personally. You might be the most informed person in the world about roundabouts, but others may know nothing. Sometimes it's best to just bite your, your fingers.

  10. I feel like I should pint out that it is highly unlikely that a roundabout will be built on East Broadway.

  11. "chad wasn't preaching to you personally."
    Too often it feel like it.