Peoria Public Works favors combination plan for University & Main construction

By WEEK Reporter

October 15, 2013 Updated Oct 15, 2013 at 6:47 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Peoria Traffic Commission and Peoria Public Works Director, Mike Rogers alongside traffic engineer, Nicholas Stoffer met Tuesday afternoon at the Dries Lane Facility to discuss several plans for the construction on the University Street and Main Street intersection.

Rogers and Stoffer presented three potential intersection plans to the three attending commissioners. Those plans included a raised table top intersection, a roundabout intersection and a combination of the table top intersection with a road diet.

Of the three plans, the most popular was the third. The 1.2 million dollar plan essentially raises the intersection six inches--curb height--in order to make the intersection more accessible for pedestrians on wheels. It adds "bump outs," which extend the corners of each intersection so that it minimizes the crossing distance for each pedestrian. The last component would be a road diet, which reduces the number of lanes from five to three. The reduction of lanes is expected to begin west of University Street on Farmington Road, east of University Street on Bourland Avenue, north of University Street on Columbia Terrace and south of University Street on Moss Avenue. Rogers said that this plan is the most pedestrian friendly of the three main plans.

The city hopes to add an all-way stop to the intersection.

"There's new things that we did not even think about that came from [previous meetings] that we are actually going to implement," said Rogers. "One of those ideas is an all-way stop. An all-way stop is where all the signals are red. And then the pedestrians have a complete phase where there's no traffic that's moving. And that makes the intersection a whole lot safer."

Though these plans are not set in stone, the city hopes to come up with a design bill by the end of 2013. City officials are looking to phase in certain aspects of the plan like all-way stops and signage before any major construction begins. The Commission could not take any official action Tuesday, due to its inability to meet quorum. The Traffic Commission's next official meeting will be November 19.