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Allan

HOV lanes on Michigan Avenue

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I was driving down Michigan Avenue just now, when I saw some newly installed HOV lane signs. They are posted for both east and west bound travelers between downtown and Livernois Avenue. They may extend all the way to Wyoming Avenue, but I didn't keep driving to find out. I didn't see the diamond markings on the pavement, but the roadway is still snow covered in most places.

Has Michigan Avenue experienced some sort of spike in traffic recently that I haven't noticed? Usually HOV lanes are something one finds on freeways. Is this some sort of novel traffic experiment? I thought we were going to narrow the road to make it more pedestrian friendly, not make it even easier for cars to get in and out of downtown.

Frankly I don't see the point, considering that we're talking about a 7 lane road that carries traffic amounting to a tiny fraction of its true capacity.

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allan,

these were put in place as part of the I-75 gateway project. They will be operating the HOV lane as well as express busses (DDOT/SMART) starting at the end of the month. I am going to a presentation on Tuesday that should provide the nitty gritty engineering details behind the traffic analysis if anyone is curious. Moreover, there is a ribbon cutting scheduled for Friday, Feb 15th at Oblivions in Corktown if anyone is really interested.

My SMART contact is quite excited about this as it may be a nice way to build ridership while 75 is closed. Hopefully there will be carry-over effects.

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I figured that it might have something to do with the freeway closure, but I hadn't heard anything about it. I'm not sold on the idea, but I guess we'll see how well it works.

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I figured that it might have something to do with the freeway closure, but I hadn't heard anything about it. I'm not sold on the idea, but I guess we'll see how well it works.

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At this point, I've only seen signs. Haven't seen pavement markings yet...that's probably the next step.

I would think that Fort Street would be more logical, since Fort Street parallels I-75.

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LOL, let's see the difference. We have HOV lanes on a couple busy streets in Ann Arbor, and no one follows them. Although, Michigan Ave is pretty wide, they may be able to control traffic.

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Are they on the far right or the far left? Do you have to cross over the HOV lanes to get into the turning lanes?

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They are the right most lane on each side. For example, with Fuller Road, is its just a four lane road. There are marked by the typical black diamond lane signs stating limited use for buses or high occupancy vehicles. It doesn't work though because it's also the turn lane at intersections.

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from an off the cuff discussion, i understand that the detroit project includes signal optimization and possibly transit actuated signals. I'm not really buying that though, I don't think you could get that all online for $300,000.

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I heard whispers of HOV lanes accompanying the Gateway Project, but I just assumed they were going to be a part of the freeway infrastructure and had no idea that they were going to be put on the surface streets.

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How does this HOV lane work west of Livernois, where Michigan narrows to only 2 travel lanes, a center turn lane, and a lane of parking on each side? Cars will always be blocking the HOV lanes when they're trying to parallel park, and not to mention the fact that cars will need to travel in the lanes to make right turns. It just doesn't seem to make any sense.

I'll be interested to see the rationale behind all of this, since it seems like a colossal waste of money.

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How does this HOV lane work west of Livernois, where Michigan narrows to only 2 travel lanes, a center turn lane, and a lane of parking on each side? Cars will always be blocking the HOV lanes when they're trying to parallel park, and not to mention the fact that cars will need to travel in the lanes to make right turns. It just doesn't seem to make any sense.

I'll be interested to see the rationale behind all of this, since it seems like a colossal waste of money.

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I think that 300,000 is a good investment. If the HOV lane is an improvement (I trust that it is), then the time and money saved over time for all of the people using it could add up.

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[deleted previous post for changed quotation]

I think LRT would need to run in the middle of the road unfortunatly... so it will be HOV or LRT, not both (in the 5 lane section at least).

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Yeah, I think this is going to be a huge mess. Where it really presents a problem is between Livernois and Wyoming, where Michigan Avenue wasn't widened to insane proportions. I thought about banning parking too, but the businesses along that stretch depend on the street parking, since very few of them have dedicated parking lots. And unlike most of Michigan Avenue, there are actual businesses located along that stretch in relatively high densities. I live near this stretch of Michigan, and it's going to be interesting once this HOV thing starts up. Traffic moves at just about the right pace now, but it'll be interesting to see what happens once 80% of the cars are traveling in one lane during peak traffic times. Maybe it won't be an issue, but time will tell.

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