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What are your thoughts about the transportation changes proposed to improve east-west connectivity into and through Sandpoint?

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8 registered statements

The "curve" is the only long-term solution that makes sense. It will ruffle feathers but is the best solution for the greatest amount of Sandpoint citizens. The key issues that I've noted (and they are all more pronounced concerns with high summer traffic volume): 1. The one-way section of Pine St. between 4th & 5th creates more congestion because traffic that wishes to continue to Hwy 2 is forced to detour around that one block. Pine St. should all be two-way traffic. 2. The light at 5th & Church creates a backlog of traffic. If Pine St. allowed two-way traffic throughout, that light would be more effective at the intersection of 5th & Pine. This would also allow southbound 5th Ave. traffic to turn left at Pine, connecting to Hwy 95 south more directly. 3. The intersection at 1st Ave. and Bridge St. is CRAZY in the summer. MANY cars turn left from Bridge St. onto 1st Ave. if they have an opportunity despite the signs indicating right turn only. Drivers connecting to 95 south need a more direct travel pattern. 4. The wide single lane for southbound traffic on 5th at Cedar St. needs to accommodate two lanes if possible because some drivers need to stay in the right lane to visit businesses on the east side of 5th while additional traffic wants to either turn left somewhere along the 5th Ave. corridor or pass through town efficiently. The current configuration means that drivers have to transition from a single southbound lane to two southbound lanes, which creates some confusion. 5. The left turn lane onto Oak from 5th Ave. (southbound) creates a traffic issue because there are only two lanes in that section of 5th - one headed southbound and the left turn lane. This is problematic because southbound traffic coming through the light at 5th and Cedar has two lanes. With increased traffic in summer, drivers wanting to continue southbound on 5th are often forced into the left turn lane, creating safety concerns as they realize they don't want to turn and try to change lanes. Allowing for consistency and keeping two southbound lines in addition to the turn lane would eliminate this issue. The other problem is that during busy times (for example, Farmer's Market on Saturdays), traffic wanting to turn left on Oak from southbound 5th Ave backs up, often to the stoplight. Some of this congestion could be avoided by removing the light at 5th and Church (many people would prefer to turn on Church but want to avoid the light). Superior & First: Concur with short-term plan. For long-term, I support physical barriers to west-bound traffic onto Superior and south-bound First; a traffic light would not be needed. First & Bridge: Concur with short-term plan. FIRST AVENUE & SUPERIOR STREET Key Issue: Is abnormal and confusing a bad thing? My research and empirical evidence shows that when drivers approach an abnormal situation, they tend to proceed with caution, at lower speeds. With lower speeds, crashes are far less severe. Is there crash data that suggest that this intersection in its current configuration is more hazardous than others in town? The Sandpoint transportation system respects a grid pattern where traffic is dispersed rather than focused on collectors and arterials. There are many benefits to a dispersed traffic pattern. I oppose any changes that would limit or redirect traffic from easily accessing the S. Sandpoint neighborhoods. FIRST AVENUE & PINE STREET Absolutely oppose adding a traffic signal. Please show empirical evidence that supports improved traffic throughput with a signal. Don't defer to "Suburban USA" Sandpoint and downtown are unique and I believe that the public will tolerate minor congestion to avoided the reinstallation of a traffic signal at this location. Bad idea. FIFTH AVE & PINE ST Oppose the addition of a traffic signal at this location. Again, the transportation system in Sandpoint is based on a dispersed grid system. It appears that you are working to consolidate traffic which will result in these arterials becoming heavily traveled and impassable to bikes and pedestrians. Please don't "cut off" our downtown and please don't surround it with high volume signalized traffic stacking lanes. FIFTH AVE & CHURCH ST Keys Issues To favor the north-south traffic on Fifth Avenue, the vehicle queueing on Church Street spills back to intersections to the east causing additional congestion in the core of downtown. Yes, this happens but only for short durations during the day. Peak hour congestion is something we can live with to allow more flexible navigation the remainder of the day. The proposed solution will force all traffic onto a limited number of roads, vastly increasing traffic, noise and congestion. I oppose this proposed change and Strongly Oppose the "Curve" concept. The "Curve" alignment will literally divide the town with a 5 or 6 lane road. THis will isolate and restrict movement between neighborhoods. Build the Western Bypass as is illustrated in the 2050 Long Range Plans. Get U.S. -2 out of Sandpoint. EUCLID AVE & US-2/PINE ST Present safety concerns? Really? Please provide evidence to support this assertion. Let's focus on the real safety concern...5th Ave...where there have been 2 TWO pesdestrian fatalities. Please don't block our mobility and ability to travel easily though town most hours of the day in the name of "safety". SIXTH AVENUE & US-2/PINE ST Present safety concerns? What is the crash severity here? I travel through this intersection daily at all hours of the day. It seems to function just fine.Strongly oppose the "Curve" concept. We don't want a 6-lane intersection here. It will divide our town and make it less walkable. PINE STREET CORRIDOR Strongly oppose suggested long-term solutions. What will you do about truck traffic? Eastbound trucks will congest our downtown. Please keep mobility options open and dispersed and don't focus traffic onto loud and impassable arterials. FIRST AVE & BRIDGE ST / FIRST AVE & CHURCH ST I support this solution. We frequently use the intersection at First and Superior to turn south on First from Hwy 95 and often find it congested and dangerous. We are happy to see the city addressing this and agree with the short term solution of restricting south-bound left turns and going straight on Superior. We do not think a traffic signal there would be well-advised. We are happy to see Pine Street returned to two-way between First and Fifth. It should never have been reconfigured to its present state. We are happy to see the traffic signal removed from Fifth and Church. We are happy to see left turns on and off of Euclid as proposed. Do your traffic models show that you could simply close off Sixth Avenue where it intersects with Hwy 2? First and Pine HAD a signal for many years. It is a total waste of time and money to keep making changes when they are not needed in the first place. Eventually we will get back to THE CURVE but having wasted hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in the meantime. I think that the most dangerous area in sandpoint city limits is spruce street west of division during school pick up and drop off times. I have contacted SPD resource officer and also Farmin school. Nothing has changed. Overcrowded doesnt give it justice in describing the dangerous mess that is that street at 8am and 1pm Monday through Friday. I am experiencing a near miss of an accident every, and i am not exaggerating, every single pick up. Parents drive in to on coming traffic to get around others driving slowly or being patient. This is probably the worst issue as it is not wide enough to do this, forcing the oncoming traffic out of their own lane and onto the curb to avoid head on collision. This is an every day occurrence 100% of the time. If you parked and watched you would see at LEAST 10 cars do this. I have recorded a few cars doing this, no one else seems to think this is an issue or hazard... i will not be suprised when an elementary student is ran over due to erratic drivers, am i being over dramatic? I am a mother, i care for all children in that aspect. Please help. Thank you so much for providing the opportunity to give input on the proposed changes. It is my sincere hope that you take our comments under true consideration, as we are the ones living in this part of town and are most impacted by these issues. First Ave. & Superior St.: I FULLY support BOTH the recommended short-term and long-term solutions proposed. Thank you for your openness to including this important issue in your assessment. I would say we definitely need barriers and a light to direct traffic off of the Bridge and onto 1st Avenue, eliminating the ability for cars to 'offload' onto Superior and into S. Sandpoint. One other issue that also needs to be addressed is Hwy 2 and Ontario. This is the ENTRY point for much of the traffic through S. Sandpoint trying to get out of town. So many people (and many High School students SPEEDING) cut through S. Sandpoint to avoid Hwy 2 and Pine street, in order to exit Sandpoint and to get to the bridge. There is also a serious an issue with speeding on Ontario, which creates an unsafe area for pedestrians and neighbors. This will become much more evident when sports are more active at Memorial Field and during the Festival, although we experience it all day long. I realize a barrier at Highway 2 and Ontario is not realistic, however, I would suggest the following: 1) Consider adding additional signage at Hwy 2 & Ontario, such as “NO THROUGH TRAFFIC,” to hopefully discourage usage. 2) Add 2 stop signs along Ontario to INCREASE SAFETY and disincent drive through traffic. I would recommend adding them at: -Ella Ave. & Ontario - At the start of the park. -Florence Ave. & Ontario - At the entry to Memorial Field. - I would NOT recommend adding a stop sign at S. Boyer, as it would inhibit movement into and out of the parking lot/boat launch. 3) Add additional speed limit signs and REDUCE the speed limit on Ontario. Increase monitoring by SPD. First Ave. & Pine St.: I FULLY support your ST and LT recommendations. Fifth Ave. & Pine St.: I FULLY support your ST and LT recommendations, although I do not know what a ‘couplet’ is. Euclid Ave & US 2/Pine St.: I FULLY support your ST and LT recommendations. We live on S. Euclid and the traffic and speeding on our street is terrible. 6th Ave. & US 2/Pine St.: I support your ST & LT recommendations. Pine St. Corridor: I FULLY support these recommendations. Nothing about what exists in navigating Pine, Church, 5th and Hwy 2 makes sense today. Thank you for going back to the future. First Ave & Bridge St: I support your ST recommendations, although I’m not sure I fully understand what is being proposed in the diagram. If the area indicated is a ‘pedestrian only zone,’ how would there be traffic flowing down first toward Pine St. Would like a little more clarification on this. Thanks again! First and Superior: Convert to traffic circle by adapting adjoining property's corners to realigned traffic lanes. Superior is a natural, existing route for east/west traffic. Second through Fourth Avenue's north/south traffic should yield/stop for Superior's east/west traffic. Realign offset of Superior at top of Fourth Avenue hill. Adjust lane widths/parking and speed control barriers. 4-way stops at Euclid and South Boyer. Reconfigure Superior/Florence/Hwy 2 intersections for safety (possible traffic circle and/or traffic light here too. Timing controls to maximize high volume period traffic controls and ease wait times Pine at Fifth Avenue: reestablish two-way traffic on this block-long segment with reinstallation of traffic lights here with free right onto north Fifth Avenue/Hwys and continuous/yields on east-bound Pine St. Turn lane signal for Fifth Avenue east-turning traffic onto Pine St. All traffic lights aligned in timing for easing high volume traffic flow times and off hours flow. Fifth Avenue at Church: remove this light. The traffic congestion it creates, especially the off-peak-hours, is totally unnecessary. Useless waits are very disruptive. Adaptive light control technology is available/affordable and needed here. Bridge St. and First Avenue: NO realignment of angling of Bridge St. approaching First Avenue. NO barriers in the middle of First Avenue (this is pure folly and an added hazard for winter snow removal, pedestrians crossing into traffic using this as a "island" for illegal "jay-walking"). Stop signs for all directions of traffic intersections (south bound First at Church, north bound Bridge at First, east bound Bridge at First). Traffic enforcement camera system with ticketing and warning signage installed and strictly enforced for violators attempting left turns (south onto First Avenue from west bound Bridge St.). SPECIAL NOTE: Increasing traffic speed violations in the below listed areas need immediate auto-infraction technology installed and strictly enforced. Speed detection/monitoring/ticketing technology must be installed and warning signage with automatic flashing light notice of violations being sent to drivers breaking the law. This technology is available and the expense of purchase/installation/maintenance and monitoring will be more than recovered in a matter of months with auto-ticketing technology. This is a priority is critical for safety. Violators need to be fined and/or licensing revoked to curb this dangerous trend. Locations in need of enforcement technology: Pine St from railroad overpass to Division St., length of Division St from Hwy 2 to Baldy Road, Pine St from Division to Boyer, Ontario St from Hwy 2 to Boyer St., and especially Fifth Avenue/Hwys from north city limits to Pine St.

Name not shown inside the County of Bonner

February 12, 2021, 9:19 AM

Name not shown inside the County of Bonner

February 11, 2021, 5:47 PM

Name not shown inside the County of Bonner

February 6, 2021, 3:41 PM

Helen Newton inside the County of Bonner

January 28, 2021, 7:17 PM

Name not shown inside the County of Bonner

January 28, 2021, 3:09 PM

John Pestonjee inside the County of Bonner

January 28, 2021, 1:47 PM

Amy Flint inside the County of Bonner

January 27, 2021, 10:42 AM

Message from Open Town Hall Admin

Thank you for your feedback. All of the issues you mentioned are consistent with feedback we received in the planning process to-date and we hope you agree that the proposed changes address them.

Name not shown inside the County of Bonner

January 26, 2021, 4:46 PM

Message from Open Town Hall Admin

Thank you for your feedback. We will be presenting and discussing an updated concept similar to the curve in the third workshop/post. The revised concept preserves some of our iconic Sandpoint institutions such as Dubs which the former concept did not.

Open Town Hall is not a certified voting system or ballot box. As with any public comment process, participation in Open Town Hall is voluntary. The statements in this record are not necessarily representative of the whole population, nor do they reflect the opinions of any government agency or elected officials.