Over 40 individuals participated in the first public meeting for the Franklin Avenue Complete Street Project hosted by Transit for Livable Communities (TLC). The discussion was lead by Toole Design Group, the company retained to study and propose a recommendation for improved transit along Franklin Avenue.
At the Monday night meeting, Toole Design presented an overview of Franklin Avenue’s current condition for all road users. In short, the quality of service for everyone traveling along Franklin Avenue is poor. As reported at the meeting, the crash rate on Franklin is over 2.5 times the expected rate. A solution raised by Toole Design and one that gained traction among most meeting participants involves performing a 4 to 3 lane conversion along many sections of Franklin. Designating the middle lane as a left turn lane will likely dramatically reduce the crash rate. The loss of one motor vehicle lane should not have a significant impact on traffic volume and will free up space for bike lanes and motor vehicle parking.
Toole Design emphasized that they must consider constraints, both budgetary and spatial, when evaluating options for a safer Franklin Avenue. Additionally, raising the quality of service to Franklin Avenue will require compromise from motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. As they move toward a final recommendation to TLC, Toole Design will also be guided by public input generated during Tuesday night’s meeting.
Thanks to everyone who attended the meeting and offered their input. TLC expects a final recommendation from Toole Design by mid to late summer when TLC will host another public meeting to disseminate and discuss the study results.