Bangor Looks At Curbing Crashes By Making 15th St. Right Turn Only
The City of Bangor is looking at ways to make one section of the roadway in town a little safer for motorists.
The City Engineering Department will be conducting a traffic demonstration in the coming weeks at the intersection of Union Street and 15th Street.
City Engineer John Theriault said his department started looking at this particular part of town after a couple of concerned residents brought it to his attention. The residents pointed out that there seemed to be an uptick in the number of crashes occurring in this one spot.
"The Engineering Department reviewed the three-year crash data from the Maine Department of Transportation that showed that the intersection is classified as a high crash location with eight crashes occurring in a three-year period. The majority of these crashes (5) involved motorists taking a left turn in or out of 15th Street."
"You would never build it that way today. Typically, where 15th St. is so close to the ramps and to the queuing...15 St. would automatically be "Right In, Right Out" if it was even allowed to be that close to an interstate ramp."
Theriault said that the plan would be to change the traffic pattern for a couple of weeks and collect some data as to how it affects motorists in that area and the surrounding streets.
"We're going to use signage and barrels to block off the through movement at the intersection of 15th St. and Union St. so that you're stuck making a right in or right out. And then I'm going to do some traffic counts to see what we have for general traffic. And then we're going to put that change into place temporarily. We'll let it settle for a week or two. Then I'll do some more traffic counts to see how it impacts the roadway."
This plan also includes a raised island along Union St. that would restrict vehicle access to that intersection.
Theriault said they will be checking in with folks in the neighborhood and the next road over to see what, if any, impact this change would mean for these side streets.
"There's a street that's adjacent to 15th [Beecher Park] and there's some concern that people are going to, if you're heading out towards Union St., take a left on Beecher and then make a left onto Union St. so I'm going to do some traffic counts to see if that really happens or not. "
Theriault says the demonstration will last about a month. Then they will collect public comments and decide what to do to move forward.
"We're going to do a little test to see what the neighborhood thinks, what the Engineering Department thinks, and then bring it to Council and see if Council wants to make the change or not. "
Theriault says anyone with questions or concerns regarding the demonstration or proposed changes can reach out to him at Bangor City Hall by calling 207-992-4249.