Letter: Dickinson needs to address numerous traffic problems
An article in The Dickinson Press, “Officials tour Dickinson’s transit issues,” in which Mayor Johnson stated non-residents can sometimes have a hard time understanding what is going on in Dickinson because they don’t live it.
You don’t have to live in Dickinson to see it has always had a traffic light problem and the problem always gets put on the backburner.
I recall 30 years ago upon returning from a vacation in our RV, driving a couple thousand non-eventful miles only to not be able to make a northbound turn on Highway 22 off of Interstate 94. If it was a problem then, you know what a disaster it is today.
I have watched lately that large vehicles with pilot cars send them out in the middle of the traffic, cutting off northbound traffic so the large unit can make the left turn onto 22. I think it is ridiculous to go to these measures to negotiate Dickinson streets.
One reason light issues involving a state highway are not addressed is that cities tend to wait for the state to pay for much of the cost of installing proper traffic control.
Bismarck has much the same scenario. However, Bismarck has been proactive. A Bismarck Tribune article from Sept. 20, 2007 says Bismarck was studying 25 intersections it felt were a problem for $200,000. The engineer stated that his department wanted a detailed analysis to make the best improvements, with an emphasis on flow.
In December 2007 I contacted a Dickinson commissioner and asked why there wasn’t anything being done on the intersection problems. I was informed that all those involving the state were governed by the Department of Transportation and that the city has no control or input.
I have a hard time believing the NDDOT would not do everything possible to work with the city. I was not given a reason why the rest of the intersections did not receive much attention.
Bismarck also noted that the study would take into consideration reductions in fuel consumption, driver frustration, vehicle delay and stops and air pollution. The article noted that Kansas City was involved in a daily traffic flow study of 25,000 vehicles, which found annual savings of $4 million for drivers.
Let’s hope that Dickinson addresses the traffic light issues with a much higher priority than in the past. Area drivers deserve better than we have been getting.
Wally Roshau, Killdeer