East Villard Street is going down to three lanes in 2020, and the intersection with 10th Avenue East is getting a roundabout in 2021.

Civil Science Engineering has been contracted by North Dakota Department of Transportation, in conjunction with the city, for the Interstate 94 business loop project.

Project Manager Kyle Comer detailed a "road diet" for East Villard at Tuesday's meeting of the Dickinson City Commissioners.

The plan would take a "complete street" approach to reconfiguring the road.

Villard's current four lanes would be changed to three lanes, with two single travel lanes and a center two-way turning lane.

"By reducing the number of lanes, it offers some additional space on the roadsides to be able to enhance parking and provide some additional space for pedestrians," Comer said.

Going to three lanes would also improve safety, mobility and access.

"We're trying to look more holistically at a multitude of users that are using these facilities in this area," Comer said. "Pedestrians, bicyclists, vehicles that are traveling and also parking. There's a lot of things going on in that area."

The change would also improve safety, with a projected average of 33% reduction in crashes.

"With a four-lane cross section, there's going to be confusion or uncertainty for drivers with the car that's in the leftmost lane. Are they going to turn or go straight? And the cars behind tend to run into them and have accidents if they stop," Comer said.

Going from four to three lanes will be "a lot safer for pedestrians," Commissioner Carson Steiner said.

Steiner asked if some physical objects will be placed on Villard to signify pedestrian crossings.

"Right now, I think what they have to do is step out and look," he said.

Comer said he was aware of the concern, particularly at First Avenue West.

A pedestrian-actuated overhead signal with flashing lights will be installed on both sides of the road.

Pedestrian counts were done in May during peak hours of typical week day.

"During that hour, we had 46 pedestrians cross at First Avenue West. We had 10 that crossed illegally at mid-block, and we had four that crossed at Sims Street," he said. "There is a lot of pedestrian activity in that area."

The resurfacing would initially go from Fourth Avenue East to 10th Avenue East, and merge with the new cross section planned for the NDDOT's 2021 east business loop project.

There are plans to further extend the resurfacing to State Avenue, Comer said, but discussions have not taken place yet.

Mayor Scott Decker asked if there plans to improve the 10th Avenue East intersection.

"That is, right now, not a good intersection to, especially, take a left on coming off of 10th," he said.

Comer confirmed NDDOT plans to install a roundabout at 10th Avenue.

"That was a decision that was reached a couple of years ago when the project was put on hold to address additional funding," he said. "That would include the realignment of East Villard and bringing it into a more straightforward, perpendicular connection."

The biggest concern, Decker said, is that it's built to handle truck traffic coming through there.

The roundabout is not going in with 2020 resurfacing project, but with the East Business Loop project, which starts in 2021, City Engineer Craig Kubas said.

The Villard resurfacing project is in the final stages of the design process, Comer said, and includes the installation of new streetlights.

Designs are expected to be completed in November, with the project bidding in February and construction starting Summer 2020.

Questions and concerns about project can be directed to sims.signal@dickinsongov.com.