A study completed by consultants examined several redesign options for the US 10 Business Route corridor. The preferred alternative, based on the needs of all corridor users, was a reduction in the number of lanes from three to two.
Buttles and Indian Streets are overbuilt in their current design. This provides conditions that are unnecessarily unsafe. A single lane reduction is being considered to change how drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians use the road in order to reduce speeding and encourage safety for everyone. A lane-reduction would also result in more space that can be devoted to other users. A final decision has not been made as to how the resulting space could be used but examples of potential uses include widened sidewalks, buffer zones, dedicated vehicle-turn lanes or separated bike lanes.
The consultants’ recommendation to reduce Buttles Street from three to two lanes was based on an engineering analysis completed and presented in the final study report using a variety of available and collected traffic data. Although the recommendation was and remains supported by the information that was available at that time, on-street testing was desired by both MDOT and the City of Midland to make certain the consultant’s findings would hold up under real-world conditions. Short trials took place in August 2017 and November 2017, both of which supported the consultants’ findings that only two lanes of travel are needed to accommodate the traffic using the corridor between Jerome Street and State Street. The trial now underway is an expanded testing of this finding and continues to collect data that will be used to make a final decision for the future of this corridor.