Why were earlier trials conducted before the current trial was started?

Both MDOT and the City of Midland have been taking a slow, measured approach to testing the feasibility of a 2 lane street along Buttles Street from Jerome Street to State Street. The first step, following presentation of the Corridor Study by MDOT to City Council in March of 2017, was a three day temporary lane reduction from August 28-30, 2017 to assess the impact of reduced lanes in this corridor. Following a public open house that was held by MDOT on September 13, 2017, concerns were expressed about the timing and duration of the first temporary lane reduction. A second temporary lane reduction was therefore implemented from November 6-13, 2017.

Using information obtained from the two temporary lane reductions, MDOT presented the final report and recommendations to City Council on December 18, 2017. City Council supported in principle the preferred option of reducing Buttles Street to 2 lanes. The road diet trial now underway is testing on a larger and more complete scale the report findings and the ability of the corridor to handle the traffic that travels through this corridor regularly. The longer trial allows all anticipated travel volumes and conditions to be assessed. The trial will last until the M-20 bridge construction is completed, traffic patterns return to normal thereafter, and sufficient data is obtained to fully understand the effect of the reduced lanes on vehicles in this corridor. MDOT and the City are currently discussing how much longer the trial will be needed once the M-20 bridge construction ends this fall.

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1. Who was responsible for initiating the US 10 Corridor Study in 2015?
2. Who are the stakeholders that asked for this?
3. Why were earlier trials conducted before the current trial was started?
4. Why are there three lanes now? If they were needed before, why aren’t they needed now?
5. What is the purpose of the road diet trial now taking place?
6. What is the long term goal?
7. How does a lane reduction better connect downtown to the surrounding community?
8. Are corridor improvements only being considered to benefit the immediately surrounding properties?
9. What data is being collected during the current trial period?
10. What is the plan for evaluating the lane reduction?
11. Why are we considering closing a lane of traffic to accommodate bicyclists?
12. I don’t see pedestrians or bicyclists using the closed lane on Buttles Street. Doesn’t this show that the trial isn’t working and the lane closure is not needed?
13. Wouldn’t it be better to stop the trial until all construction downtown is finished?
14. It has been reported that Buttles Street has seen an increase in crashes because of the road diet. What is happening there?
15. How will this impact emergency vehicles traveling through the corridor?
16. Has future development, growth, and increased pedestrian usage been considered?
17. What has already been decided by City Council?
18. The decision on this trial has already been made. Why should I participate in any future meetings?
19. How can I share my experiences in the corridor with the City?
20. What happens to my comments after I submit them in writing to the City?
21. Does the City compile other communications about the road diet, such as letters to the editor in the Midland Daily News or posts on social media outlets?
22. How will City Council address the public feedback it receives?
23. The plastic bollards in place are ugly and make the area unattractive. Can’t we do something that looks better?
24. Why is the trial taking so long to complete? When will it end?
25. What happens at the end of the trial period?
26. Are there plans to do the same on Indian Street?
27. Who will be paying for any future changes to the road and what would the timeframe be to start construction?
28. How have road diets benefited other communities?