Cedar Av. traffic relief options to be examined at open house in Eagan
- October 1, 2013 - 7:49 PM
MnDOT officials will talk about the congestion-relief options and solicit feedback during an open house from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Eagan City Hall, 3830 Pilot Knob Road.
The options are:
• Adding a MnPass lane from 138th Street to Old Shakopee Road.
• Adding what is called a MnPass Contra Flow lane from 138th Street to Old Shakopee Road.
• A combination of a MnPass lane and a contra flow lane.
A MnPass lane is reserved for drivers who have two or more people in their vehicle or who pay a toll.
A contra flow lane would help expand the highway’s capacity by making use of underused lanes. For example, during the morning commute, one of the southbound lanes would be used as a northbound high occupancy toll (HOT) lane. In the afternoon, one of the northbound lanes would become a HOT lane.
The lanes would be separated by a movable barrier that could be reconfigured to meet traffic demands.
In June, the metro area’s first Bus Rapid Transit line, known as the Red Line, started running along Cedar Avenue.
The managed lanes would take another step in reducing congestion. By adding them, MnDOT hopes to provide advantages for transit and carpools and provide a congestion-free choice for single-occupant vehicles.
Traffic is already heavy and expected to become heavier. According to one study, MnDOT found that Cedar Avenue between 140th Street and the Minnesota River bridge is subject to one to two hours of spot congestion during morning rush hours. It also found that the Minnesota River bridge is at capacity for two hours every morning.
Motorists make more than 94,000 trips along Cedar Avenue each day. That number is expected to rise by 36 percent to 128,000 average daily trips in the next 20 years.
Without any changes, MnDOT estimates that 14,000 existing morning commuters will experience longer drives, unreliable commutes and increased potential for crashes.
The Dakota County Rail Authority also is participating in the research about managed lanes on Cedar Avenue.
© 2013 Star Tribune