Published March 8, 2022

City Council Approves Lane Reduction on 16th Street

Written by
Jasahd Stewart
| The Dakotan
Traffic Engineer Stephen Joersz explains 16th Street West Road Diet Project before the Minot City Council [Photo: Jasahd Stewart/The Dakotan]
Traffic Engineer Stephen Joersz explains 16th Street West Road Diet Project before the Minot City Council [Photo: Jasahd Stewart/The Dakotan]

MINOT — The Minot City Council gave the greenlight to reducing lanes on a portion of 16th Street from four lanes down to three lanes during Monday’s city council meeting.

City engineers presented a plan to reduce the four lanes on 16th Street between 4th Avenue NW and Burdick Expressway W down to three lanes, which they referred to as a road diet. The plan is an attempt at reducing crashes and to provide room for pedestrians and bicycles.

“There are some safety aspects on this roadway related to crashes and access management, that we can help alleviate with converting 16th Street West from a four-lane roadway to a three-lane roadway,” explained Traffic Engineer Stephen Joersz.

The project will be divided into two phases, each with their own segment:

The first phase will deal with the segment between 4th Avenue NW and 2nd Avenue SW and will be integrated in Minot’s 2022 Street Seal project.

Phase two will take place between 2nd Avenue SW and Burdick Expressway W and will be executed during the 2025 NDDOT Urban Roads Project.

I’m excited to see the change, to provide more walkability, pedestrian roadways, and bicycle lanes, so I will support it,” commented council member Paul Pitner.

Council Member Stephan Podrygula expressed the concerns some residents shared with him regarding the proposed project, however Joersz said he was confident that the changes would not slow traffic significantly.

“I think we’ll have to have a significant public education campaign,” said Podrygula, “because the general feeling is from the 50 plus people I’ve polled, is that if you narrowed it, you would not be able to get as much traffic through… and what you are telling us is, ‘that is not the case.’”

“Correct,” responded Joersz.

When asked by Council Member Tom Ross if the new school would cause problems to the flow of traffic for the new diet, Joersz responded, “We’re working with the school to do a traffic study for that… It was included a little bit…on the back of our mind we did an analysis of increasing traffic on 16th Street by 25%... 21st Avenue is on our radar to possibly modify and improve, but we do not have an exact plan for that.”

Should the project fail at achieving its goals, it is “a pretty easy change,” according to Joersz, to put 16th Street West back to how it was. Pavement markings are all that is required for the project.

The first phase is scheduled for this year.

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