The intersection at Madison Street and Moonlight Road gets an ‘F’ grade during morning and afternoon rush hours, but the construction of a new convenience store on the southwest corner won’t make it much worse, planners said.
City planners recommended that members of the Gardner Planning Commission approve a preliminary plat for the construction of a new Casey’s General Store at a Jan. 28 meeting.
Michelle Leininger, city planner, said the intersection’s level of service during peak traffic in the morning and afternoon is an ‘F’ and an ‘A-F’ scale, similar to the grading scale.
“It doesn’t function at the level of service for very long each day,” she said.
She told commissioners that city engineers don’t think the intersection needs signalization at this time, even with the addition of a new store on the corner.
There are nine factors that trigger the need for traffic signals at intersections. The triggers include things like vehicle volume, school crossings, accident history at the intersection and if the intersection is part of a larger road network.
“It’s kind of a culmination of multiple things,” she said.
Although there are a number of factors officials consider when signalizing roadways, Leininger said there’s no specific combination of triggers or factors that definitely indicates a signal is needed.
She said city engineers and traffic consultants say that putting in traffic signals prematurely can make intersections less safe.
Planning commissioners recommended approval of the preliminary plat for the new store. City council members also must approve the preliminary plans. Officials will also be asked to approve a final plat before construction can begin.