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URA approves traffic study for angled parking on Second Avenues

Second Avenue WarmArt Tattoo

WarmArt Tattoo & Body Piercing is shown open on Second Avenue West in May 2016.

TWIN FALLS — The Twin Falls Urban Renewal Agency wants the state to allow angled parking on downtown’s Second avenues and to make them more pedestrian-friendly. But first, Idaho Transportation Department needs some hard data.

On Monday, the URA board voted unanimously to pay $20,630 for HW Lochner Inc. to conduct a traffic study on the two streets. The study would analyze ways the streets could be made safer while still functioning as a truck route for U.S. 30. — although the city has requested the state reroute the highway around downtown.

As part of this analysis, the study will look at the potential of reducing the three-lane, one-way roadways to two lanes, adding curb bulb-outs and shortening pedestrian crossing distances. The removed lane on each would make room for angled parking and wider sidewalks.

“We want data we can take to ITD so we can make our case to add parking to the Second Avenues,” URA Executive Director Nathan Murray told the Times-News.

A representative with ITD has verbally agreed to defer to the city’s recommendations if the changes could be made without significantly decreasing the level of service on U.S. 30.

“This is a road system that, for their purposes, works really well,” Murray said.

The URA and city would also need to make a strong enough case that the current highway layout significantly impedes growth in that area.

Some board members were concerned that the Second Avenues traffic study would overlap with the city’s overarching traffic study, but Murray said the latter is much broader.

The sections of the roadway being considered for the traffic-calming measures are:

  • Eight blocks of Second Avenue East/North from Idaho Street East to Seventh Street North (at Lincoln Elementary School). ITD data records average daily traffic on the busiest section of those blocks was 7,400 vehicles, including 290 commercial vehicles, in 2017.
  • Five blocks of Second Avenue West/South from Eden Street West to Idaho Street. ITD data records average daily traffic on the busiest section of those blocks was 8,200 vehicles in 2017, including 90 commercial vehicles.

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