Thursday, August 12, 2010

Grand Avenue Speed Project

Recently, the Duluth Police Department and the MinnesotaState Patrol have received numerous complaints about the amount of vehicle traffic, truck traffic and speeding on Grand Avenue (Minnesota Highway 23.)
In response to these complaints, the Duluth Police Department and the Minnesota State Patrol have been working together to step up enforcement efforts and provide an added deterrent by having squad cars visibly working on Grand Ave.
During the month of July our agencies stopped 341 vehicles including 23 commercial vehicles. 104 of those vehicles were stopped for speeding, 21 drivers were issued tickets for speeding and 104 were warned for speeding. The vast majority of drivers were stopped for violations other than speed. Officers and Troopers working on Grand Avenue report speeding is not excessive or pervasive, contrary to public perception. Data collected on Grand Avenue confirms that volume of traffic is more of an issue than speed.
The volume of traffic on Grand Ave has increased by about 1,500 vehicles a day due mainly to construction on other Highways. The average speed of vehicles in the 35 MPH zone on Grand Ave. is 35.09 MPH. Of all vehicles on Grand Avenue in the 35 MPH zone, 85% are going 39 MPH or less.
Although public perception indicates a speeding problem on Grand Avenue, in reality that is not the case. Citizens who have meant well have gone to the extreme of posting their own speed limit signs and painting the speed limit on the roadway. Both agencies discourage individual actions by citizens meant to slow vehicles down. Posting a sign in the Highway right-of-way or defacing a roadway is a violation of State law.
The Duluth Police Department and MinnesotaState Patrol are asking the public to be aware of the speed limit on Grand and Commonwealth Avenues (Hwy 23). Observing the posted speed limit and allowing extra travel time will make the commute into and out of the City much safer during this time of heavy traffic volume due to road construction.