Q. I live up by 53rd Street and Elmore Avenue in Davenport. Could someone explain to me how Costco is "not" going to affect traffic on 53rd Street? Why does the city of Davenport believe that traffic won't be effected?
Have any of those people been to 53rd Street and Elmore Avenue after 4 p.m. most weekdays and any weekday after lunch or all day weekend days between Nov. 1 and Jan. 15? How about Davenport Fire Department's response times going west when this construction project begins and after its complete? I went to the Costco meetings and I believe that they sent their best people, stand up, good guys to meet with the public. They have their act together. What I don't have a good feeling about is how the city is going to accommodate a project like this at the location. Costco's responsibility to the city and 53rd Street ends where their curb meets the street (53rd Street). How does the city intend to rectify the traffic congestion on 53rd Street? I mean where is the long term planning? 53rd Street east of Eastern Avenue and especially east of Jersey Ridge Road has been a mess for years and there is no visible plan to fix it. What's the plan? – Michael, Davenport
A. We contacted the city of Davenport with your questions and concerns. Nicole Gleason, public works director/assistant city administrator, provided the following response compiled through the public works and community planning departments:
"While traffic is expected to increase, it still falls within the DOT's acceptable standards for level of service. To help mitigate at the proposed location, the city is requiring Costco to add a deceleration lane and a dedicated left turn lane, along with a traffic signal. In addition, separately, the city has been approved for federal funding to widen 53rd Street to five lanes, which will also help with the additional traffic. The five lanes will be added from west of Eastern Avenue to Elmore Circle. This will provide a center turn lane through the corridor. As a large percentage of the vehicular crashes in the area are rear-end collisions, this improvement will both improve safety as well as traffic flows. The federal funding will provide 80 percent of the construction costs for the project. The city is also installing fiber optic cable along the entire 53rd street corridor and interconnecting all the traffic signals. This project, in addition to adding an Intelligent Transportation System Operations Center at the Public Works facility, will monitor traffic and optimize signal timing for vehicular traffic on the corridor. Both the interconnect project and the ITS Operations Center received 80 percent federal funding. Also, Veterans Memorial Parkway is slated for completion soon after the Costco expects to open. As another major east-west arterial, this may relieve some of the current congestion being experienced on 53rd.
"Lastly, in terms of planning, 53rd Street is a major arterial running across the city. Over much of a three-mile stretch, it is lined by commercial development. Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that proposed commercial use of an agricultural parcel along this corridor should be allowed to develop as such. A destination retailer like Costco will certainly add to traffic in that vicinity. But as mentioned above, especially with the planned improvements, the end result will still fall within the DOT's acceptable daily traffic level of service."