Work aids Ritchie Highway traffic

February 20, 1996|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,SUN STAFF

After 15 years of fighting for the same piece of asphalt, the residents who live near Church Street and patrons of the Ritchie Highway Shopping Center will have some peace.

Last week, the State Highway Administration finished installing green turn-signal arrows at Church Street and Ritchie Highway in Brooklyn Park to ease traffic flow.

"The people who were leaving from the shopping center were all vying for the same space in the intersection as the people coming off of Church Street," said SHA engineer Lawrence E. Elliott.

Last year, the highway administration completed a $1.4 million project to improve four Ritchie Highway intersections in Brooklyn Park. The intersections included 11th and 16th avenues, Church Street and Hammonds Lane.

"The last two issues were doing some lane designations different than they are today" and improving traffic flow from the shopping center and Church Street, said Mr. Elliott. When weather permits, the SHA will restripe Ritchie Highway through Brooklyn Park so the left lane northbound is for turning and the other two will be through lanes, he said.

Now as drivers approach Hammonds Lane, three lanes are reduced to two. Motorists waiting to make a left turn block a lane, leaving only one open for through traffic, said state Sen. Philip C. Jimeno, a Brooklyn Park Democrat.

Mr. Jimeno said he is seeking about $1.3 million from the state to begin work on the second part of the Ritchie Highway project to improve intersections from 9th Avenue to the Baltimore City line.

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