Frequently asked questions
What is the purpose of this project?
The purpose of this project was to assess and prioritize area needs and improvements along Hwy 316 from the north junction of Hwy 61 to Tuttle Dr. in Hastings.
We anticipate making pavement upgrades to Hwy 316 from the north junction of Hwy 61 to south Tuttle Dr. in 2021. The pavement is deteriorating and needs a routine repair to obtain its intended service life. At the same time, we want to make other improvements to help with safety and traffic flow for drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
What are the proposed safety improvements?
Hwy 316 is a heavy-use corridor, with vehicles, freight, pedestrians and bicyclists all sharing the road and competing for space. It is difficult to access Hwy 316 during peak hours, especially on the north end in the area we evaluated. The steady flow of traffic results in increased delay times and queuing on side streets and in turn lanes. Left turns are difficult to make into and out of side streets within the evaluation limits. This is the cause of many rear-end crashes on Hwy 316.
Proposed safety improvements include:
- Adding three roundabouts and a center median. This will improve safety, reduce speeds and improve access
- Adding designated facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists on both the east and west sides of Hwy 316,
- Adding pedestrian crossings,
What is the difference between a regular, mini and a compact roundabout?
Mini and compact roundabouts are the same type of roundabout and the names can be interchangeable. The compact or mini roundabouts are typically used in low speed urban areas. Regular single lane roundabouts are distinguished from the compact roundabout by their larger circle and more tangential entries and exists, resulting in higher capacity. Their design allows for slightly higher speeds at the entry, on the circulatory roadway.
Will this project make it easier to cross Hwy 316?
While left turns are being impacted with the proposed installation of the center median, this will also improve safety by eliminating the historically most dangerous movements from a crash perspective. There currently are no walking or bicycling facilities along portions of Hwy 316 therefore, a seven foot median will be included with the proposed project to improve pedestrian and bike crossings.
Why a seven foot median?
The project team knows new or upgraded designated facilities, identified crossings and connections for pedestrians and bicyclists are a high priority for the community. This median shortens the crossing distance and provides a refuge for bicyclists and pedestrians so they are able to cross one lane of traffic at a time. The seven foot width will also help provide room for bikes, and bikes with trailers
Will this project reduce the speed on Hwy 316?
The project team knows that Hwy 316 feels unsafe due to vehicle speeds, especially to walkers and bicyclists. We will design the road to slow down drivers and to separate pedestrians and bicyclists from vehicle traffic.
Why not add more speed-limit signs?
Adding more traffic control devices, such as signs alone normally are not effective in reducing speeds and enforcement cannot be in place 24/7 due to limited resources. However, when used in conjunction with traffic calming measures, the proper use of traffic control signs can be more effective. This is why the proposed design changes to the road geometry have been incorporated to control speed and increase safety. See FHWA Engineering Speed Limits.
Will this project provide better access to homeowners’ driveways?
The proposed project will provide access to homeowner’s driveways, although it will restrict left turning access. Adding the center median and the mini roundabouts will help reduce speeds, improve safety on the corridor.
Who will be responsible for maintaining the new trails?
The City of Hastings will maintain the trail including snow removal , just as it does for many of the trails in the city that follow along a major roadways.
Will this project make improvements at the intersection of Hwy 61/316?
Improvements to the intersection at Hwy 61/316 will occur at a different time under a separate project.