Billings 4 to 3 Conversion

 

Traffic Division 

City of Billings

1981
17th Street West
Between Grand Avenue and Colton Boulevard


 

17th Street West is a minor arterial. Its average daily traffic volume at Colton blvd in 1979 was 9,200 vehicles per day, in 1980 it reached 10,000 vehicles per day. Its posted speed is 35 mph. In august of 1979, the City of Billings scheduled an overly for 17th Street West and the Traffic Division took this opportunity to modify the striping. 17th Street West, a 40' wide arterial, was striped as a four lane, two way street. There was an accident problem, a large number of turning movements particularly by West Park Plaza, and excessive weaving. The channelizaiton was modified to provide one northbound lane, and center two-way left turn lane, and one southbound lane.

Due to limited resources, no extensive study can be made. However, the attached accident records show encouraging results. Indeed, between January 1979 and August 1979, there were 37 reported accidents, while between September 1979 and April 1981, there were 14 reported accidents.

 

In conclusion, the new channelization shows a significant decrease in reported accidents, no impact on traffic volumes or other traffic factors.


 

 

Pierre Jomini, P.E.
City Traffic Engineer

(now retired, also former Safety expert for State of Montana)