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Endion Land Use and Transportation Plan
The Endion Land Use and Transportation Plan analyzes the impacts of current land use and proposed development and puts forth a vision for the London Road business district between 10th and 26th Avenues East, throughout the adjoining Endion/East Hillside neighborhood, and within the adjacent St. Luke's medical campus.

The final plan was approved by the MIC Policy Board on April 16, 2008.


Complete Endion Land Use and Transportation Plan & Appendix

One-page Executive Summary of the plan

Consultant's (URS Corportation) Technical Modeling Memo

Public Involvement Process
The planning process was led by a steering committee comprised of diverse stakeholders who met on six occasions from February – November 2007. Public and business outreach efforts included surveying of London Road businesses (door to door distribution), two public meetings, and a walk through tour of the St. Luke’s Medical Campus, where stakeholders were able to point out specific barriers to converting 1st Street to two-way orientation. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping analysis was used throughout this planning process and visualization techniques were used to aid in envisioning future roadway designs.
  • Endion Land Use and Transportation Public Meeting was held on Wednesday September 12th at 7pm at First Lutheran Church (1100 East Superior Street).
    Visual Representation of Surrounding Text
    The meeting focused on reviewing and discussing future street conversions, existing and projected traffic issues, and future development plans. View the presentation and pictures from the meeting.
  • London Road Visioning and Future Design Preference (10th to 26th Avenues East) Public Meeting was held on Monday September 17th at 7pm at Edgewater Hotel (2400 London Road). The visioning session was attended by interested businesses and the public and utilized visualization mapping tools to identify the preference for a future roadway design. This meeting will also review results of the London Road Business Survey and MIC staff's land use assessment of the corridor from 10th to 26th Aves E. View the presentation and pictures from the meeting.
  • A public meeting was held to roll out the final plan to business and neighborhood stakeholders the following week (Thursday May 22, 2008 at 7pm in the Parish Hall of First Lutheran Church). View the public meeting announcement.
Project Visualization Tools
MIC staff recently presented visualization used in the Endion plan at the Wisconsin MPO/RPC/DOT conference and the Minnesota MPO Directors Workshop

Presentation on visualization (4 MB)

Fly-over animation video (43 MB)

Background

London Road (corridor shown in center of photo), located in Duluth's Endion neighborhood from 10th to 26th Avenues East, has experienced significant change over the past decade as a result of no longer carrying the volumes of traffic that are now traveling on adjacent I-35 (after the final highway extension to 26th Avenue East opened in 1992). Anticipating land use changes, the City of Duluth conducted a corridor plan in 1995 suggesting various recommendations for the road as it reverted to a lesser-traveled route. Additionally, the wide arterial is not conducive to pedestrian and bike movements (e.g., to the Lakewalk connections on the south side of London Road).

Following on Duluth’s planning initiatives, which include a new Comprehensive Plan and the Duluth’s East Downtown, Hillside and Waterfront Charrette Report and Plan, MIC staff will conduct a comprehensive study of transportation needs for the corridor and adjacent connections from roughly 6th to 26th Avenues East from 4th Street to I-35 (see map below), with particular attention to potential land use changes on the western end of the study area around the Plaza/Armory area and St. Luke’s Medical Campus. The MIC will work closely with city staff and corridor stakeholders to gather input. Potential plan recommendations could include improved transit movement, create parking solutions, or modify access points. Plan recommendations may also include projects for future funding consideration.

The objective of this study is to identify solutions to improve safety, traffic flow, multi-modal options and access on the section of London Road between 6th and 26th Avenues East and adjacent connections into the Endion neighborhood (see Study Area, below). Final recommendations will be targeted at supporting flexible land use reinvestment within the City of Duluth.

Study Area
Visual Representation of Surrounding Text

The study area runs from roughly 6th to 26th Avenues East and from 4th Street down to Interstate 35. There is also a small focus area on the western section of the study area around the St. Lukes Medical Center and the Plaza/Armory.

Historical Data and Prior Plans

The Duluth Chamber of Commerce proposed a vast network of one-way streets in 1956 to deal with traffic congestion. The one-way system became effective October 26, 1956 (pre-Interstate 35). Duluth Libray documentation from 1941 to 1968 ("DH" Duluth Herald) reviews the history of one-way streets. View the history of one-way streets in Duluth newspaper articles. One-way street networks were implemented across the nation prior to the development of the National Interstate system to deal with traffic congestion in cities. The February 1956 Duluth Herald newspaper article quotes Robert B. Morris, Executive Secretary of the Duluth Chamber of Commerce saying, "Most major urban areas in the United States have undertaken one-way street projects as a means of reducing congestion. They permit a street to carry three to four times as much traffic as two-way streets."

1956

Interstate Highway System Created
On June 29, 1956 President Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, which created the Interstate Highway System. View the 50th anniversary review.

1987-1992
Interstate-35 Extended to Lake Ave, 10th Ave E, and 26th Ave E in Duluth
I-35 Extension Fact Sheet 1965-1992. I-35 opened to traffic at Lake Avenue in 1987, 10th Avenue East in 1989, and 26th Ave E in October 1992. View a factsheet about this extension.

1995
MnDOT Turns Roadways back to the City of Duluth
MnDOT turns back multiple roadways to City of Duluth jurisdiction on November 1, 1995. View a letter and map of MnDOT roadways to be turned back to City of Duluth jurisdiction.

City of Duluth Downtown Duluth Traffic Study (SRF Consulting, November 1995) View the plan.

Endion Waterfront Plan and Development Strategy (Buckhurst Fish & Jacquemart---Pei Group Holdings, February 1995) View the complete plan.

2001
East Hillside/Endion Neighborhood Transportation Assessment (MIC, January 2001) View the complete plan.

2003
East Hillside Transportation Study (URS---MSA, November 2003)View the complete plan.

2005
Duluth's East Downtown, Hillside and Waterfront Charrette Report and Plan (Knight Foundation, 2005). View the complete plan.

2006
City of Duluth Comprehensive Plan (CR Planning, July 2006) View the complete plan.

2007
LHB Armory / Plaza Mixed Use District Plan Final Report (The Armory Plaza Development Association, LLC, and LHB, June 2007) View the complete report.

Project Updates
April 2008: At the April TAC and MIC Policy Board meetings, the Final Endion Land Use and Transportation Plan was presented for approval.

February 2008:
URS technical results for potential future transportation network changes.

January 2008:

A presentation of preliminary study recommendations was given to the MIC's Technical Advisory Committee and Policy Board in mid-January, see the January presentation. URS's Technical Memorandum is expected on January 25th, this document will need to be reviewed by MIC staff and the Steering Committee.

December 2007:

On December 20th, MIC staff facilitated a walking tour discussion of the St. Luke’s Medical Campus along East First Street that addressed current barriers for a two-way street design and considerations to accommodate medical facility needs in the future if the street orientation is to change. Staff from St. Luke’s, SEH Inc., City of Duluth Engineering, and MIC staff participated.

Novemberr 2007:

The Endion Steering Committee held a final meeting on November 19th, see November agenda, that centered on the URS traffic modeling recommendations regarding future street conversions from one-way to two-way, narrowing the London Road corridor and making traffic signal modifications. See URS November presentation. Meeting materials: decision matrix and meeting minutes.

October 2007:

The Endion Steering Committee met on Monday October 22nd to devise final plan recommendations and to consider further public outreach, see October agenda. URS is in the process of developing a technical memorandum of transportation modeling information which MIC staff will review and incorporate into this plan. October meeting materials: bioswale handout, plan recommendation map, plan recommendation spreadsheet, and meeting minutes.

September 2007:

Two public meetings were held in September on the 12th and 17th. See a summary of both meetings at the top of this page. View October presentation that summarized meetings.

August 2007:

WI MPO/RPC/DOT conference presentation on visualization


*August 15, 2007: MIC Policy Board Meeting, presentation and update on this project (view presentation).

*August 14, 2007: City Planning Commission Meeting, we provided an overview of this study (5pm City Hall, 3rd Floor (view presentation)

July 2007:

The fourth Steering Committee meeting was held on Monday July 30th. View meeting agenda. At this meeting, URS Corporation reviewed the preliminary findings of their transportation modeling assessment of potential future street conversions (converting current one-way streets to two-way streets) and potential future road closures to accommodate future development (view presentation of preliminary findings). MIC staff highlighted their land use assessment of London Road from 10th to 26th Aves E (view presentation) and reviewed the findings of the London Road Business Survey (view survey) that was administered in June 2007 to businesses from 14th to 26th Aves E (view survey results).

The last item of discussion was the public outreach for the Endion and London Road (10th to 26th Aves E) portions of this study. The Endion public meeting will be focused on reviewing and discussing future street conversions, existing and projected traffic issues, and future development plans. The proposed meeting location is First Lutheran Church on London Road. The London Road public meeting will be a visioning session with interested businesses and the public. This meeting will utilize visualization mapping tools to identify the preference for a future roadway design. This meeting will also review results of the London Road Business Survey and MIC staff's land use assessment of the corridor from 10th to 26th Aves E. The proposed meeting location is the Edgewater Hotel. The Steering Committee recommended that public outreach should begin after Labor Day.

The Steering Committee will gather for a final meeting at the end of September or in early October to: (1) review public input concerns and preferences from the Endion and London Road meetings; (2) review additional transportation modeling items and proposed mitigation and cost information from URS Corporation, (3) identify final report recommendations, (4) discuss plan implementation and funding opportunities, and (5) discuss the final report timeframe.

May 2007:

The third Steering Committee meeting for the Endion Land Use and Transportation Study was held on Thursday May 10th. View meeting agenda. URS consultant and MIC staff facilitated the meeting and committee members began selecting scenarios to simulate in the travel demand model. Issues such as street closures and potential street conversions (from one-way to two-way streets) were some of the scenarios under discussion for modeling. View presentation.

March 2007:

On March 30th, the second Steering Committee meeting was held, view agenda. URS Corporation attended this meeting to review elements of the traffic simulation modeling software (Synchro and SimTraffic) which will be used to cumulatively analyze traffic flow and modeling scenarios that the Steering Committee chooses to examine, View Traffic Modeling presentation. In addition, MIC staff reviewed study area development plans, data from the 2005 Duluth Charrette and 2006 Duluth Comprehensive Plan, view presentation.

February 2007:

On February 28th the Endion Steering Committee met for the first time. The meeting was held to give an overview of the project, bring stakeholders together to discuss the future vision for this study area, data collection items needed, public and business involvement strategies, future steps and meetings. View meeting agenda.

The steering committee stated that they wanted the consultants from URS to attend the next meeting to give an overview of the small area transportation modeling software that would be used to devise a series of travel scenarios for London Road and around the St. Luke’s Medical Campus and Plaza/Armory area. They also wanted to view some local examples (Rice Lake Road, Section 13 in Hermantown) of how the software was used. In addition, intersections locations to conduct turning movements were selected by the committee. MIC staff will collaborate with city planning staff and area jurisdictions to share staff and equipment to accomplish this task. The steering committee will meet again in approximately four weeks.

January 2007:

The Scope of Work for the Endion Transportation and Land Use Plan was approved by the TAC and MIC at the January meetings.

December 2006:

MIC staff met with City of Duluth Planning and Engineering staff on December 12th to discuss key elements to be included in this planning effort.

For More Information
For more information about this study, please contact MIC Director Ron Chicka by phone at (218) 529-7506 or by e-mail.












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