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Radar speed signs on Arrowhead and Sixth Avenue East?

What’s up with the “you are going this fast” signs on Sixth Avenue East and Arrowhead Road? I actually quite liked them when they were working. They offered a nice reality check for me and presumably others. They seem to be solar powered; are they both just broken? Are they subscription-based and the city is late on the payment?

20 Comments

Endion

about 3 months ago

Really? Arrowhead road is WAY too slow and poorly designed. There is NO road from the East side of Duluth to the mall area that has a decent speed limit - or a reasonable speed limit. Arrowhead road is the biggest speed trap in Duluth, followed closely by Central Entrance. The city of Duluth loves to "calm traffic" whenever possible. The philosophy is dumb and never works - except to make lots of money off of speeding tickets. That stretch is great for the handful of people who live on that road to be 30 mph, but the reality is that there needs to be a way to get to the mall at a realistic speed. Even those fancy scientists who studied the city said that the biggest problem is not having a way to get from East Duluth to the mall. 6th Avenue E should be an exit, but the hospital blocked that off. Arrowhead should be redesigned, the houses super close should be purchased by the city/state, and then a wall should be built or something. I know that people live there and I feel for them, but do people really like living on such a busy road? No matter how many signs you put up people will drive faster than what the posted limit is. As a daily driver of that road the only time anyone drives 30 is when there is an officer driving the road.... Then someone gets nailed. The city needs to fix this issue, not just put up a few solar powered signs.

rhetoricguy@gmail.com

about 3 months ago

Isn't the fastest way from the East Side to the Mall London to I35 to 53? It drives me nuts that people complain about the city streets when we have interstates and highways other people dream of.

Endion

about 3 months ago

@RHETORICguy Really? interstates and highways people dream of? Did you read the review that the experts wrote about our "dream interstate?" You must not live on the East side of town. Here is a link to an article today in the StarTrib on raising the state's speed limits: http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/262322881.html You must be one of those "traffic calmers" we have up here. Did you read the Knight and Charette reports on this issue? I'm not the only one who sees this as an issue.

wskyline

about 3 months ago

Radar speed signs actually have been proven to be effective at reducing speeding and reducing the number of accidents in areas that they are located. So, since the police department isn't in charge of street development, I'd say they are doing the best they can to encourage people to follow the posted speed limits with an alternative to a cop giving tickets. I can't see why anyone would be against the idea. There was also one positioned near the fox den on Park Point for a while to encourage people to check their speed, thus decreasing the chances of a car hitting a fox. They are useful tools in many situations.

arrowhead_nightmare

about 3 months ago

Comments around the disgust with how "poorly planned" Arrowhead Road is are similar to my disgust with the Duluth population driving past my family's residence at 40+mph -- most often times speeding toward a red stop light. Do any of you readers ever consider that Arrowhead is a heavily traveled residential roadway -- especially between Kenwood and Woodland avenues? Those houses and driveways are not just props and glitter, they are peoples' homes! Real people live there and put up with semi-truck-trailers hauling your food and toiletries to consumer outlets at frenzied rates of speed, motorcycles opening up full throttle and brazenly ignoring speed limits, endless amounts of distracted drivers (I've seen it all) and many more impediments to peace. The complete lack of respect and empathy toward roadside residents by the general driving public is a true strike against Duluth's "appealing nature," and I am reminded of this blemished record every time I am given the finger for simply entering traffic at a reasonable pace. I have multiple Arrowhead road-rage incidents aimed at me, including an experience with a driver who stopped and got out to threaten me for pulling into traffic and "making" he and his teen daughter slow down by ~10 m.p.h. When I pulled over to let them pass, the driver also stopped, got out, and came to my window with a clenched fist. What a role model. All in response to me carefully entering the boisterous roadway which we put up with night and day. Have also received the middle finger from a clearly eldery woman ... this road truly brings out the worst in its users. Life on Arrowhead Road is awful if you are at all sensitive to noise, much less air pollution. These experiences, along with Mayor Ness' support of Enbridge's Canadian Clipper pipeline, and the incredible lack of sympathy and safety for roadside residents is making my experience of this fair town feel more and more like the Big City each time I try and pull out of the driveway. What a shame. Think about the people in your periphery, just once?

Aldin

about 3 months ago

I look forward to the day when self driving electric cars silently whiz about the city replacing the whack jobs in jalopys who think it's their god given right to get to the mall as fast as possible. Until then I'll be in the right lane going the speed limit. Speeding is just not worth the stress of watching for police.

Endion

about 3 months ago

I feel bad for people living along Arrowhead, which is why I suggested that the city purchase the homes that have driveways adjoining it. I see two houses for sale that are almost on the road and wonder who will buy them and then complain about the traffic out front. There needs to be ONE road to get from the East side of town to the mall at a decent speed though. I am looking at reality and it sounds like from people's reactions to you Arrowhead that many are frustrated by the situation. People do need to chill out and not go after a homeowner pulling out. I had the same thing happen to me in Saint Cloud yesterday when I pulled out very far in front of a woman with her child in a CRV. She was speeding, caught up to me, honked, passed me, gave me the finger, and then 10 feet later had to slow down to 30 mph. I feel for you and agree. So the city puts up a cheap sign that breaks and then has police drive up and down Arrowhead every hour year after year giving tickets. That is not a solution. It is cheap and just perpetuates the problem. The other issue is that on 53, out one slightly faster speed (45 mph) entrance to the mall area has lots for sale right next to it. So then houses will be built, people will complain, and the city will jump in to "calm traffic" like they did on Arrowhead. I think we need one route to the mall that is at least 55 m.p.h. and then some roads to get out of town at that speed as well. Just one.

piker

about 3 months ago

I've always been perplexed by the design of roads here. My impression is that and MN DOT and the city have not the slightest idea what they are doing. There is basically no direct route to anywhere – you have your choice of three or four routes that paradoxically all take the exact same amount of time. That said, we are blessed to basically have no real traffic problems as far as congestion goes. Rush-hour here is a joke that lasts for 15 minutes, which residents of most cities would be thrilled to experience. I live on a road with a similar problem to the Arrowhead situation, though. It's a 30 mile-per-hour road, solidly residential, which is long and straight and convenient to use to go between Central Entrance and Haines. Despite the 30 mile-per-hour limit, most people travel at 40-45 miles an hour, and love blaring their hot rods and motorcycles. I've been at friends' houses in suburban Detroit which are far more quiet and peaceful in terms of road noise. It definitely affects my home values and the quality of life, which I find unfortunate.

Endion

about 3 months ago

Totally agree piker. I live on a 30mph road, but some people fly down it. I went to a meeting about London Road, which they kept bringing up Arrowhead, but the city kept saying "calm traffic"... It irritated me, but until this year I never had to take Arrowhead road to my job. I agree as you come over that hill it should be 30 mph, but after that it takes forever to get to 40 mph, then lights, then finally you get to go a whopping 45 mph. As soon as houses go up there someone will complain and it will all be 30 mph. I just think there needs to be one straight shot to the mall area. Arrowhead would be the easiest, but we can't have every road 30 mph in the whole city. No larger cities are like that.

aluminumpork

about 3 months ago

I wasn't so much wondering about people's opinions on existing speed limits as I was simply wondering about the functionality of the signs. I generally try and obey the posted speed limit regardless of how ridiculous it may seem, if only to avoid tickets. The reactive speed signs on these roads remind me whenever I see them that I should slow down; I sometimes turn it into a game to see how dead on I can get my speed. As long as the city has made the investment in these signs, I'd like to see them function. Otherwise it's a waste of money and a sign that literally serves no purpose.

Adem

about 3 months ago

I agree with @Endion that it is unconscionable that we are burdened in Duluth with a 10-15 minute commute between just about any two places in the entire city. As someone who is habitually late to wherever I'm supposed to be, I'm probably the best qualified to say that it's unreasonable to expect me to snooze one less time or close my reddit tabs, much less leave 2 minutes or so earlier. I know me, and none of those things are going to happen, so what SHOULD happen is everything else should change to accommodate me. I did the math, and if I got it right, between Woodland Ave and Rice Lake Rd, you would save 108 seconds if the speed was increased from 30 to 45. Everybody wins. We could turn the Kenwood intersection into a 2-way stop because I never go that way. I realize people have to live in houses but they don't have to live between me and the mall. People tell me that Kohl's just chains one sale to the next, so nothing's really on sale just marked up to be marked down. But I can't be sure. They're probably "traffic calmers" trying to get there before I do. I also agree we should probably wall off all main roads to keep out residential traffic because building walls between things has been a great solution to many problems since the beginning of time. It worked for the ancient Chinese, right? Or wait even better, we build a subway from the food court to places that aren't a direct route by car. Then we would be more like a larger city. These are all awesome ideas but they'll never happen because the police are just keeping speed limits low so they can keep writing tickets. They probably turned the radar signs off themselves because they cut into their ticket writing income. I would google some studies to back up my claims and ask you if you've read them before but I'm too lazy (lol) but I'm sure you could find some if you wanted. I had something else to say but clicked over to YouTube and lost my train of thought.

rhetoricguy@gmail.com

about 3 months ago

It's 18 minutes from my wife's home near the Video Shop & Ice Cream Place in Lakeside to the Mall, if you take London to the Interstate to 53. That's nothing.

aluminumpork

about 3 months ago

I kept waiting for @Adem's post to go from sarcastic to a "..but in all seriousness..." bit. I'm actually quite pleased that it didn't. :)

Endion

about 3 months ago

Sorry Adem for not being able to find the exact quote from the Knight/Charette study. It was in there about access from the east side of town to the mall. I guess you know better than experts being that you sound like a small townie. Go to any city a similar size to Duluth and you will find nice quick access to the shopping area. Just wait till the rest of Arrowhead gets developed. Your logic is as flawed as your sarcasm. "Hey, let's just wall off all roads and make them 70 miles per hour and kick out all of the residents." I suggested ONE road to the mall area that isn't 30 mph from Lakeside or the East End. Sorry for wanting the City of Duluth to be on par with the rest of the country and with what experts said the city should do. I guess you know better Adem.

hbh1

about 3 months ago

When conversations like these happen, I wonder what happened to us that made us think getting to the mall ten minutes faster would make our lives better. I have no doubt the charette and its followers think this is so, but I have no idea why.

Ramos

about 3 months ago

It's the opportunity to get away from the mall ten minutes faster that appeals to me.

emmadogs

about 3 months ago

You said it, Ramos. And how.

Rij

about 3 months ago

It is ironic that a blog called "perfectduluthday" can sometimes become a platform for people to gripe about everything they don't like about Duluth. Oh, and I miss those signs too.

TimK

about 3 months ago

The signs were probably put up to collect data and the sample period is over, so signs are not lit up.

Hayburn

about 3 months ago

I sympathize with daily commuters and residents on Arrowhead. (For just making the occasional trip to Target, there is not much cause for complaint). Between Kenwood and Carver, many well-built 50's ranches, what looks like one of the last booms of tract building in Duluth. Too many driveways on such a major arterial route, would seem better served by alley access on the back of those lots?

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