Marquette Township officials seek to make Commerce Drive safer

A street sign on Commerce Drive is pictured. The Marquette Township Board approved a resolution on Tuesday to request a speed study from the Marquette County Road Commission and the Michigan State Police which could implement a speed limit of 35 mph. There is currently no speed limit posted on Commerce Drive. (Journal photo by Lisa Bowers)

MARQUETTE — Marquette Township officials are hoping state and county agencies will set the speed limit on Commerce Drive to 35 mph.

The Marquette Township Board on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution to formally request a traffic, speed and engineering study of the busy corridor between Werner Street to Wright Street from the Michigan State Police and the Marquette County Road Commission.

The resolution states, in part, that the current traffic speeds on Commerce Drive are “believed to be hazardous to pedestrians and bicyclists,” and cites an increase in “commercial, residential and educational development,” which has increased the number of ingress/egress points and traffic congestion.

The resolution further states that the location of township and community service offices, the township fire department and the Safe Routes to School pathways “along and intersecting Commerce Drive have expanded vehicle and pedestrian presence.”

The Marquette County Road Commission, which owns and oversees roads for all townships in the county, conducted a speed study along the corridor in October.

According to Michigan Public Act 447, a speed limit should be determined by “an engineering and safety study and by the (85th) percentile speed of free-flowing traffic under ideal conditions of a section of highway rounded to the nearest multiple of five miles per hour.”

The speed study conducted by the MCRC determined the 85th percentile speed on Commerce Drive to be 37.8 mph.

The township’s request is currently under consideration by the MSP and MCRC, who will make the ultimate decision regarding the speed limit.

“It is understood that (the) road commission in cooperation with (the) Michigan State Police will use the engineering data gathered in the study to make a decision, which could raise the speed limit, lower the speed limit or keep the speed limit as it is,” the resolution states.

Lisa Bowers can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.


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