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Staff Proposes Overhaul of George Washington Masonic Temple Intersection

The intersection near the George Washington National Masonic Memorial is a mess, and city staff are hoping to give the traffic-logged crossing an overhaul to make things run a little more smoothly.

There are three alternative plans presented for the access street that runs parallel to the west of Callahan Drive. Staff’s recommendation is to convert the lane into a one-way, southbound street that allows traffic headed down to Duke Street a left turn before the main intersection.

Staff said the proposal would remove some pedestrian/vehicle conflicts at the intersection and hopefully cut down on congestion.

Currently, the lane is a two-way street, which is one ongoing option. Another is to make the lane accessible to emergency vehicles only, which would be one less crossing for pedestrians, but would increase traffic at the main Callahan Drive and King Street intersection.

Part of the project will be optimization of the signal timing. The project will also hopefully improve the pedestrian and cyclist experience at the crossing, with upgraded crosswalks and pedestrian signals, a curb extension for shorter crossings, and bicycle facilities through the intersection. Currently, the bike lanes down King Street end abruptly near the bottom of the hill.

The proposed change is headed to city review at the Tuesday, Feb. 23 City Council meeting.

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