MOORHEAD — Hundreds of cars pass by the Holiday gas station on 34th Street South every day during the lunch rush, something that prompted Jonathan Atkins, the City of Moorhead’s traffic engineer, to dig into how the intersection of 34th Street and 28th Avenue South was controlled.
Currently, the intersection is only a two-way stop, but after doing a traffic study on the intersection over two years ago, Atkins has been starting to think of other options.
“I didn’t think it would meet the warrants required to put a traffic signal in, but I ran (the data) anyway, and it proved me wrong,” Atkins said.
According to Atkins’ study from March of 2019, nearly 1,500 cars travel through the intersection near Holiday and Hardee’s during the morning commute, and over 1,500 cars go through it on the drive home.
Shelly Brown, who’s only lived in Moorhead for two weeks, said in a Facebook post to the group “Moorhead=Fantastic” that she’s seen three crashes at the intersection in those two weeks, including one where a motorcyclist had serious injuries.
A semi drives along 34th Street South in Moorhead Tuesday afternoon, May 18. Finn Harrison / WDAY
This has led to Brown and several others to call for a stoplight on the intersection, which Atkins hopes to put in as part of a federally-funded project starting in 2023.
“People that drive this (intersection) every day, they’re going to see those problems, and they’re the ones that let me know what it is,” Atkins said.
Atkins estimates it’ll cost about $400,000 to put in a new stoplight, which could be put in before the 2023 project starts, if the city gets the funding early enough.
While the light could be put in early, the rest of the road project would have the same timeline.
“It’s something that needs to be planned out,” Atkins said. “We can’t just pull the trigger and get it done.”
Along with getting the funding, Atkins also plans to check recent crash and traffic data from the Moorhead Police Department to see if there’s an upward trend, and to reinforce the need for a stoplight.