City traffic-parking panel looking at issues

MARQUETTE – Traffic patterns and an approach accommodating pedestrian, vehicle and bicycle traffic are on the horizon for the city of Marquette’s Traffic-Parking Advisory Committee.

Chairman Jake Fether issued a committee report Monday to the Marquette City Commission, giving an update on recent projects and upcoming recommendations.

Fether said the committee’s job is to advise the city on traffic flow and patterns. It recently gave advice on slowing traffic and lane reconfiguration, especially on South Front and West Washington streets and near Marquette General Hospital.

The current city traffic study and proposed trucking route also are being looked at, Fether said, as well as crosswalks at the entrance of Marquette Senior High School.

“It’s not very well marked,” Fether said. “It needs a redesign.”

He also said a solar-powered light at the corner of Lakeshore Boulevard and Wright Street is being discussed. Blake Rieboldt, a Marquette City Police Department captain who is staff liaison with the committee, said that intersection is unusual because there’s no accessibility to power.

“So we’re still looking at it,” Rieboldt said.

The committee also is studying the Third Street Corridor Sustainable Development Plan to make that area better for all types of traffic, including pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists, Fether said.

Commissioner Don Ryan asked if the committee had been looking at McClellan Avenue from Ridge Street to U.S. 41 West.

“There seems to be a lot of problems,” Ryan said.

Fether said the committee has not come up with recommendations for the area yet, but it is interested in suggestions.

Commissioner Sara Cambensy questioned how bicyclists should handle themselves in road situations, with Rieboldt saying they must abide by motor vehicle laws.

Commissioner Mike Coyne acknowledged bicyclists have equal rights, “But they’re not often treated that way.”

Police Chief Mike Angeli said bicyclists have equal rights but they don’t always have the right-of-way. Rieboldt said, for example, when bicycles make up slower traffic, motorists may drive past them.

In addition, Angeli said bicyclists must stop at lights and signs.

“I want to make sure you understand the equal rights aspect,” Angeli said.

Fether also told the commission the committee works closely with the Marquette City Planning Commission, giving advice on parking issues and particularly lane designations. He said the commission also is looking into more bike lanes for the city and is working with the Marquette Bikeability Committee to solve bike-related issues.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is