Get Ready, Parts Of London Road In Duluth Could Be Getting A Major Overhaul
Having lived in Lakeside for the better part of 15 years, London Road was my main route to get wherever I needed to go. It often meant battling traffic from locals and tourists alike. It's the main way to get through Duluth to Two Harbors or other places further north. In the summer, traffic is like being on a freeway at times, with people either heading up the North Shore or coming back.
Beside the often-heavy vehicle traffic, don't forget it is a main part of Grandma's Marathon route every year as well. So with all the vehicle traffic, bicycles, and pedestrians using this stretch of road, the Minnesota Department of Transportation put out a survey with over 2,200 people responding about any concerns they have with London Road.
Many who responded to the survey said their main concern was traffic going at a high rate of speed, especially where Interstate 35 merges onto London Road at 26th Avenue East. Others said more should be done to remove impediments and improve the flow of traffic through the area as a main artery heading north.
So, what areas are possibly in need of improvements according to the survey? According to the Duluth News Tribune (paywall), they are the following three intersections.
26th Avenue East
Project Manager Tom Lamb said that the signal at 26th Avenue East is outdated and in need of replacement. A traffic study is slated to explore options there, including the possibility of a roundabout. This, in some ways, could be like when you get off the Bong Bridge in Superior. People are going at a high rate of speed off the highway, so that would be interesting to say the least.
40th Avenue East
In an effort to ease traffic backups at 40th Avenue East, a signal at the intersection could be replaced with a roundabout, although it's not yet clear if there is sufficient room to do so. If you ever have the unfortunate timing of being at that intersection when school gets out at East High School, you know it takes a lot of patience and you need to keep your head on a swivel.
60th Avenue East
60th Avenue was flagged as one of the London Road intersections most in need of improvement, with pedestrians often struggling to cross safely there; especially where fast-moving southbound traffic is expected to throttle down to 30 mph as they enter the residential area after coming off the expressway from Two Harbors. A traffic study will be conducted there, too.
On top of all of this Lamb said "About 30 boulevard ash trees on London Road are infested with emerald ash borers and are slated to be removed yet this fall in anticipation of the project. They will be replaced when the road is reconditioned in 2025."
For right now, the areas are just being studied to see how to safely decrease speeds of vehicles and make it safer for pedestrians. But if these plans do go through, look for log jams on Superior Street when construction gets underway as traffic looks for a different route through the neighborhood. But that is nothing new for us in the Northland construction season happens every year somewhere in the Twin Ports.