Recently the City of Prescott implemented striping changes on W. Gurley Street between Park Avenue/Grove and Josephine Avenue to improve safety for vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. The old four lane section resulted in left turning vehicles stopping and blocking the fast lane, often with following drivers changing lanes to go around. This condition led to sideswipe and rear end crashes which could have been avoided by the use of a center turn lane. Additionally the slow lane placed immediately adjacent to the curb lane resulted in reduced sight visibility at numerous driveway and street intersections making pulling in and out difficult. The traffic volumes on W. Gurley do not warrant the need for four lanes now or in the future as the area is nearly built-out with no new open land to develop (limited in-fill only). The conversion to the three-lane section will improve safety by adding a turn lane, moving through traffic away from the curb line, adding bike lanes, and creating more space between the sidewalk and vehicles. This plan was approved by the City’s Pedestrian, Bicycle and Traffic Advisory Committee and discussed with Council.
The changeover has created some downside at the intersection of Park Avenue where the new configuration has resulted in longer delays for drivers and some operational issues created by the lane positions. Staff is working on signal timing changes to address this, and we are also exploring striping and signing changes to help reduce blocking of the intersection. These changes once complete should reduce the impact the change has had on drivers.