Traffic counts at Ridgewater discussed at meeting

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During the Jan. 7 Polson Commissioners’ meeting, officials shared an update regarding the Ridgewater master plan time extension/developer’s agreement.

A discussion on conducting a traffic count to determine when a second entryway to the subdivision would be constructed was held, with the decision to begin traffic counts during a summer month when traffic is at its peak, city planner Kyle Roberts said Monday, Jan. 14.

One of the conditions of a 10-year extension approved by commissioners on Oct. 15, 2018, was a developer’s agreement requiring the developer to develop a secondary access for the subdivision, connecting Ridgewater Drive to Hillcrest Drive, once the subdivision reaches 7,500 vehicles per day.

Currently, the entryway and exit to the subdivision — which houses an affordable housing complex, the aquatic center and other businesses — is located just off U.S. Highway 93.

At the meeting, Dennis Duty, a developer of the Ridgewater subdivision, suggested running car counts three times a year for two weeks at a time, but added it should be considered to wait until the summer to begin conducting the counts.

He also said that for the first couple of years, officials should collect a traffic count during the busiest months, and add an autumn and winter count.

Once the summer traffic hits 5,000 vehicles, the process to collect counts three times a year will be taken.

The Ridgewater subdivision was first approved in 2005, Roberts said.

A total of five extensions have been requested and approved, including a 10-year extension in 2007, six-month in 2017, two-month in 2017, one-year in 2017 and a 10-year in October 2018.

Extensions are requested in order to continue platting lots and developing beyond the master plan’s original approval period, Roberts explained.

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