The underpass would allow pedestrians and bicyclists to get to and from Lindale Mall and the stores and residences on the north side of Collins Road NE. One design option also would take cars on Lindale Drive NE under Collins Road NE.
Rob Davis, the city’s engineering manager, says it is already quite a challenge for pedestrians to try to get across Collins Road NE with its turn lanes in the Lindale Mall area. It’s almost commonplace, he says, for people to cross Collins Road NE away from intersections so they can at least make it into the grassy median while they wait for traffic to clear on the other side of the road.
Collins Road NE is in the midst of a several-phase undertaking to widen the road from four through lanes to six through lanes.
Current plans call for 11 traffic lanes at one spot on Collins Road NE at Lindale mall — six thru lanes and five turn lanes of one variety or another.
Davis says the underpass is needed because it will take too long for pedestrians to get across the wider highway and, as a result, it will hold up traffic too long waiting for them to do so.