Johnson Drive in downtown Mission to go from 4 lanes to 3 over pedestrian safety concerns

Johnson Drive and Nall Avenue intersection

The city of Mission will be restriping Johnson Drive from Nall to Lamar Avenues as part of a 2022 resurfacing project. The four-lane corridor will be turned into a three-lane corridor, with one dedicated turning lane. File photo.

The Mission City Council has unanimously approved a plan to restripe Johnson Drive between Nall Avenue and Lamar Avenue in the heart of the city’s commercial downtown.

The effect will be to turn the four-lane corridor into a three-lane road with one designated turning lane.

The change comes in an effort to continue to slow down traffic and improve pedestrian safety. There are already speed tables and a 25 mile per hour speed limit through that stretch of town.

The city plans to carry out the restriping sometime next year as part of a broader 2022 street resurfacing project. Exact dates for the planned work have not yet been finalized.

Concerns with current roadway

Mission heard from residents through online forums and surveys. The majority of respondents supported the move.

Councilmember Nick Schlossmacher said he’s excited to see the project go forward.

“I think this is going to really improve the aesthetics and walkability and visibility for our businesses along Johnson Drive,” Schlossmacher said.

The city’s main concerns regarding traffic along Johnson Drive between Nall and Lamar — as discussed in community forums in February — are as follows, as outlined in city documents:

  • Pedestrian fear crossing Johnson Drive.
  • Concerns that drivers are distracted, speeding and are not stopping for pedestrians.
  •  Concerns that when a driver in the outside lane stops for a pedestrian, drivers on the inside lanes may not.
  • Difficulty seeing whether there’s oncoming traffic when backing out of angled parking spots.
  • Angled spots coupled with the speed of traffic deter bicyclists from using that stretch of road.
  • Drivers do not consistently stop at pedestrian-activated beacons at Reeds Road and Beverly Streets.
  • Pattern of negative interactions between drivers and pedestrians at intersections.

With community support — including Johnson Drive businesses who responded to their own survey — there were no objections to the restriping posed by the city council.

Councilmember Trent Boultinghouse, like Schlossmacher, also said he looks forward to the resurfacing project.

“I appreciate our good faith efforts to reach out to people and the community and all different types of stakeholders to come to this decision,” Boultinghouse said. “I think the large majority of the city is going to look forward to seeing us move on this.”

The project passed as part of the city’s 2022 resurfacing project.