Sunday, July 1, 2012

This Month in Rochester History

Fifty years ago this month, Rochester area residents were talking about traffic problems. Sound familiar? In July 1962, the issue at hand was congestion in the area of the Tienken and Rochester Road intersection, caused during the afternoon shift change at National Twist Drill.  At the time, Twist Drill was the community's major employer, and the outflow of employee vehicles from its parking lots between 3:30 and 4:00 in the afternoon each weekday caused tremendous traffic backups in the area.

In response to the problem, local official petitioned the state highway department to install a traffic signal at the intersection of Tienken and Rochester, but the state's traffic study revealed that the intersection was only handling 11,855 vehicles in a 24-hour period, which was not enough traffic to qualify for a traffic light. The state suggested that Twist Drill rearrange its parking lots so that employees living north of town parked in the north lot, those living east parked in the east lot, and so forth. Twist Drill responded that 90 percent of its employees lived south of the plant, so such a scheme would have little, if any, effect in remediating the problem.  Instead, the company deployed plant protection personnel equipped with pylons to direct traffic around the plant during the afternoon shift change.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder what the traffic count is these days?