As the traffic on the mall approaches its peak, the mall could use a few extra lanes, or even an entire lane, to move people and merchandise from the mall onto the nearby highway, according to the latest data from the state DOT.
The problem is that traffic patterns can change, meaning that people and businesses will likely have to walk more, or travel more slowly, during peak periods, especially when shopping is happening in the mall.
The DOT has released its first annual traffic survey, and the findings show that mall traffic is growing more erratic than before.
A full 10 percent of the mall, or more than 300,000 square feet, is closed, with no lanes open.
The survey indicates that more people are using the mall as a parking lot, which is a lot of people, but the average mall visitor spends about $200 per day at the mall — about $8 per day less than what the average resident spends on groceries and groceries out of pocket.
“There’s a lot more traffic,” said Kevin Clark, director of planning for the state Department of Transportation.
“It’s very challenging to manage and move things.”
In the past few years, traffic has increased as people have moved out of the malls and into neighborhoods where they can buy more goods and services.
The state DOT is looking into how it can make the traffic flow better by making it easier for people to get out of traffic and into the mall areas, Clark said.
Some of the suggestions include installing a speed limit sign on some lanes or creating more parking lanes for cars, but Clark said it’s unclear how much more traffic will be needed to make those changes.
“We’re not there yet,” Clark said, but “we’re going to get there.”
The state Department for Transportation is planning to install speed-limit signs on some areas and have some lanes open on the highway to make it easier to move traffic out of parking lots, Clark told The Hill.
But that won’t fix the traffic problems.
A study released earlier this year found that only 14 percent of mall shoppers said the mall is getting enough traffic, while 57 percent said the traffic is “not too bad.”
More: Mall traffic report: Traffic to be reduced, traffic to be increased for next few months