TRAVERSE CITY -- Christine Gladding is still getting used to the racket of traffic zooming past her house at the corner of Eighth and Division streets, and she's lived there eight years.
The rumble and roar of cars isn't the only problem; it's also the danger vehicles pose to pedestrians. She's witnessed several near misses as people attempted to cross busy Division Street.
"Something has to be done to make it safer," she said.
Local and state officials hope to make that happen as soon as next year with the help of the Michigan Department of Transportation.
MDOT was scheduled to begin work in May to repair curbs and resurface Division Street from Grandview Parkway to just south of South Airport Road.
But Mayor Michael Estes and local state legislators convinced MDOT to hold off on repaving the section from 14th Street to Grandview Parkway in favor of a major overhaul to improve pedestrian safety.
Estes on Monday met with MDOT Director Kirk Steudle, along with State Sen. Jason Allen and State Rep. Wayne Schmidt, both Traverse City Republicans.
"The (MDOT) director was very positive, but there's a lot of work that needs to be done," Allen said. "Our goal out of the program is to help the interest groups develop consensus and make sure our voice is heard in Lansing."
Steudle did not return phone calls for comment.
MDOT spokesman Bob Felt said the department would closely work with the city to find the best solution for the road and make sure it's in line with the Grand Vision, a land-use and transportation study for six area counties.
"Whatever it is we do ultimately, it's going to improve the traffic flow and safety along the corridor," Felt said.
The city likely would need to help fund the project, Felt said.
Estes plans to discuss road options with the city engineer and MDOT. Consultants with the Grand Vision also will study ways to enhance the road's safety.
Employees of TART Trails have pushed for increased pedestrian safety measures on the busy four-lane thoroughfare.
The TART trail crosses the bustling intersection of Division Street and Grandview Parkway. There have been some pedestrian crossing improvements at that site, but it still needs more work to make it safe, said Missy Luyk, TART's trail program specialist.
"It's great that they're going to take some time and think about it and really do the project right," Luyk said. "It really makes a lot of sense to take a step back, consider all of the options and the Grand Vision."
Some residents have pushed for a traffic light at 11th Street. Other ideas include converting to a three-lane street with a consistent left turn lane or maintaining four lanes but adding a median.
City Commissioner Chris Bzdok wants more space for cyclists and pedestrians.
"The three-lane road ... with bike lanes and a center turn lane, that seems like a solution that's worked in a lot of communities, including corridors that handle a high amount of traffic," he said.
City voter approval would be needed for any expansion or sidewalks on the west side of Division Street -- south of Seventh Street to Silver Lake Road -- because it's parkland.
City resident Donald Coe would love to see a traffic light at 11th Street or other safety upgrades, even if it requires using parkland.
"Improved access to the parkland is a proper use of the land itself, and if it required a vote of the public, we now have time to do so because we have the year MDOT is putting off any major improvements," Coe said.
Coe is the managing partner of Black Star Farms, which has a tasting room at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons.
The busy intersection of 11th and Division streets serves as an entrance into the Commons, where scores of people go each day to Munson Hospital, the state office building, the Traverse Bay Intermediate School District and the Grand Traverse Pavilions.