[WEC] Executive Summary of West 11th Corridor Study
robzako at gmail.com
Thu Nov 19 13:45:55 PST 2009
Dear WEC friends,
I case you missed the open house yesterday and have not downloaded the full 85-MB report, below I have reproduced the executive summary of the West 11th Avenue Corridor Study.
I was stuck by how similar the recommendations of this study are to some of the shorter-term WEC recommendations:
Improve bicycle/pedestrian connections between the Fern Ridge Path and West 11th.
Improve traffic signal timing and operation along West 11th.
Use access management to improve the flow of traffic along West 11th.
Make modest improvements to the West 11th roadway, for example, adding turn lanes.
Of course, consultants DKS Associates were able to go into more detail than we were.
WEST 11TH AVENUE CORRIDOR STUDY
CHAPTER 1: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
West 11th Avenue in Eugene, Oregon, is the primary east/west arterial linking downtown Eugene with West Eugene and also servicing traffic heading to the coast. The portion of West 11th Avenue that is east of Beltline Road is under City of Eugene jurisdiction and is designated as a major arterial. West of Beltline Road, West 11th Avenue is under Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) jurisdiction and is a Statewide Highway (OR 126) and designated Freight Route. The corridor contains several major employment centers, large commercial developments, industrial uses, a growing residential population, and valuable natural resources.
The West 11th Avenue Corridor currently experiences varying levels of traffic congestion throughout the day and significant safety issues that adversely affect general purpose traffic as well as transit service and operations. Without transportation improvements to this corridor, travel times, reliability, efficiency, and effectiveness will worsen in the future. The purpose of this report is to present analyses and short-term strategies to improve bicycle and pedestrian facilities, corridor safety, access, signal timing, and traffic operations.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities
Improvements to pedestrian and bicycle facilities within the West 11th Avenue Corridor were evaluated and are recommended in this report. The improvements are based on the use of the Fern Ridge path as the parallel route to West 11th Avenue and provide increased safety and connectivity for bicyclists and pedestrians. The recommended improvements are also consistent with the bicycle and pedestrian policies established in the Central Lane MPO Regional Transportation Plan.
Based on historical collision data, five study intersections were determined to have high collision rates:
West 11th Avenue and Bertelsen Road
West 11th Avenue and Bailey Hill Road
West 11th Avenue and Seneca Road
West 11th Avenue and Oak Patch Road
West 7th Avenue and Garfield Street
More detailed safety analysis was performed at these intersections and included AM, midday, and PM peak hour observation of conflicts (i.e., near misses). The collision data and conflict observations indicate that the many of the collisions/conflicts are due to driver and pedestrian behavior at private driveways, especially when driveways are located adjacent to the intersections or when there are offset driveways and intersections. Conflicts at these driveways involved vehicles turning into and out of the driveways and vehicles traveling or queued along the through lanes. Safety recommendations related to the five high collision intersections are discussed in detail in Chapter 5 of this report. These safety recommendations focus on minimizing the number of conflict points in the vicinity of each of these intersections.
Access management is the term used to describe a broad set of techniques that balance the need to provide safe, efficient, and timely travel with the ability to allow access to individual properties. The proper implementation of access management techniques along the West 11th Avenue Corridor is expected to reduce collision rates, congestion, and air pollution while also conserving energy and increasing corridor capacity. Access management will help preserve the ability of West 11th Avenue to function as a major arterial and provide a safer walking and cycling environment. In doing so, it will also help preserve longterm property values and the economic viability of abutting development.
To maintain and improve the function of the West 11th Avenue corridor as a major arterial, an access management strategy is needed because there are approximately 193 access driveways on West 11th Avenue between Green Hill Road and Chambers Street (approximately 4.5 miles of roadway). Most of these driveways are located east of Commerce Street, where the average driveway spacing is 75 feet. This is a significant number of driveways, especially for a roadway that has been designated a major arterial and whose key function should be to provide mobility instead of access.
A short-term access management plan was developed for West 11th Avenue from Green Hill Road to Chambers Street and is provided in Figures 6-1 through 6-4 and in Table 6-1. Treatments include closures of access points, consolidation of accesses, and relocation of access driveways along West 11th Avenue to improve safety, circulation, and traffic operations. The plan also includes the installation of traffic separators and medians in selective locations to improve safety (by minimizing conflict points) and enhance operations. In addition, the findings from the safety analysis (see Chapter 5) were incorporated in the short-term access management plan.
Traffic signal timing was assessed for the section of West 11th Avenue between Green Hill Road and City View Street to determine if new traffic signal timing would provide improved traffic operations and contribute to reduced travel times through the corridor. Currently, the traffic signals along West 11th Avenue between City View Street and the Fred Meyer driveway operate in a coordinated system at a cycle length of 80 seconds from 7:00 am until 7:00 pm on weekdays. The signals along West 11th Avenue from Bailey Hill Road to Green Hill Road all operate in an actuated "Free" mode (uncoordinated).
Vehicle travel times, delay and stops can be reduced along the West 11th Avenue corridor by implementing new coordinated signal timings between City View Street and Terry Street. During the PM Peak, breaking the corridor into two systems and operating with a cycle length of 100 seconds from City View Street to Bailey Hill Road and a 110 second cycle length for the signals between Bertelsen Road and Terry Street results in improved operation. During the AM Peak, a cycle length of 90 seconds is estimated to provide the largest improvement. Field implementation may find that a break in the system between Bailey Hill Road and Bertelsen Road (and two different cycle lengths) may serve the traffic more efficiently in the AM Peak. In either case, the system performance measures show an improvement in the corridor operations if new coordinated signal timings are installed from City View Street to Terry Street.
Additional benefits can be realized if the left-turn phasing is modified along the corridor at selected locations. Modifying the existing doghouse signal heads to four-section flashing yellow left turn heads will allow lead/lag phasing operations without the left-turn trap (not possible with the existing doghouse head).
Existing and future short-term (2013) intersection operations were analyzed to determine where operating standards are either currently not met or would likely not be met in the near future. Focus is on intersections because they are the controlling bottlenecks of traffic flow and the ability of a roadway system to carry traffic efficiently is nearly always diminished in their vicinity. Multiple intersections that will exceed operating standards are identified in this report along with recommended improvements (see Chapter 8: Short Term Operational Improvements).
Intersection improvements can be a relatively low cost method for improving transportation system capacity. More detailed consideration, including estimating costs, was given to the following four locations (which are listed by agency jurisdiction):
City of Eugene
West 11th Avenue/Bailey Hill Road: Add a northbound right-turn lane.
West 11th Avenue/Seneca Road: Add a westbound right-turn lane.
West 11th Avenue/Terry Street: Widen West 11th Avenue for one-quarter mile west of Terry Street to provide two westbound travel lanes, convert the westbound right-turn lane to a through-right, and restripe the southbound through/right-turn lane to include a shared left-turn/through/right-turn lane with a split-phased signal in the northbound and southbound directions.
West 11th Avenue/Beltline Road: Construct an additional southbound approach lane to accommodate dual left-turn lanes (14 feet and 12 feet wide) and one southbound right-turn lane (12 feet wide). The signal should be timed to have a southbound right-turn overlap phase. Construct an additional eastbound left-turn lane to provide dual eastbound left-turn lanes. Extend the westbound right-turn lane to provide additional storage capacity.
The City of Eugene may consider implementing supplemental system development charges (SSDCs) to start collecting funds proportionately from developments in the area to assist in funding the short-term improvements. The city could utilize the short-term growth and improvement cost estimates to determine cost per trip allocations for cost share calculations. This funding mechanism has been used successfully by other jurisdictions in Oregon to help fund needed infrastructure improvements.
The improvements for the intersections under state jurisdiction should be coordinated with ODOT. A similar funding mechanism could be considered for the state intersections, with funds being collected by city staff.
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