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University Park, Texas
August 23, 2012
Prepared by: KEVIN ST. JACQUES, P.E., PTOE, PTP FREESE AND NICHOLS, INC. 1701 N Market St, #500, LB51 Dallas, Texas 75202 214-217-2200
Page Executive Summary 1. Assessing the Study Methodology 2. Assessing the Existing Conditions Baseline and Its Analysis 3. Assessing the Future Conditions Estimate and Its Analysis 4. Assessing the Identified Impacts, Issues and Recommended Mitigation 5. Other Considerations 1 4 5 14 19 22
Freese and Nichols, Inc. was retained by the City of University Park to review the Parking and Traffic Study for Park Cities YMCA (PC YMCA) Redevelopment in University Park and its associated Memoranda prepared by DeShazo Group, Inc. (DeShazo). The following is a summary of our findings. 1. Assessing the Study Methodology. a. The DeShazo extrapolation of the existing usage, traffic and parking patterns onto that of the future building uses is a very strong methodology for estimating future parking needs and traffic activity. b. Careful documentation of existing parking and traffic conditions and correlation to the existing facility activities is essential to the methodology and DeShazo has done this reasonably well. 2. Assessing the Existing Conditions Baseline and Its Analysis. a. Numerous assumptions were made to identify the proper baseline of traffic and parking characteristics for projection onto the proposed expanded facility, introducing a margin of error with each assumption. b. The 1.26 factor increases the parking and traffic observations on a typical day to represent a comparatively high estimate of a busy day at the PC YMCA. c. Collection of data on a Thursday rather than either a Monday or Wednesday appears to have under estimated the average PM peak weekday activity of the PC YMCA in the baseline data by as much as 20%, and the duration of the AM peak period is a bit longer on Monday/Wednesday than on Tuesday/Thursday. d. Reassessment of the baseline PM peak hour traffic does not change the roadway traffic operations Level of Service. However, the demand for the parking during the weekday morning would stay at peak level for at least one hour longer and the weekday afternoon parking demand would be greater by about 18 spaces. e. The parking counts were taken on both sides of the streets immediately adjacent to the PC YMCA and attempted to count PC YMCA parking activity on Shenandoah and Normandy west of Preston Road and Normandy east of Connerly. But, due to the significant under-supply of parking at the PC YMCA, it is expected that PC YMCA parking occurs beyond the data collection area at time of peak usage. So, a 5% increase in the baseline parking demand (8 spaces in the AM, 6 spaces in the PM) is recommended. 3. Assessing the Future Conditions Estimate and Its Analysis. a. The DeShazo Study assumes that the new gym, Rise School and therapy pool are the only new traffic and parking that will be generated at the PC YMCA. b. Closer examination of future uses over those considered in the baseline parking and traffic formulation suggests the following additional elements of the PC YMCA space programming:
o No additional spaces are in the programming for additional parking for the increased Office space. It is recommended that this be increased by 3 spaces. o 22 spaces are in the programming for additional parking for the Rise School. It is recommended that this be increased by 5 spaces to account for closer spacing and longer duration of drop-off and pick-up parking activity. o 95 spaces are in the programming for additional parking for the Gymnasium. It is recommended that this be increased by 36 spaces due to a higher vehicle to team member ratio. o No additional spaces are in the programming for additional parking for the increased Multipurpose space. It is recommended that this be increased by 10 spaces due to the increase in the number and size of spaces and potential classes. o No additional spaces are in the programming for additional parking for the increased Adult Fitness and Spin Area space. It is recommended that this be increased by 5 spaces due to the increase in the size of the space and potential densification. c. The resulting parking assessment increases the peak parking demand on a very busy day at the PC YMCA to about 330 spaces, 71 more than the 259 in the DeShazo report. d. The resulting increase in traffic activity still results in nearly free flow (Level of Service A or B) traffic operations on Preston Road, while the side streets of Normandy and Shenandoah operate at acceptable (LOS C, D or E) peak period traffic operations. The impact on the nearby arterial street system is negligible due to the relatively low volume of PC YMCA traffic compared to that on Preston, Mockingbird and University. 4. Assessing the Identified Impacts, Issues and Recommended Mitigation. These include: a. The existing offset intersection of Normandy at Preston should be addressed to eliminate the offset, since increased focus of activity at this intersection will increase the potential for crashes in its offset configuration. The safety of the existing offset intersection, if retained, can be enhanced by separating the green time for the westbound and eastbound Normandy movements (splitting the phases). Alternatively, the realignment to eliminate the offset could be done, which may facilitate configuration to eliminate the through traffic movement on Normandy. In either condition, the pedestrian crossing at the intersection should be enhanced. b. Queue lengths at exiting the parking garage during the peak hours are anticipated to be typically about 100 feet in length to as much as 129 feet. This length of queue would interfere with the efficient operation of the exit ramp from the garage, which is programmed at 75 feet from the intersection. The exit driveway from the garage should be positioned 125 to 200 feet from the intersection. c. Parking accommodations on Shenandoah and Connerly east of Preston should be restricted to neighborhood parking only, to force utilization of the parking garage and mitigate the need to circulate through the neighborhood looking for parking. The 15 spaces on Normandy at the church should be restricted to non-PC YMCA usage except for handicap and certain designees.
d. Parking and traffic impacts on Shenandoah and Normandy west of Preston should be minimized by the provision of the PC YMCA parking garage. However, being immediately across Preston Road from the front door of the facility, with an enhanced pedestrian crossing of Preston, this one block of Normandy west of Preston Road should be monitored for the need for parking restrictions as needed after the completion of the PC YMCA redevelopment. 5. Other Considerations. Several other issues were brought forward by citizens for this review of the Parking and Traffic Study for Park Cities YMCA Redevelopment, many of which were already under review, but some that were additional elements of consideration. The following are several of these other considerations: a. Sensitivity test of the traffic model parameters find that Preston Road would operate at acceptable level of service with PC YMCA traffic at over 100% of that estimated. So, traffic operations of Preston Road are not seen as a limiting factor for the facility. b. Conditions under which traffic police control might be needed would be special events that would have a distinct beginning and end and concentrate the arrivals and departures of traffic, such as a triathlon or a celebration of some type. These types of activities are not currently proposed by PC YMCA leadership, but they have occurred in the past and conceivably could happen in the future. c. Drivers will seek alternate routes to and from the PC YMCA under a variety of possible conditions of traffic congestion. Most notably, eastbound traffic on Mockingbird may choose to avoid congestion near the Highland Park Village shopping center and bypass the Preston Road intersection by turning onto Douglas and using San Carlos, Normandy or Shenandoah to access the PC YMCA. Conditions at the Mockingbird/Preston intersection were determined by DeShazo to operate at good (LOS C) levels of service on a typical weekday. d. The parking garage will be the critical element of the redevelopment project that will relieve much of the neighborhood issues with the parking and traffic circulation for the current PC YMCA operations. The garage needs to house all of the parking for the PC YMCA activities and thus must be very functional, convenient and safe for users. Garage access up to the field at the edge of the building would be needed to deter parking along the street. e. Increased PC YMCA usage by affiliated groups is anticipated due to the increased size of the facility. PC YMCA has control over when these groups may use its facility and encourages these outside uses during non-peak YMCA activities. Thus, these outside uses do not impact the critical parking or traffic operations at the PC YMCA. f. A modest increase in overall PC YMCA membership and activity is anticipated as a general outcome of the facility improvements. This increase may just maintain the 2010 levels of activity, but may slightly exceed that 2010 baseline, though more likely spread throughout the day than during AM or PM peak periods. The traffic operations on the roadway network appear to be able to accommodate 100% more additional PC YMCA traffic than programmed without degrading level of service. PC YMCA programming of activities will determine how an increase in membership would impact parking demand and traffic generation.
Freese and Nichols was retained by the City of University Park to review the Parking and Traffic Study for the Park Cities YMCA Redevelopment in University Park and its associated Memoranda, developed by DeShazo Group, Inc. (DeShazo) for the Park Cities YMCA (PC YMCA). The DeShazo study report is dated March 15, 2012. Supplementary information was developed in various Memoranda: (3/20/12) commentary on review of Normandy Lane Traffic Diverter prepared by Lee Engineering on behalf of a resident group, (3/20/12) commentary on the addition of a Rise School to the PC YMCA Redevelopment, and (4/25/12, updated 5/1/12) supplement to the Traffic Impact Analysis to encompass additional intersections.
1. Assessing the Study Methodology
The goal of a traffic impact study is to assess potential impacts of traffic changes caused by proposed development on municipal roads and to identify any infrastructure improvements or mitigation measures needed to ensure the road network will operate acceptably and safely upon completion of the proposed development. The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) publishes a Recommended Practice for Traffic Impact Studies, which DeShazo will have followed. The steps to conducting a traffic impact study include the following: a. Identify the specific development plan under study and any existing development on and/or approved plans for the site as well as any known changes on property abutting the proposed development site, including property across public streets. b. Identify the ultimate arterial and collector street network in the vicinity of the site. c. Document current public street characteristics adjacent to the site, including the nearest arterial and collector streets. d. Estimate the number of trips generated by existing and proposed development on the site for a typical weekday and weekday peak hours using the latest edition of Trip Generation published by the Institute of Transportation Engineers. Local trip generation characteristics may be used, and are preferred, if deemed to be properly collected and consistent with the proposed development. e. Document current peak hour traffic volumes on a typical weekday (Tuesday, Wednesday, and/or Thursday). The time periods in which existing traffic is counted should generally coincide with the highest combination of existing traffic plus traffic expected to be generated by the proposed development. f. Estimate future PM peak hour traffic volumes for the intersections included in the study area using either ITE Trip Generation values for similar development types or, preferably, the trip generation characteristics of the existing or a nearby similar site. g. Distribute and assign the net development trips through the site driveway(s) plus the nearest collector/arterial street intersections in each direction along streets bordering the development site. h. Conduct volume/capacity analyses for the peak hours at site driveway(s) and other intersections using methodologies outlined in the latest edition of the Highway Capacity Manual published by the Transportation Research Board. The analyses should be
conducted for 1) existing conditions, 2) existing plus development conditions, and 3) future conditions. Identify geometric and traffic control improvements needed to mitigate deficiencies and/or comply with established guidelines/policies.
Similarly for assessment of parking needs, standardized parking ratios, such as those in the City’s Ordinances, can be used to determine the parking requirement. However, a more accurate estimate of the parking needs of the proposed facility would utilize parking observations at an existing or nearby similar site to project. The methodology chosen by DeShazo was to use the characteristics of the existing PC YMCA to estimate the parking and traffic conditions for the proposed PC YMCA redevelopment. This approach is the most appropriate among the options available. The re-developed PC YMCA will most closely compare to the characteristics of the existing PC YMCA operations, with select additional activities.
2. Assessing the Existing Conditions Baseline and Its Analysis
Using the existing conditions to predict future parking and traffic operations requires careful documentation of the existing parking and traffic characteristics and correlating them to the activities in the existing facility. Additionally, numerous assumptions needed to be made to identify the proper baseline of traffic and parking characteristics for projection onto the proposed expanded facility. Existing Parking Counts DeShazo conducted parking accumulation counts along both sides of Preston, Shenandoah, Connerly, and Normandy adjacent to the PC YMCA, and attempted to count PC YMCA patrons that parked on Normandy and Shenandoah Avenues west of Preston Road and on Normandy Avenue east of Connerly. It is likely that there were other PC YMCA parking activities beyond their data collection zone, though would not be expected to be more than a few cars, so a 5 percent adjustment factor should be added to the peak values concluded from the data. The baseline AM and PM peak parking demand should be increased by about 8 spaces and 6 spaces, respectively.
Due to limited capture area of the parking counts, a 5% adjustment factor should be added to the baseline conditions total.
Card Swipe Historical Usage Data The PC YMCA requires members to swipe their membership card past their card reader upon entry to the facility each time they arrive. Historical “card swipe” usage data was made available to DeShazo for use in the study. Notably, the youth members do not swipe cards, only the adults, so the “card swipes” are a good indicator of automobiles parking at the site. However, for the field sports as well as the Pre-K, the comings and goings of those cars parking at the site are not included in the card swipe data. They would, however have been counted in the traffic volumes and parking data.
Selection of 2010 as Base Year A review of the annual summaries of the “card swipes” beginning in 2003 (see Figure 1) shows that the data for 2010 was a good data set for use as it represents the second highest activity level for the PC YMCA for the last 10 years. (Surrogate data was used to complete missing months in the 2011 and 2012 data.)
Figure 1. Annual Variation in Card Swipes at PC YMCA
Monthly Variation of PC YMCA Activity Likewise, the “card swipe” data varies by month of year, as shown in Figure 2. The general trend of the data indicates that facility usage gradually decreases throughout the year. This trend was verified by PC YMCA. Notably, the 2010 data shows the highest January in 10 years.
Seasonal Adjustment Factor The DeShazo study developed a factor to adjust the data collected in October and November to represent an activity level to use as the baseline for analysis. They chose to grow the parking and site traffic of the actual data collected to approximately represent the highest card swipe activity day of the year. This adjustment factor is a ratio of the weekly card swipes for the first week in November to the highest week of card swipes of the year, as graphically represented in Figure 3. The 1.26 factor multiplies the parking and traffic observations on a typical day to represent an estimate of a very busy day at the PC YMCA.
Figure 3. Weekly Variation in Card Swipes at PC YMCA and Adjustment Factor The 1.26 adjustment factor is a comparatively high estimate for growing the activities represented by the card swipes to determine the baseline condition. The factor 1.26 is a ratio of daily activity levels, but much of the increase in the higher activity days in January through March may be due to middle of the day activities, whereas the 1.26 growth factor will be applied to the entire day and most notably to the peak hour activities. The adjustment factor would also be an overestimate of the growth in Pre-K activity as well as staffing. The DeShazo report identified that the 1.26 factor is not applied to the field sports activity but rather is considered the field sports activity separately from the rest, which is appropriate and facilitates comparisons.
Day of Week Variation The parking occupancy counts and the traffic counts were both collected on Thursdays. Collection of data on a Thursday rather than either a Monday or Wednesday results in an average weekday inconsistent with the conservative approach used for the site traffic and parking. Specifically, as depicted in Figure 4, the afternoon peak period appears to be under represented in the baseline data by about 20%. The morning peak, though not much higher on Monday/Wednesday than Tuesday/Thursday, appears to last longer and thus could be expected to impact parking occupancy.
Figure 4. Hourly Variation in Card Swipes for Monday vs Thursday
DeShazo physically counted the occupied parking spaces on both sides of Preston, Shenandoah, Connerly and Normandy adjacent to the site on Thursday, November 4, 2010. The DeShazo study assumed that all parking on these four street segments is attributed to the PC YMCA. The study attempts to draw inferences from parking activity in selected areas within one block from the site, but indicates that the results are estimates at best. Parking for the PC YMCA that may occur beyond this parking study zone are not considered. Parking Attributed to Youth Field Sports The PC YMCA has confirmed that on the parking data collection date, November 4, there were scheduled soccer games in the soccer field at 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. The DeShazo report estimated a portion of the observed afternoon parking to be from the soccer games. During the period between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. that day, sports parking demand reached the full amount needed for both games, and was estimated at 40 parking spaces. Thus, an estimate of the parking demand for one game is about 20 spaces. Using the YMCA-provided average youth soccer team size of 8 youth, the average parking demand rate for youth soccer can be estimated at 1.25 spaces per team member. However, it is likely that the parking occupancy counts did not include some of the shorter duration parking activity or did not capture the full extent of where parking occurs for the sports field activities. There also may have been more or less than 8 youth in attendance at the games on the day of data collection. A factor of 1.5 parked cars per team member would be appropriate for assessment of the redevelopment.
Figure 5. DeShazo Parking Occupancy Observations at PC YMCA on November 4, 2010
Adjustment of Parking Count Data In the DeShazo report, the parking occupancy counts made in early November were grown by the seasonal factor of 1.26, but with the field sports parking separated out and handled separately. This approach to growing the youth sports program parking separately is logical.
Figure 6. DeShazo Baseline Parking Demand at PC YMCA, without field sports Figure 7. Modified Baseline Parking Demand at PC YMCA, without field sports
Consideration of the daily variation that was depicted in Figure 4, the parking data could be further grown to reflect the busier Monday/Wednesday schedule. The resulting modified baseline parking demand would be as depicted in Figure 7. An increase of 18 additional parking spaces in the PM peak period are recommended in the baseline.
The baseline plus field sports parking would then be depicted as shown in Figure 8. As shown in the figure, the evening peak parking demand approaches that of the morning peak parking demand. The DeShazo report indicated that the baseline AM peak parking demand is approximately 196 spaces and the PM peak is approximately 135 spaces, without the youth sports added. With consideration of a Day-of-Week adjustment, the PM peak baseline parking needs would increase by about 18 spaces, for a total of 153 in the PM peak period, again without the youth sports. Adding in the 5% adjustment factor for the limited parking data capture area, described previously, the new baseline total for parking demand becomes 204 in the AM peak and 159 plus youth sports in the PM peak.
Figure 8. Suggested Modified Baseline Parking Demand at PC YMCA, with field sports
Baseline Traffic Operations
The influence area of the PC YMCA on traffic operations is considered to extend: a. Southward along Preston Road to the Mockingbird intersection and encompassing the signalized intersections with Normandy Avenue and St. Andrews Drive and the unsignalized intersection of San Carlos (Potomac is one-way eastbound so would have limited use as an accessway and is not considered for impact analysis); b. Northward along Preston Road to the University Boulevard intersection and encompassing the un-signalized intersection of Shenandoah. Notably, the signalized intersection of McFarlin Boulevard and the un-signalized intersections of Stanhope Street, Windsor Park and Windsor Avenue; c. Due to the configuration of the PC YMCA site, the local street intersections of Connerly Drive at Normandy and Shenandoah
Avenues are involved in the circulation pattern at the site and are included in the analysis. d. The analysis considers the traffic impacts of site traffic on the intersections of Shenandoah, Normandy and San Carlos with Douglas Avenue, a collector roadway 800 feet west of Preston Road. The existing conditions traffic operations were modeled by DeShazo using Synchro, a traffic analysis software commonly used in traffic impact studies. Traffic volumes and signal attributes were properly input into Synchro. Notable findings of the DeShazo analysis include: a. The existing intersection of Preston at Normandy operates at Level of Service A, an overall very good traffic flow. The signal operation is actuated with the resting green indication set for Preston Road creating a free flow condition for Preston Road until a side street call for green is detected. The Preston Road movements are the predominant movement (1,227 in AM and 1,659 in PM) and operate at LOS A, heavily weighting the average for the intersection. The Normandy side street is the minor street (either the west or east approach is about 5% that of Preston Road) and operates at LOS D/E as it rarely justifies more than the minimum green time. The existing cycle length of the traffic signal is 120 seconds, consistent with TxDOT potential coordination of the Preston Road signals. The DeShazo study indicates that the signal could be operated with shorter cycle lengths, allowing the side street green to occur more frequently though still at minimum duration, and retain the LOS A for the intersection while improving the operations for Normandy to LOS B. b. The existing un-signalized intersection of Preston at Shenandoah operates at Level of Service A, an overall very good traffic flow, again predominantly due to the free flow conditions for the much larger traffic volumes on Preston Road. The westbound traffic on Shenandoah operates at LOS D in both the AM and PM peak hours. c. The intersections of Preston Road at Mockingbird Lane and University Boulevard both operate at LOS C. Notably, the southbound Preston Road queue lengths are over 200 feet in length, potentially encouraging traffic wanting to continue to the west on Mockingbird to divert through the neighborhood west of Preston Road. d. Notably, only one soccer game, at 4:30 p.m., was held on October 28, 2010, the day of the traffic data collection, rather than the two back-to-back games as was held during data collection for the parking occupancy counts. Thus, another 20 cars should be distributed to ingress and egress the site during the PM peak hour. Traffic Variations The baseline traffic counts were gathered on Thursday, October 28, 2010. As noted previously, the year 2010 is a relatively high base year to use for projecting existing traffic operations onto the future facility traffic operations. Within the year, traffic volumes tend to vary seasonally, by month and even from one week to the next.
Annual Average Daily Traffic Counts (AADT) are collected by Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) on major highways and regionally significant arterials. The counts are done during the non-summer weeks; excluding Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. The AADT counts are what could be expected during a normal workday of a given week. Monthly variation factors compiled by TxDOT indicate that data collected during October are at or slightly above the average workweek for the year. Traffic counts taken on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday are generally considered to be typical for the local weekday traffic. However, as the PC YMCA schedule of programs is busier on Monday/Wednesday The Baseline PM than on Tuesday/Thursday, an increase in the site generated PM Peak Hour in Peak Hour site and out traffic of approximately 20% plus an additional 20 cars arriving and traffic volumes departing during the PM peak hour for a second soccer game, is recommended to should be be considered for the baseline traffic volumes. The Synchro models developed by increased by 20% DeShazo were received for use in reassessing the traffic operations, and were reviewed for accuracy of representation. Increasing the PM peak hour site volumes has little impact on intersection performance on Preston Road. The new level of service performance measures, after reallocation of a few seconds of green time to the Normandy approach, are the same as before the volumes increase, as shown in Figure 9. The reason that the network absorbs these minor increases in traffic is due to the current very low delay incurred by the Preston Road through traffic at the Normandy intersection. Beyond the Normandy intersection, the PC YMCA site traffic is a very minor component of the total traffic volume that adding another 20% YMCA traffic is hardly noticeable in the intersection performance measures.
Figure 9. Modified Baseline Traffic Operations, with field sports
3. Assessing the Future Conditions Estimate and Its Analysis
The DeShazo Study assumes that the new gym, Rise School and therapy pool are the only new traffic and parking that will be generated at the PC YMCA. Closer examination of future uses over those considered in the baseline parking and traffic formulation suggests the following additional considerations of the proposed 61,768 square-foot PC YMCA. Additional Non-Activity Space The space programming indicates that about 8,500 square feet of additional space will be added to the building that is considered non-activity space. a. Lobby, restrooms and circulation hallways, stairways and elevators are programmed to increase by just over 7,500 s.f. This space type will be needed to allow access to the various uses provided in the building. While it will make the building more functional and feel roomier, in and of itself it is not expected to generate new traffic or parking needs. b. Men’s and women’s locker rooms increase only slightly in size and is not expected to generate new traffic or parking needs. c. Office and administrative space, not including that for the Rise An additional 3 spaces School, increases by about 1,500 s.f. This increased space more than in the Study are suggested during the addresses existing overcrowding but can be expected to generate AM and PM peaks due to up to 3 additional parking spaces for additional administrative and maintenance staff, with the vehicles for these additional staff the additional office space expected to arrive/depart during or near AM/PM peak hours.
Additional Activity Space The space programming indicates that about 11,500 square feet of additional programmable space will be added to the building. Notably, the new programmable space also includes about 9,500 square feet of space that was formerly outdoors but will now have year-round utility as enclosed conditioned space.
a. Child Watch (30 max) for parents while using the facility is assumed in the DeShazo Study to retain the same baseline parking demand and generate the safe traffic, even though the existing 1,180 s.f. is replaced by the proposed approximately 875 s.f. b. The existing Pre-K (approximately 945 s.f., 2 teachers, 4 aids, 20 youth) will be absorbed into the Rise School (5,955 s.f., 5 teachers, 10 aides, 60 students) and will add a net new parking demand for 9 staff plus shared parking for up to 60 parents to park for 15 to 30 minutes intermittently in the morning and early afternoon. The Study Memorandum, dated 3-20-12, includes An additional 5 spaces consideration for an increase of 22 parking spaces, plus more than in the Study are suggested due to the associated in/out traffic in the morning and afternoon for 40 Rise School during the additional parents delivering youth to and from the Rise AM peak School. The net provision of 13 additional spaces to support the up to 60 parents bringing in and walking out their students at the Rise School appears to be less than adequate. An amount of 5 more spaces is suggested. The morning arrivals at the Rise School at somewhere around 9:00 a.m. will coincide with the peak parking demand period for the PC YMCA. c. The existing outside sport (basketball) court will be replaced with a new gymnasium. As with the pool, the sport court would not have seen much use in the late October/early November data collection time frame. Thus, all of the new parking and traffic for the gymnasium will be considered as additional needs for the site. Since the gym can hold two concurrent basketball games side by side, the critical An additional 36 spaces events in the gym would be weekday afternoon basketball more than in the Study games. The programming considers two concurrent games, are suggested due to the two teams on the floor and two teams waiting with a peak of 95 gymnasium for the PM additional parked vehicles plus associated arriving and peak departing traffic. These vehicular estimates were estimated at a rate of 1.0 vehicles per player and support staff. Using a 1.5 vehicle-to-player ratio, as determined previously in this report, would result in the need to park 36 more vehicles than in the Study. d. The existing outdoor pool will be reconfigured as a therapy pool and placed indoor adjacent to an improved lap pool. Though the overall space in the pool area is about the same as existing indoor plus outdoor pools, the therapy pool will be available to be used year round. The DeShazo Study includes additional parking and traffic for 20 members in the therapy pool. This is appropriate since the outdoor pool that would have been used as the therapy pool was not in operation during the October/November traffic and parking data collection. The current therapy activities, when provided during the cooler months, would take up room in the lap pool. An additional 5 vehicles e. The adult fitness and spin rooms space is being enlarged by more than in the Study 1,350 square feet, or about a 24% increase in size. The are suggested during the existing space is reportedly very crowded and will expand AM and PM peak due to into the new space with not much room for new exercise the adult fitness and spin positions. However, the existing facility usage is indicative of area what could evolve over time, so some additional usage is
expected beyond existing, especially during the peak hours. An additional 5 parking spaces and associated peak hour traffic are recommended for consideration. f. Multipurpose Rooms will house the various exercise and conditioning classes that are conducted in Hodges Hall, the racquetball court and the courtyard. Again, the existing programs are reportedly very crowded and will expand into the new space with not much room for new classes and programs. Some additional An additional 10 vehicles usage is expected beyond the existing baseline, especially more than in the Study during the peak hours, due to potentially larger spaces and are suggested during the more designated spaces. An additional 10 parking spaces AM and PM peak due to and associated peak hour traffic are recommended for the multipurpose rooms consideration.
Background Traffic Growth The DeShazo Study assumes a 1% growth in background traffic on Preston Road. This assumption is made despite the fact that the traffic on Preston Road has been decreasing by about 1% per year for the last 10 years. The North Central Texas Council of Governments in its 2035 Mobility Plan has forecast traffic volumes of 18,160, essentially no increase from the volumes measured in 2009.
Trip Distribution onto Roadway Network The distribution of inbound and outbound trips to the PC YMCA were estimated in the DeShazo report using the existing peak period turning movement counts as an indicator of current patterns that may apply in the future. Existing traffic counts are very low (<5 per hour) for the Normandy through movement across Preston Road, despite the notable concentration of PC YMCA members living west of Preston from the YMCA. In the Study, DeShazo included a 5% distribution of traffic along Normandy Avenue to the west of Preston, which is an appropriate mid-range estimate of something that did not show up in their counts but is expected. An amount of 15% of the site traffic was assumed to ingress to and egress from the PC YMCA using the local streets northeast of the Shenandoah/Connerly intersection. This percentage seems high compared to the count data and narrowness of the local roadway network. This trip distribution element could be reduced to 10% with the remaining 5% added to the distribution to and from the north along Preston Road. But, such a minor change would result in less than 1.0 second of delay to movements in the resulting traffic performance measures.
Figure 10. Park Cities YMCA Membership Locations, 2012
Modification to the Parking and Traffic Impact Study Findings Parking Demand The results of this review of the parking and traffic study calls for an increase in the parking supply needed at the PC YMCA above that identified in the DeShazo Study. The Baseline parking demand is recommended to be increased by 8 spaces in the AM peak period and by 24 spaces in the PM peak period. In addition, for the redevelopment, the parking demand is recommended to be increased by 23 spaces in the AM peak period and by 54 spaces in the PM peak period. Thus, the parking spaces identified as needed in the DeShazo Study report and Memoranda would be adjusted from 259 in the AM peak and 252 in the PM peak to a recommended parking demand of 290 spaces in the AM peak and 330 spaces in the PM peak. This modified estimate of the PC YMCA redevelopment at near peak operation would be accommodated, at a high confidence level, within a 330 space underground parking garage. The expected high confidence level peak demand exceeds that of the currently programmed parking garage of 300 spaces. Notably, the peak parking demand was estimated for the highest activity day of the year, with the remainder of the year’s activities gradually declining, and is greatly influenced by the youth sports activities. Also, the PC YMCA will have control over the programming of its facility and could adjust its gymnasium, class and meeting room programming to keep activities within the confines of its parking supply. Traffic Operations The resulting increase in traffic activity still results in Level of Service A or B (nearly free flow) traffic operations on Preston and acceptable Level of Service (LOS C, D or E) on the side streets of Normandy and Shenandoah during peak hours. The impacts of the additional 78 vehicles during the PM peak hour on the nearby arterial street system is very small – less than 1.0 second of delay per vehicle. The minimal impact of the additional PC YMCA traffic on the traffic operations of Preston Road is due to the very good existing traffic operations (very low delays) on Preston Road at Normandy Avenue. The dissipation of the PC YMCA traffic as it approaches the Mockingbird and University intersections results in less than 1.0 second of delay per vehicle change in traffic performance at those intersections. The Synchro model of the traffic operations on Preston Road was used to assess the relative sensitivity of the model for increases in traffic volumes to and from the PC YMCA. The Normandy side street traffic from the PC YMCA would need to increase by over 100 more than the redevelopment traffic during the AM or PM peak hour to begin to lower the traffic operations on Preston Road to Level of Service D. Thus, the facility expansion, if operated in the manner prescribed, will not pose operational issues for Preston Road. There are various operational considerations that need to be considered on the adjacent city streets to facilitate the intended traffic operations, which are discussed in the following section.
4. Assessing the Identified Impacts, Issues and Recommended Mitigation
The DeShazo Parking and Traffic Study and Memoranda identified minimal impacts to the local area roadway traffic operations. A few operational configurations regarding the roadways adjacent to the site were proposed by the PC YMCA design team and by the residential neighborhoods. Intersection of Normandy at Preston The offset intersection of Normandy Avenue at Preston Road currently operates both of the offset legs of Normandy on the same signal phase, exposing vehicles and pedestrians to many conflicting movements and allowing the opportunity for vehicle crashes and personal injury. Notably, any of the options for improvement would require changes to the signal installation. Realigned Intersection with No Offset The PC YMCA site development concepts, developed by Good Fulton Ferrell, included an option to realign Normandy Avenue to get rid of the offset (GFF Exhibit A) shown at right). The realignment creates a more typical four-legged intersection with typical pedestrian crossings. The departures from the PC YMCA will predominantly turn left or right onto Preston Road. Though not a currently well used movement, the straightened intersection may attract more traffic to arrive and depart the PC YMCA via Normandy Avenue west of Preston Road, which is a fear of many residents of the neighborhood west of Preston Road. The right and left turn channelization from the Lee Engineering concept (see Exhibit 1 on the following page) could be applied to the aligned intersection concept to eliminate the westbound through movement at the intersection, making this an acceptable solution. The neighborhood surrounding the PC YMCA east of Preston Road retained Lee Engineering to prepare alternative concepts for PC YMCA site access directly from Preston Road that would serve to eliminate the need for PC YMCA traffic to circulate through the neighborhood. The configuration (shown at right) would not be acceptable to the residents west of Preston Road for the same reasons cited above. This configuration would leave the on-street parking along Normandy and not discourage the local street YMCA traffic circulation.
Retain Existing Offset Intersection – The current configuration proposed for the site retains the existing offset intersection. The Normandy Avenue westbound approach to Preston Road is widened by one lane width toward the center of the offset intersection, somewhat lessening the offset distance between the movements. The configuration as proposed would not allay the fears of the residents west of Preston that PC YMCA traffic would increase on Normandy through their neighborhood. The PC YMCA design team has proposed a traffic diverter that would push the westbound Normandy right turns past the intersection not allowing the turn to Normandy west of Preston Road. The safety of the retained offset configuration can be enhanced by splitting the eastbound and westbound movements into two separate phases. The pedestrian crossing indications could be incorporated with either or both of the Normandy approach movements. Actuated separately, either westbound or eastbound phases would only interrupt the Preston Road traffic flow when demanded and would eliminate many of the offset intersection conflicts. Preston Road Southbound Left Turn Lane at Normandy – The residents’ consultant, Lee Engineering, also saw the potential need to provide a left turn lane on Preston Road at Normandy Avenue, particularly for access to the garage. The concept included realigning the Normandy intersection to eliminate the offset, and channelizing the westbound Normandy to only left and right turns, with the right turn movement channelized to a point beyond the intersection. This channelization treatment could be added to either of the Good Fulton Ferrell site concepts to address the concerns of the residents west of Preston Road. The left turn lane could be added to either GFF site configuration, but the configuration shown at right in the Lee Engineering concept creates a confusing traffic flow just east of the intersection that may create unanticipated slower turning movements from Preston Road and constrained turning radii and thus would not be acceptable. While this need for a left turn lane appears logical, the traffic operations on Preston Road are at such good level of service that there would be sufficient gaps in opposing northbound traffic to allow the 60+ per hour southbound left turns into the site to not incur much delay waiting for an acceptable gap to cross the northbound traffic.
Normandy Queue Lengths Interference with Exiting of the Parking Garage Noteworthy in the DeShazo report analysis were the results of the Sychro modeling that indicated the length of the queues that would form on the westbound Normandy approach at Preston Road. The queue lengths are expressed in terms of the length to the back of the queue of cars, and is computed for the 50th percentile occurrence (typical condition) and the 95 th percentile occurrence (generally the longest back of queue that would reasonably be expected). From the Synchro analysis of the redevelopment including the proposed signal timing improvements, the PM peak hour is the more critical of the two peak periods, with a 50th percentile queue length of 98 feet and a 95th percentile queue length of 129 feet. Thus, to avoid blockage of the exit of the garage, the garage driveway opening on Normandy Avenue should be at least 129 feet from the stop line at Preston Road. The current site plan measures only about 75 feet from the stop bar to a point at which the Normandy queue would block the next car exiting the garage from entering either of the two lanes at the approach. Parking Accommodations on Shenandoah, Connerly and Normandy East of Preston If the proposed 300 space parking garage under the PC YMCA is made attractive and convenient to the drivers attending the youth field sports, with direct access from the garage to the field level, these drivers can be attracted away from on-street parking on the local streets. The users of the PC YMCA building facilities are not expected to be attracted to use the curbside parking along Shenandoah Street or Connerly Drive adjacent to the PC YMCA if the parking garage provides ample, well secured parking spaces and all-weather access directly from the garage to the facility activities. To encourage use of the parking garage by all PC YMCA activities including the field sports, special restrictions on parking along Shenandoah Street and Connerly Drive should be put in place before the redevelopment is completed. Parking accommodations on Shenandoah and Connerly east of Preston should be restricted to neighborhood parking only, to force utilization of the parking garage and mitigate the need to circulate through the neighborhood looking for parking. The 15 spaces on Normandy at the church should be restricted to non-PC YMCA usage except for handicap and certain designees. Parking and traffic impacts on Shenandoah, Normandy and San Carlos West of Preston Road Considering the attractiveness and convenience of the proposed 300 space parking garage under the PC YMCA with direct access up to the facility, the users of the PC YMCA are not expected to be attracted to use the already crowded curbside parking along Normandy Avenue west of Preston Road. No special restrictions on parking along Normandy Avenue or Shenandoah Street are anticipated to be needed nor are they expected to be desired. Notably, in the DeShazo analysis of the extended impact area, no site traffic was distributed to and from the local streets west of Preston Road - Shenandoah Street, Normandy Avenue and San Carlos Drive. With design refinement, Normandy Avenue was considered to have a diverter at Preston Road that would not allow east-west cross traffic to access the PC YMCA. However, with a sizable portion of the PC YMCA membership residing in the area west of Preston Road north of Mockingbird, it is expected that the traffic assumed to use Normandy in the Parking and Traffic Study would utilize either Shenandoah or San Carlos as an alternative route. It may be that the members who live west of Preston prefer to walk to and from the YMCA, and would
be well served by enhancing the safety of the pedestrian crossing of Preston Road. The 5% distribution of traffic to and from the site should be assigned proportionately to San Carlos and Shenandoah. These volumes are less than 10 during the peak hour, so their impact on the intersections of Shenandoah and San Carlos at Preston Road are approximately 1.0 second of delay or less per vehicle.
5. Other Considerations.
Several other issues were brought forward by citizens and requested to be included as considerations for this review of the Parking and Traffic Study for Park Cities YMCA Redevelopment. Many of these considerations were already under review, but some were additional elements of consideration. The following are several of these other considerations. The level of intensity of arrivals and departures at PC YMCA that would make LOS unacceptable (sensitivity testing of the traffic model). The Synchro model of the traffic operations on Preston Road, prepared by DeShazo and checked for accuracy by Freese and Nichols, was used to assess the relative sensitivity of the model for increases in traffic volumes to and from the PC YMCA. Several conditions of increased traffic volumes and configurations of signal operation were assessed. The site-related traffic movements (WB LT, WB Thru, WB RT, SB LT, NB RT and EB Thru) were increased by 50%, 100%, and 150% to examine the sensitivity of the modeled street network to increased levels of activity at the PC YMCA. At each level, the green time allocations to each approach were optimized to give the best overall delay value for the intersection, giving preference to the through movements on Preston Road. The following observations resulted: o 50% more than the peak PC YMCA traffic – operations slightly degrades from the LOS A, as found in the DeShazo Study for the proposed redevelopment, to LOS B on southbound Preston Road, while keeping WB left turn at not worse than LOS E during the PM peak hour. The degradation is due to increased interference of the southbound left turn movement with the southbound through movement, due to the absence of a dedicated left turn bay. o 100% more than the peak PC YMCA traffic – operations further degrades to LOS C on southbound Preston Road, LOS B northbound, while keeping WB left turn at not worse than LOS E during the PM peak hour, due to southbound left turn interference. o 150% more than the peak PC YMCA traffic – operations further degrades to LOS E on southbound Preston Road, still LOS B northbound, while keeping WB left turn at not worse than LOS E during the PM peak hour. The absence of the southbound left turn lane on Preston Road would be a severe limitation at this level of operation. If the background traffic on Preston Road was to increase by 25% over that in the model (recall that historical trends indicate that a 1% per year growth is a generous growth
rate), then the point at which the Preston Road traffic degrades would be lowered to about 100% more than PC YMCA peak traffic. With provision of a southbound/northbound left turn lane at Normandy, southbound and northbound Preston Road would continue to operate at LOS B even beyond the level of 150% more PC YMCA peak traffic. Conditions under which Traffic Police Control Might be Needed. Given the ability of the existing roadway network to absorb the proposed PC YMCA redevelopment after completion, there may still be some instances of concentrated traffic conditions that may require supplemental police traffic control. The traffic patterns considered at the YMCA are generally a steady inflow and outflow of members using the facility for a period of one to two hours throughout the day. There are peak times of day when the usage is heavier than others, but the arrivals are spread out even within the peak period. Even the Rise School has a less stringent time of arrival and departure that distributes the traffic over greater time than a normal school. If a special event that caused participants and observers to arrive and depart in large numbers over a short period of time were to be held at the PC YMCA, then the associated traffic might overwhelm the roadway network and intersection controls such that uniformed police should be retained to manually control traffic at the Preston Road intersections with Normandy and Shenandoah. Such events might include the previously held triathlon, a combination of sporting events in both the gymnasium and on the field, or special events with specific beginning and ending times, such as concerts, with high traffic over short duration should be avoided. Conditions under which drivers will seek alternate routes to and from the PC YMCA. The DeShazo study assumed that 85% of the traffic would enter the PC YMCA parking garage from north and south on Preston Road, with the other 15% of traffic using the local streets northeast of the intersection of Connerly at Shenandoah. All traffic was assumed to go into and come out of the underground parking garage. There may be a tendency for traffic coming from the north on Preston to avoid the signal controlled intersection at Normandy and make their left turn at Shenandoah to mix with the 15% traffic on Connerly. This tendency would be particularly attractive if any on-street parking is made available on Shenandoah or Connerly Streets. Additionally, the placement of restrictions on traffic to and/or from the YMCA to use Normandy Avenue west of Preston Road would tend to push this traffic onto Shenandoah and San Carlos Streets. However, this existing traffic movement had very low traffic counts (5 vehicles per hour or less) during the AM and PM peak hours, so the impact of splitting this movement among two streets is considered to be negligible. Parking Garage Operations Issues. As noted previously in this report, with the proposed redevelopment, the queue lengths on westbound Normandy Avenue at Preston Road is expected to have a back of queue length of 98 feet during the typical PM peak hour and potentially may reach up to a length of 129 feet. Thus, to avoid blockage of the exit of the garage, the garage driveway opening on Normandy
Avenue should be at least 129 feet from the stop line at Preston Road. The current site plan measures only about 75 feet from the stop bar to a point at which the queue would block the next car from entering either of the two lanes at the approach. Notably, the residential frontage on the south side of Normandy Avenue begins at about 200 feet east of Preston Road, so the entry to the underground garage should be placed somewhere between 129 feet and 200 feet from Preston Road. The one ingress/egress for the garage should be adequate to serve the facility. The pattern of arrivals suggests a very spread out loading and unloading of the garage. The PM peak hour loading at the westbound Normandy approach to Preston indicates a need to process at least 10 vehicles every 2 minutes out of the garage. The unmetered ramps should be able to process one vehicle every 6 to 8 seconds, or a rate of 15 to 20 vehicles every 2 minutes. Thus, there should not be queuing on the one exit ramp under typical peak operating conditions, unless blocked by queuing on Normandy Avenue. Also in the garage, the access to and from the majority of the parking stalls is indirect, requiring enter/exit traffic circulation around the base of the pool to traverse to and from the parking areas. The joint usage agreement with the church will complicate access from the garage to the PC YMCA interior and exterior doorways to accommodate church usage without going through the PC YMCA. The circulation for parking for the field activities appears to be such that it would be very circuitous for youth and adults to park in the garage and walk to the field, potentially causing field sports attendees to prefer to park along neighborhood streets. This condition would encourage parents to park along the streets nearby the field. The popular usage of the parking garage for activities on the field would be facilitated by providing an elevator from the middle of the garage to the north edge of the building at the south edge of the field. The impacts of these usage changes over time will be most noticed in the parking patterns at the PC YMCA. When facility usage increases, the parking garage will begin to approach its capacity. If members experience congestion in the parking garage or difficulty finding a space, they will tend to find a more convenient place for them to park, turning to the on-street parking available in the neighborhood streets. Increased PC YMCA usage by affiliated groups. As shown in the parking baseline information, there are extended periods throughout the day every day of the year that parking demand exceeds the parking supply at the existing PC YMCA. So, for non-YMCA activities to request to use the PC YMCA facility would seem to be unthinkable. However, with the provision of the 300-space parking garage, there will be times of the day between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and after 7:00 p.m. that the PC YMCA will have available capacity in their building space and parking garage to consider hosting these outside group meetings.
Increase in PC YMCA membership and activity as general outcome of improvements.
It is an anticipated secondary impact of the PC YMCA redevelopment that the newer, slightly larger facility with more event accommodations will increase the membership at PC YMCA. With increased membership will come increased facility usage, not just in the additional programmed space as noted in this report, but a general surge in usage overall. It is also possible that the pattern of monthly, weekly and daily variation may change with the new facility, as new programs evolve to respond to changes in membership. Thus the importance of the traffic operations sensitivity analysis and peak parking demand estimates. The addition of a Gymnasium at the PC YMCA will allow them to host basketball and volleyball games, which PC YMCA youth currently have to play at other locations. Given the current schedule of the sports seasons, depicted on the timeline in Figure 11, the PC YMCA will need to schedule games in the gymnasium when there are not games on the field. Otherwise, parking demand would be expected to exceed supply. Alternatively, the PC YMCA could reorganize PM peak classes and other activities in the facility to offset the need for PM peak parking if a field and Gymnasium game were both scheduled.
Figure 11. Youth Sports Seasons (2011 dates noted)