Update on Arkansas Ave.

Roadway Safety Review Washington, DC

DDOT Traffic Engineering and Safety Team April 9, 2014


Update on Arkansas Ave. Roadway Safety Review Washington, DC
Background The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) received several complaints about safety concerns along Arkansas Ave. NW between 14th St. NW and 16th St. There has also been a petition submitted by residents along Arkansas Ave. for Traffic Calming to reduce speeding. DDOT has started the evaluation process related to the review of the safety concerns along this particular corridor as it relates to the Sustainable DC Plan. The Sustainable DC Plan identifies several transportation goals including the following: • • • Reduce traffic congestion to improve mobility Expand provision of safe, secure infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians Improving air quality along major transportation routes

A meeting was held with the ANC and the Community on December 12, 2013. The agenda items included the following: • • • • •

Introductions Presentation of petition and community experiences Review of the items listed in the petition (DDOT) Review of other traffic and transportation related impacts in the area (DDOT) Discuss the process to be used as outlined in the Traffic Calming Assessment Application (DDOT)

The Action Items captured during this meeting are outlined below: • • •

DDOT will now take the next few months to analyze traffic speeds, past crashes, pedestrian counts, bicycle counts, cut-through traffic, and the overall bicycle network. Results from these studies should be available in early spring. Certain simpler fixes may be able to happen in the next six weeks, such as signs indicating fines for driving through a crosswalk when a pedestrian is crossing, or adding one of the pedestrian crossing signs in the middle of the street. Any changes and construction once a design has been agreed upon would happen starting in the summer.

This document serves as an update on what has been done along this corridor to addresses the concerns of the Community since the meeting on December 12, 2014. Data Collection and Functional Classification: The District of Columbia roadway network is a vast system that connects large numbers of people, goods, and places. Components of this network have been developed and defined by planners and engineers to address particular travel objectives. The functional classification of roadways describes the role each of these components play within the road network. The functional classification system groups roadways based on the type of travel service they provide. Over time, functional classification has also come to carry additional significance including roadway design and

relationship to future land use development and Federal funding. The assignment of functional classification requires careful consideration of the balance between access to/egress from specific locations and travel mobility for all road users. Roadway mobility provides fewer opportunities for entry and exit, therefore creating an environment with low travel friction from vehicles entering and existing the road. Roadway accessibility increases the opportunities for entry and exit which creates greater potential for conflict. According to the Federal Highway Administration, there are three highway functional classifications: • • •

Arterial: Provides the highest level of service at the greatest speed for the longest uninterrupted distance, with some degree of access control Collector: Provides less highly developed level of service at a lower speed for shorter distances by collecting traffic from local roads and connecting them with arterials Local: Consist of all roads not defined as arterials or collectors; primarily provides access to land with little or no through movement

Functional classifications also provide a variety of secondary uses. These include program and project prioritization, asset management, safety programs, highway design, bridge programs, traffic control, and maintenance. DDOT has reviewed this corridor during the inclement weather conditions, particularly in the recent winter months. Arkansas Ave.’s functional classification is a Minor Arterial that operates as a Minor Arterial. DDOT has done multiple reviews of the corridor to collect data related to roadway widths, operations, parking and adherence to the existing traffic control devices. The process for determining functional classification is outlined as follows: • • Identify, rank, and map traffic generators such as business districts, transportation terminals (e.g., airports, transit, etc.), hospitals, military bases, and parks. Determine appropriate functional classification to connect traffic generators. Working from a wide regional perspective to a smaller, more localized perspective, identify how roads work to connect the generators.

Interstate and other freeway/expressway” are also often considered as a functional system.

A variety of partners are involved in the process of determining functional classification of roadways, whether it is the consideration of a single road or a comprehensive statewide review. The two primary partners, especially in urban areas, are the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and the State Department of Transportation. MPOs play a critical role in functional classification review, especially in urban areas. MPOs also coordinate transportation issues between neighboring jurisdictions, such as The District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. The State DOT is responsible for maintaining the official functional classification designation for all roads within the State and coordinating with FHWA on matters relating to functional classification. They also serve as the decision-maker on all matters related to functional classification. Considering all of the functional classifications of an area, rather than individual streets, allows the

District to understand the relationship between the individual streets and how those streets are connected to the larger citywide street network. Maps showing the functional classification of each street in the study area were prepared and the functional classification of each street was reviewed. Functional classification for the study area roads were considered as they currently operate as well as accounting for future land development and projected roadway improvements. Crash Data: The following crash locations have been analyzed for short-term improvements: Location Arkansas Ave. and Decatur St. NW Arkansas Ave. and Webster St. NW Arkansas Ave. and Allison St. NW Arkansas Ave. and Buchanan St. NW Arkansas Ave. and 13th St. NW Arkansas Ave. and 14th St. NW Arkansas Ave. and Iowa St. NW Total Crashes – 3 years 5 5 7 6 7 13 5

Pedestrian Crashes- Bike Crashes 3 years 3 years 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0

During this same 3-year period the Districts 20 most hazardous intersections average between 226 crashes and 94 crashes. Average Daily Traffic (ADT) The average daily traffic along Arkansas Ave. from 16th St to Georgia Ave. ranges from 11,200 vehicles per day to 8,700 vehicles per day. Intersection Traffic Counts (Cars, Trucks, Pedestrians, Bike, Motorcycle, Bus) Additional counts are being conducted after the Winter months. Excessive Speeding Each state has the responsibility of monitoring and regulating speeds on its highways. Speed regulations are formulated under a fundamental concept that drivers are required to operate their vehicles at a speed that is reasonable and prudent for existing conditions. Motorists decide their choice of driving speed by taking into consideration conditions along their route such as safety, and delay.

Posted speed limits are used to inform motorist of a speed that is considered safe and appropriate for a majority of drivers on a particular segment of roadway. Speed limits are imposed so as not to force reasonable motorists to drive at speeds that they consider unreasonable nor should they

FHWA documents and National Research Board Special Reports indicate that “There is an indirect relationship between speed and crashes, since many other factors, such as roadway design, traffic conditions, road environments and driver behaviors may result in a crash. The inherent lack of information prior to a crash and the possible inaccuracies in police reporting adds to the difficulties in establishing speed as the single cause of crashes. Despite the complexity of establishing the role of speeding in crashes and fatalities, research has consistently indicated that speeding is often a contributing factor. In fact, studies have shown that in approximately one third of all fatal crashes, speed has played a contributory role” Historical speed data indicated that vehicles are traveling 4 to 3 miles over the posted speed limit constantly along Arkansas Ave. Field evaluation during the past Winter months - spot speeds studies and pace speed reviews indicate that vehicles were driving 11 to 8 miles over the posted speed limit along certain stretches of Arkansas Ave. especially during off-peak hours. Traffic Signal Warrant Analysis Traffic Signal Warrant Analyses are being conducted after the new traffic counts are conducted. Short-term Safety Improvements Listed below are the short-term safety improvements that have been developed based the current observation and data collected regarding Arkansas Ave. these improvements are scheduled for installation with the upcoming week.  MPD has agreed to provide increased enforcement of the existing traffic control devices along Arkansas Ave.  DDOT to install mobile Driver Feedback Sign at strategic location along the corridor  Warning signs along the corridor will be installed for intersections that have sight distance issues.  DDOT will continue to monitor the corridor with members of the FHWA Road Safety Audit Team to see if any additional improvements can be made.  Arkansas and Buchanan St – o Pedestrian Crossing Warning Signs to be installed o DC Pedestrian Pylons to be installed o Crosswalks to be updated to high visibility crossing o Speed Limit Signs to be installed o DDOT is requesting MPD to install an Automated Enforcement Camera at this location

violate the acceptable limits of roadway engineering or traffic characteristics. Speed management techniques are also used to improve traffic safety. These techniques include engineering measures, enforcing of speed laws, and educating and informing the public of the risks and consequences of speeding. Speed management is one of the proactive initiatives of the city and involves, among other things the review of speed limit along the roadway. The current posted speed limit along the Arkansas Ave. corridor is 25 MPH.

 Arkansas and Iowa St. o Pedestrian Crossing Warning Signs to be installed o DC Pedestrian Pylons to be installed o Crosswalks to be updated to high visibility crossing o Speed Limit Signs to be installed  Arkansas and Decatur St. o DC Pedestrian Pylons to be installed o Crosswalks to be updated ` o Speed Signs to be installed Final Safety Measure Still Under Review These safety measures are still under review and will be completed by May 1, 2014 Level of Service Analysis at Signalized intersections Multi-Stop Warrant Analysis at Unsignalized intersections Review of the small sample size for crash trends Streetlight Assessment for Roadway Operations Additional locations for Automated Speed Enforcement Cameras Removal of Peak Hour Parking Restriction Impacts on Increase Number of Crashes, Congestion, Queuing, Traffic Diversion, Level of Service, Fire and EMS Activities, all Bus Operations and Evacuation Route Access  Review active delay at Signalized intersection  Review of Bike Lane Operations and Permanent Removal of Parking  Review of Turn Restriction to prevent motorist from having direct access to Arkansas Ave. during Peak Hours – Impact on adjacent roadway- cut-through traffic etc.      

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