Tuesday, October 26, 2010

4th Street Boulevard Construction

Construction is underway on the final piece of the 4th Street Capital Improvement Project.  This project includes the transformation of this...

4th Street near Ashford Blvd
 ...into this:

Cross-section of 4th Street, with bike lanes and tree-lined median
The tree-lined center-medians will aid in traffic calming on this road and also will allow for better traffic management, when traffic picks up again on the Laurel Mall site.  DPW crew are currently installing bikes lanes, and contractors are repairing sidewalk, curb-and-gutter.  A new pedestrian crossing is being installed at the intersection of 4th Street and Ashford Boulevard.   In addition, the crosswalks and median openings at the intersection of 4th and Cherry will be widened to 14' wide on both sides of the intersection. These wider crossings will allow for easier and safer pedestrian and bike access from 4th Street to the Gude Lake, via the newly-built connecting path.  When all the concrete work is complete, contractors will mill and overlay select portions of the road. Construction is expected to take up to a month, depending on weather conditions.
DPW crew installing bike lanes on 4th Street today

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Transportation & Public Safety Committee Meeting

The next Transportation & Public Safety Committee Meeting will be held in room #2 at City Hall on October 26th at 7pm.  City staff from DPW and LPD will be there.  The meeting is open to the general public, as well as committee members.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Effects of Traffic Calming on Montrose Ave: Before and After Study

Traffic calming has previously been shown to reduce instances of speed in the City.  And now here's more poof:

This summer, the City installed a traffic calming island in the intersection of Montrose and 10th Street in order to slow down motorists on Montrose Ave, which has a speed limit of 25mph. This new concrete center-island median is bisected with a ladder-style crosswalk and has added signage to improve visibility.  DPW conducted a "before" study to determine the number of speeders prior to its installation. After letting drivers adjust to the presence of the new island for a couple of months, we conducted an "after" study to compare the island's effect on driver behavior.  Here are the results:
  1. Speeders in excess of 25 mph decreased from 72.5% of all vehicles to 41.3% of all vehicles.
  2. Speeders in excess of 30 mph decreased from 47.7% of all vehicles to 14.1% of all vehicles.
  3. Speeders in excess of 35 mph decreased from 19.4% of all vehicles to  2.4% of all vehicles.
  4. Speeders in excess of 40 mph decreased from 4.7% of all vehicles to 0.3% of all vehicles.
The results, while not perfect, show that speeding drivers slow down dramatically when there is a large concrete island in the middle of the road; speeding drivers apparently prefer slowing down over crashing. Call it blunt, but nothing else reduces speed as much, or is more cost-effective than simply removing, by design, the ability to speed.

Before and After Study showing effect of traffic calming on Vehicle Speeds

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Pedestrian Signal Installed at Cherry Lane & Van Dusen Road

This week, the City is installing a new push-button pedestrian signal to allow for safe dedicated crossing of Cherry Lane at Van Dusen. ADA-compliant pedestrian ramps were installed on the "pork chop" island, as well as on the southeast corner, to accomodate the crossing. 

New Signalized Pedestrian Crossing at Van Dusen Road & Cherry Lane
Weather permitting, the City will install has installed a crosswalk this week  in order to finalize the crossing.  This crossing will allow pedestrians to safely cross Cherry Lane (ADT of 22,000 cars) without having to walk down to the nearest pedestrian signal at Ashford Boulevard, over a 1/4 mile away.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

City Hall gets custom bike rack

Click on Picture to Enlarge

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New MD law on passing bicyclists

As of October 1st, 2010, Maryland law now requires that when drivers pass a bicyclist on the road, they must give at least 3 feet separation between their vehicle and the bike. Exceptions to the rule include:
  1. A bicyclist is not riding in the designated bike lane
  2. A bicyclist has taken the lane.  Bicyclists should use the entire lane on roadways that are too narrow for bikes and cars to share comfortably.
  3. The road isn't wide enough to legally pass with 3 feet separation.