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Traffic Committee Meeting

Memorandum                                                                                Blacksburg Police

 

To:               Traffic Committee Members

 

From:           Kristel Dickerson, Administrative Liaison

 

Date:            March 1, 2019

 

Subject:        Traffic Committee Meeting Agenda – March 5, 2019

 

 

The Town of Blacksburg Traffic Committee will meet on Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. in the Training Room at Blacksburg Police Department, 200 Clay Street, S.W. in Blacksburg, Virginia.

 

Citizens are always provided the opportunity to voice their views/concerns regarding any item before the Committee.  It is the policy of the Traffic Committee to move the agenda item to the beginning of the meeting when citizens are in attendance to avoid detaining guests for the entire meeting.  However, citizens are always welcome to stay for the full meeting.

 

 

Financial Update:

                   

Capital Project:  C10412 (820-3101-852.70-99)

 

  • Current Available Funding:$23,634.01

(balance available to spend in this project to date)

 

  • Current Encumbrances:
  • $3,235.53 - Intersection Study for BMS on Prices Fork Road

                                                                         (Requisition date: 11/13/18)

 

Old Business:

 

  1. A request has been received from Lynn Smith regarding his concern for safety at the intersection of Broce Drive and Scott Alan Circle.  He feels that cars coming off the hill on Broce Drive heading towards Scott Alan Circle need a flashing caution light to alert them to traffic coming in and out of Scott Alan Circle.  He describes vehicles traveling quickly off the hill and where Scott Alan is at the bottom of the hill, it makes it dangerous for cars entering and exiting Scott Alan. (Looking left from Scott Alan up the hill on Broce.)He further describes that from Scott Alan looking left up Broce Drive the trees have grown out over the road and they are obstructing the view.He’s requesting that the trees be trimmed ASAP to improve visibility. 

     

    Committee Recommendation from August 2018 Meeting:  Tabled for Stealthstat Results

    The Stealthstat Radar Data Collection Unit will be deployed to this location in the coming weeks to assess the potential for a speeding issue.  The unit will survey vehicles traveling from Stonegate down the hill toward Scott Alan.  Extra enforcement action has also been deployed to this area, and Public Works has already conducted some tree trimming and plans to return for further clearing of the vegetation.  This item is most appropriately delegated to the Police Department for enforcement action.  The Stealthstat will give a more accurate view of drivers’ habits and if a problem is detected the mobile speed display unit can possibly be deployed to this location.  Tabled for Stealthstat Results

     

    Committee Recommendation from October 2018 Meeting:  Tabled for Stealthstat Results

    The Stealthstat device is continuing to malfunction, and has currently been sent off for repairs.  Other options will be explored going forward for better, more reliable traffic study equipment.  The Police Department is also conducting extra speed enforcement in this area.  Tabled for Stealthstat Results

     

    Committee Recommendation from November 2018 Meeting:  Tabled for December 2018

    The Stealthstat data indicates an acceptable median, but the high end speeds are concerning.  Heavy enforcement has been deployed to this area, and at least one dozen citations have been written to drivers going in excess of 20 mph over the posted speed limit.  The Committee agrees to explore signage options, as well as the possibility of placing the MSDU in this area to increase driver awareness.  Heavy enforcement action will also continue.  Tabled for December 2018

     

    Committee Recommendation from December 2018 Meeting:  Tabled for Stealthstat Results

    The initial Stealthstat numbers were on the high end in this location, so the Police Department has been conducting heavy enforcement.  Table for February to reassess the data after the students return to get an accurate view of the current situation.  Tabled for Stealthstat Results

     

    Committee Recommendation from February 2019 Meeting:  Tabled for Stealthstat Results

    Table for further data collection.  Tabled for Stealthstat Results

     

  2. With the reworking of the North Main Street/460 BYPASS interchange, more traffic is occurring on Sunridge Drive between Chickahominy Drive and Toms Creek.  At certain times of the day, if a car is attempting to turn left onto Toms Creek from Sunridge Drive, a substantial back-up can occur; the resident recommended forbidding left hand turns during the evening rush hour.  This would have the effect of causing cars to continue up Chickahominy Drive, turn right onto Patrick Henry and then have a signal to make the left onto Toms Creek.

     

    Committee Recommendation from December 2018 Meeting:  Tabled for February 2019

    This area has been addressed previously from a different standpoint, and the Committee’s reaction remains the same.  No action was recommended previously because there are other options and alternate routes that drivers can take.  One thought is that the issue lies within drivers trying to avoid the traffic light, when the better choice is to actually use the light.  A great deal of the high volume is likely due to commuter traffic.  The left hand turns could not be limited only during “evening rush hour”, it would have to be either all of the time, or not at all.  This item has come up previously, but there’s not an acceptable, cost efficient solution that wouldn’t have a ripple effect, and it may arise to a greater concern if there weren’t other options only a block away.  There have been a few accidents over the years, but not enough to warrant further action.  A live traffic count can be conducted after the students return from winter break to get an accurate view of the current situation on Sunridge Drive.  Tabled for February 2019

     

    Committee Recommendation from February 2019 Meeting:  Tabled for Traffic Count

    This item tabled to obtain live traffic count.  Tabled for Traffic Count

     

  3. A request has been received via the Town Manager’s Office from Mr. Pinder, who resides at the corner of Airport Road and Rose Avenue (501 Rose Avenue), to develop a solution for issues that he is experiencing on the Airport Road side of his property.He reports that over the years the area along his property on Airport has become “an impromptu parking lot” and the cumulative damage is becoming an esthetic, maintenance, and safety issue.He also describes a line of sight obstruction for vehicles turning left onto Airport Road when pulling out of Rose Avenue if a vehicle is parked along his property on Airport.(images)

Committee Recommendation from February 2019 Meeting:  Tabled for March 2019

Mr. Pinder was in attendance to present his concern to the Committee and participate in the discussion.  The front of his house faces Airport Road, and quite often that area becomes an impromptu parking area usually filled with overflow from rentals beside him, delivery trucks, etc.  The surface is flat, but not hardtop, and he tries to maintain it and keep it up, but often it becomes muddy and drains toward his house.  People ramp into it across a large area to get into the spot causing long ruts.  There are two rentals, one is a game day house, and the other is a year-round rental.  He is not concerned that vehicles are parking there, but if they are going to continue to do so, he requests that it either be made into a parking area, or measures be put into place to keep cars from parking there on the surface as it is now; it’s currently not appropriate for either parking nor no parking, it’s an odd hybrid.  The Committee looked at the area in question on the map, and it appears that it is in the right of way.  If it is indeed in the right of way, according to the Town Attorney, people have every right to park there as long their doing so is not obstructing visibility or traffic flow.  Perhaps a sign indicating “no parking here to corner” would be a possible solution, but it would unlikely cover the entire front of his property based on the sight distance code.  Ideas were brainstormed for getting grass to grow but yet not compacting it in order to control the damage.  While adding gravel in front of the house to make a parking area is not allowed, curb and gutter is always an option, but the trees would have to be removed.  Lt. Goad will do a visit to assess sight distance and condition of the area and report back at the next meeting.

Tabled for March 2019

 

New Business:

 

  1. A concern has been received most recently in the Town Manager’s Office, and initially in the Police Department, from Kathy Huser regarding the intersection of S. Main Street and Hubbard Street.She witnessed a motor vehicle crash in this location, and has a list of items she feels contributed to the incident, including what she feels is a dangerous right turn on red.At the February 2019 meeting, the Committee added her correspondence as additional business, and at that time agreed to the installation of signage (see below).However, Ms. Huser has also reached out to the Town Manager’s Office and it is requested that this item be added officially to the agenda for Traffic Committee to conduct a general review of the intersection.

     

    Committee Recommendation from February 2019 Meeting:  Signage Recommended

    Ms. Huser witnessed a serious accident and has several concerns and suggestions for how this intersection should be improved.  It’s important to note, however, that the characteristics of the intersection were in no way a contributing factor to the circumstances of the accident.  Her ideas include enforcing a no right turn on red, moving the signal box, adjusting the stop lines, and enforcing no U-turns if heading north on Main Street.  All of her concerns have been previously considered and addressed as part the Traffic Committee’s recommendation to reconfigure the lanes at this intersection with pavement markings in September of 2016.  At today’s meeting the Committee took another look at signage and agreed that a sign on the Ellet side indicating which lane to get into once the lane splits could be an additional proactive effort at this intersection.  The sign will indicate right lane, right turn only and middle lane, left turn/straight through combined.  The Committee agrees to move forward with the signage immediately.  Signage Recommended

     

  2. A request for Traffic Committee review has been received from Randy Formica, Director of the Engineering and GIS Department.The request is as follows:

     

    “This request is a result of discussions of traffic conditions associated with the OBMS rezoning, but is also an existing issue/condition as well.  Observations indicate that it can be difficult to make left turns from Miller Street onto South Main Street due to traffic volumes.  This is especially true during weekday PM Peak Hour.  If the OBMS rezoning is approved, it is anticipated that this condition will only worsen.  EGIS Staff is recommending that no left turn signage be installed at the Miller Street/South Main Street intersection.  The recommendation is that the no left turns be in effect 24 hours.  At a minimum, EGIS Staff would request that the no left turns be in effect during peak hours.”

     

  3. A concern has been received from Laura Naccarato, a Blacksburg resident, regarding lighting in the crosswalk on UCB near Broce Drive.Her correspondence follows:

     

    “My name is Laura Naccarato and I am a resident of Blacksburg. Today while walking to my friend's apartment, I used the crosswalk on University City Blvd by Broce Drive in the dark. I am concerned that there are no streetlights here and it is hard for cars to see pedestrians in the crosswalk. Is there anyway for streetlights to be put here? Thank you for your time.”

     

    Update 03/01/19:  Lori Lester, Streetlight Correspondent/Engineering Department, has conducted a site visit and her observations concluded that there is not a pole nor a streetlight near the crosswalk in question, although there is a light at the Broce/UCB intersection.  Several other lights on UCB are currently out, and AEP has been aware of the problem since last fall and have determined that it is an underground problem.  If Traffic Committee recommends that a light should be added at the crosswalk in question, she will be happy to facilitate the installation with the appropriate personnel.

     

  4. A concern has been received via the At Your Request system from Nancy Moseley, who resides at 501 Dehart Street.Her correspondence follows:

 

“Airport Acres is a predominantly single-family residential neighborhood. The first two houses on the left on Dehart Street have been divided up into apartments (I am unsure how many apartments). My concern is not necessarily with over-occupation (though if we are zoned single-family, I question the validity of a house with multiple rental units), but rather the number of cars that park along both sides of the street. It turns the beginning of Dehart into one lane, forcing a vehicle turning onto to the street to back onto Airport Road if meeting a exiting vehicle head-on . . .I also question whether or not a firetruck would be able to turn onto the street - clearly affecting safety. The cars are typically parked on both sides all the way to Airport Road.  Is there a way to make one side of the street "No Parking/Towing Enforced" to keep the entrance to Dehart safely two-way.”

Note:  The Zoning/Code Enforcement Office is currently reviewing this item from a potential over-occupancy standpoint as well.  Traffic Committee is tasked with reviewing the parking/congestion part of the issue.

 

 

 

*NEXT MEETING DATE:  The next Traffic Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 9:00 am in the Conference Room at Blacksburg Motor Company

*Please note change in location for the April meeting.

 

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