MEMORANDUM. Earl Haugen and UND Transportation and Traffic Coordination Committee

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1 SRF No MEMORANDUM TO: FROM: Earl Haugen and UND Transportation and Traffic Coordination Committee Rick Lane, P.E. DATE: November 26, 2013 SUBJECT: UNIVERSITY AVE REVIEW Our review of the University Avenue from Columbia Road to 42 nd Street is based on the review of the following documents: University Avenue Traffic Calming Study, June 2002, Howard R. Green Co. University Ave Pedestrian-Vehicle Traffic Conflict Observations Memo, October 2011, URS UND Shuttle Alternatives Review, August 2011, URS University of North Dakota Climate Action Plan, May 2010, UND Facilities Management Draft meeting notes of June 11, 2012 committee meeting In addition we met with the Grand Forks/UND Transportation and Traffic Coordination Committee on July 18, 2012 to review our initial findings and to collect additional input regarding issues and possible alternatives for programing consideration in the MPO s Long Range Transportation Plan. Based on our review and meeting with the Grand Forks/UND Transportation and Traffic Coordination Committee we have developed a summary of the issues and provided a listing of alternatives to consider in the LRTP associated with the University Ave through campus. As we ve reviewed the various documents the primary area of concern is from English Coulee to Cornell St. for pedestrian/bike/vehicle issues and from 42 nd Street to Cornell St. for UND shuttle issues. ISSUES: Pavement Condition o Review of the MPO s Pavement Management System indicates that University Avenue paving is in poor conditions from west of Stanford Rd to Columbia Rd. Therefore when this portion of the University Avenue is rehabilitated or

2 Traffic Coordination Committee November 26, 2013 reconstructed (full depth paving replacement, lighting, underground utilities, etc.) there will be an opportunity to consider a higher level of improvements such as a pedestrian grade separation, which may provide an opportunity to reduce the overall roadway width due to fewer pedestrian conflicts. Pedestrian/vehicle conflicts along University Ave during class hours (Monday/Wednesday/ Friday from shortly before 10 am to shortly after 2 pm is highest conflict hours) and associated congestions/delay. o The key intersection based on the University Ave Pedestrian-Vehicle Traffic Conflict Observations Memo is the crossing at Oxford/Centennial Dr. vehicle delays at this crossing can exceed 2 minutes. Vehicle/bus/bicycle conflicts along University Ave during class hours and the associated congestion impacts UND shuttle service and CAT on-time performance. o Observed bus delays were in excess of two minutes which can represent up to 15% of their total round trip route travel time. Pedestrian crossings at intersection and non-intersection crossing locations, and associated safety/congestion. Too much UND related vehicle traffic during class hours. o Examples include delivery vehicles (both UND and private vendors) that could be scheduled for non-class hours, and students moving from one lot to another due to the use of parking lot zones rather than assigned parking lots. Need for improvement in pedestrian and bicycle rules of the road education. o Bicyclist often travel in the wrong direction on current bike lanes. o Pedestrians and drivers don t always respect, or understand the appropriate rules of road as they relate to yielding the right of way. Need for stepped up pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle enforcement. Reduce UND s carbon footprint. o UND s Climate Action Plan has a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 7% over the 1990 levels by 2020 and a 51% reduction by ALTERNATIVES (no particular order) Pedestrian/bicycle safety education and enforcement. o On campus bicycle registration may be a method for funding educational programs and added enforcement. Roadway lane configuration changes with traffic control at designated pedestrian crossings. o Shared Lanes (Pedestrian-Vehicle Traffic Conflict Observations Memo). Curb lane combined bus/bike, inside lane (closest to the median) for vehicles. Curb lane bus only, inside lane (closest to the median) for vehicles/bikes. Separate designation (would require street widening), curb lane bus only, bike lane, inside lane (closest to the median) for vehicles. o Split N-S of existing median.

3 Traffic Coordination Committee November 26, 2013 Bus and bike one side and vehicles on other side, would require signing and traffic control at exiting intersection to insure proper designated usage. o Designate two to four pedestrian crossing locations and install appropriate signing or signalization if warranted, or utilize crossing guards during peak pedestrian hours. Access reduction and designation of pedestrian cross walks. o Reduce number of full access intersection to Right in Right out with median closures. o Close side street accesses. o Designate two to four pedestrian crossing locations and install appropriate signing or signalization if warranted, or utilize crossing guards during peak pedestrian hours. o Install decorative streetscaping on median to discourage mid-block crossings. Grade separated crossing of University Avenue between Harvard and Hamlin Streets. UND shuttle system improvements o Consider implementation of Shuttle Alternative Composite B from the UND Shuttle Alternatives Review, along with University Ave configuration alternatives, should significantly improve shuttle on-time performance. University Avenue closure options o Permanent closure allowing for the use by pedestrians, bicycles and transit would require significant construction, and have possible significant impact on other parallel corridors o Part-time closure allowing for the use by pedestrians, bicycles and transit, closure during non-peak travel hour (9 am-3 pm) would require development of the operational plan, dedicated staffing, signing plan, and education Carbon footprint reduction alternatives. o Tunnels, walkways and other building connections in conjunction with updated master planning with the goal of encouraging more non-motorized travel on campus. o Implement flex-time for UND employees. o Block appropriate classes together and/or distribution of general classes to other campus location to reduce student travel times. o Comprehensive parking study to review current use policy and to incorporate carbon offset into parking permits. o Improved CAT frequency to UND destinations and route modifications recommended in the Transit Development Plan. o Construct more bicycle lanes on campus, bicycle parking infrastructure, and implement a free bike program. Possible Projects for Consideration during Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) Programing Many of the alternatives outlined above are outside of the scope of the MPO s LRTP, are projects not directly related to University Ave or are projects that can be directly implemented by

4 Traffic Coordination Committee November 26, 2013 UND or CAT. However, it should be noted that many of the above alternatives are directed towards an overall reduction in motorized travel. If the above alternatives are implemented then University Avenue and other adjacent roadway facilities will see an overall reduction in vehicle travel which will result in a reduction in congestion and delay during class hours, and improved safety. The University Avenue Closure options (both permanent and part-time) are not being considered for inclusion in the LRTP. These options would have a negative impact to traffic flow on campus and on other roadways adjacent to campus. Closure of University Ave. either temporary or fulltime has not been supported by policy makers, City Staff, and was not supported by the public during the public participation opportunities offered as part of the LRTP update. Therefore this alternative has been dropped from further consideration. Implementation of the short range recommendations will provide an opportunity to evaluate how these improvements affect pedestrian/traffic flow on University Ave. These improvements along with other UND campus master plan improvements suggested as part of the UND Climate Action Plan should be reviewed prior to implementation of the mid-range recommendations to determine if the desired reduction in vehicle/pedestrian conflicts which precipitated the University Ave. Closure concept has been realized. If these issues have not been adequately addressed the closure concept can be revisited. The projects listed below were developed for consideration in either the short range element (0 to 5 years) or the mid-range element (6 to 15 years) of the LRTP. A review of the MPO s Pavement Management System indicates that University Avenue paving is in poor conditions from west of Stanford Rd to Columbia Rd. Therefore it is likely that major rehabilitation or reconstruction of University Avenue will be needed in the mid-range, therefore projects listed below in the mid-range should be considered when University Ave is programed for reconstruction/rehabilitation. However, even though the improvements in the short range are considered relatively low cost it will be important to review the timing of these improvements relative to the funding schedule for the full reconstruction/rehabilitation of the University Avenue. If funding becomes available early in the mid-range (year 6 or 7) then the implementation of some of the short range recommendation may be moved to a mid-range project to make efficient use of the funding rather than removing improvement just a few years after implrementation. Short Range Element Roadway configuration changes between English Coulee and Columbia Road within the current street width. o Conduct a campus wide comprehensive parking study to address such issues as assigned permit parking (ie parking zone versus assigned parking lots), and economic incentive to reduce the total number of vehicle on campus, etc.

5 Traffic Coordination Committee November 26, 2013 o Implementation of Shuttle Alternative Composite B from the UND Shuttle Alternatives Review, and improved CAT frequency to UND destinations and route modifications recommended in the Transit Development Plan o Conduct regular public awareness/education campaign emphasizing pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle safety and rules of the road. o Close four of the existing median openings and designate the four pedestrian crossings. Based on a preliminary review the median would be closed at Oxford St., the west Centennial Dr. access, Cambridge St. and Cornell St. and pedestrian crossing would be designated at Princeton St., Oxford St., Harvard St, and Hamline St. These recommendations are very similar to the recommendation from the University Avenue Traffic Calming Study completed in The study concluded that with the implementation of these recommendations no significant traffic operation problems would occur. Given that traffic volumes have decreased by 25% since 2002 we do not anticipate that these recommendation will create any traffic operational issues. Further study would be needed to confirm the impacts of these closures and/or to determine the most efficient combination of median closures. o Install decorative streetscaping in the median to discourage mid-block crossings. o Install pedestrian signals with transit priority (if warranted) at designated crosswalks, or utilize crossing guards during peak pedestrian hours. o Restripe University Ave (no roadway widening required) with one 11 foot through lane (cars and trucks) in each direction adjacent to the median, and one 13 foot curb lane for shared bus and bicycle travel. Total width with 1.5 foot gutters is 64 feet which matches the existing roadway width. Mid-Range Element Roadway configuration changes between English Coulee and Columbia Road with recommended lane widths, requires roadway widening, and major rehabilitation of University Ave. o Maintain median and pedestrian configuration, and streetscaping improvements implemented in the short range. o Reconfigure University Ave with one 11 foot (min) through lane (cars and trucks) in each direction adjacent to the median, one 4 foot (min) bicycle lane and one 11foot (min) curb lane for buses. Total width with 1.5 foot gutters is 68 feet (min). This improvement can only be implemented with the full reconstruction of the University Ave. o Grade separated pedestrian crossing of University Avenue between Harvard and Hamlin Streets. This alternative would likely require significant right of way from UND, possibly eliminate one side street access, and impact either an existing structure or parking facilities. This project would be done in conjunction with the reconstruction / rehabilitation of University Ave. The scope of the roadway improvements (number and width of the lanes) should be reevaluated if the pedestrian grade separation is implemented. It may be possible to reduce the roadway width if the grade separation is implemented along with campus master planning to improve tunnels, walkways and other building connections along with

6 Traffic Coordination Committee November 26, 2013 the placement of student housing, parking facilities and educational buildings such that it reduces the number of pedestrian crossings of University Avenue. The cost of the grade separation may be partially offset by the costs savings associated with less roadway improvements. RGL

7 Cambridge St. Cornell Hamline St. Future Grade Separation Closures Crosswalks Columbia Rd. One Way Centennial Dr. Harvard St. 200 One Way Centennoial Dr. Yale Dr..Stanford Rd Oxford St. Princeton St. Stanford Rd. University Avenue Recommended Improvements Feet 150 Feet Map Legend Medians and Steetscaping Turn Lanes

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