.June 6, 2014
At the last council meeting it was announced that FDOT will promulgate a :”No U-Turn” regulation on Dunlawton at the intersection of the Lowes/Target Driveway. The FDOT Traffic Engineers told the city that accident experiences at that location did not justify that type of regulation and advised against it , but yielded to the request when told by city staff that’s what the Mayor wanted .
Below is a copy of my traffic forecast posted to the former City Manager in 2012 ; several months before the Grand Opening of BJ’s. Do you think perhaps that forecast had some merit?
KenConcerns on the pending traffic plan changes at the Altamira Project (November 2, 2012)
Dunlawton & Taylor Branch
As I understand it is planned that the existing heavy westbound dual-left turn traffic movement on Taylor Branch Rd will be relocated to the new Yorktown Blvd. extension and the redesigned intersection at “Dunlawton & Yorktown” Then this intersection would be shutdown, by closing off the median and the Traffic Signal removed.
Dunlawton & Target Driveway
Today the left turn lane at the Target entrance intersection, operates at a Level Of Service ‘C’ ( LOS ‘C’= Moderate delays with satisfactory or good traffic flow) This left turn lane into Target & Lowes, functions well today because the upstream traffic signal at Dunlawton & Yorktown creates adequate gaps in the westbound Dunlawton traffic flow. Additional new U-turn traffic generated by the completion of the Altamira project, and the closing of Taylor Branch intersection, will be added to the left turn traffic and use this turn lane to go westbound. This new u-turn traffic may normally only reduce the LOS to ‘D’ (LOS ‘D’ = Increased probability of delays, but intersection could remain functional) However, it appears someone may have forgot in the planning stage, they are relocating the Taylor Branch Rd left turn lanes to Yorktown Blvd. As a result, there will be reduced gaps remaining in westbound Dunlawton traffic at the Target Driveway.
In view of the above, this intersection could fail with long left turn & u-turn queue’s. Forcing some of that traffic to relocate downstream to the left turn lane at Yorktown, thus, negatively effecting capacity at that intersection. Also, as turning movement delay’s increase, drivers will take chances on shorter & shorter gaps in cross-traffic, thereby increasing the accident experiences at this location.
Dunlawton & Yorktown (redesigned)
A few months ago, via a broadcast council meeting, I watched in total amazement as the city council redesigned the Altamira project’s roadway improvements, with no engineering analysis; input; or advice whatsoever. In a 20 minute debate, the council changed the new Yorktown Blvd.extension roadway design. The council proposed the change based on some ill-conceived notion that by reducing the capacity of the new roadway it would somehow reduce traffic noise in the adjacent neighborhood (really!). At this point in time, I do not know if the council’s revise traffic plan every made it into the project’s actual construction plans (we hope not). If it did, they now own this baby, and any failure in the traffic operations for this project will now come back to bite them in the ass. (do you recall the meaning for the acronym: ‘SNAFU’ – goggle it!)
Dunlawton & Clyde Morris
At this time, this intersection operates at or near capacity during peak hours. If the Taylor Branch Rd intersection is shut down, and with possible capacity deficiencies on the new Yorktown Blvd extension, a portion of the westbound Taylor Rd. traffic would likely relocate to this intersection via Clyde Morris Blvd. Resulting in a big hit on the LOS at this location.
It’s recommend that whoever is controlling the progress of this project, use caution before taking any permanent action to close the Taylor Branch Rd intersection. However, the intersection could be shut down on a temporary basis via installing Jersey Barrier’s in the median and placing the Signal in flash mode for a period of time. Thus, allowing any defects in the projects proposed traffic circulation plans to show themselves, and any other impacts the closing may have on traffic safety & capacity in the area. By closing it via a temporary operation, will forestall the need to go through the lengthy process of obtaining funding to reconstruct that intersection if conditions proves it necessary.