COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
Forest Lakes Traffic Calming Resolution
Approval of resolution to install speed humps on Powell Creek Drive
Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Davis, Cilimberg, Benish, Wade
LEGAL REVIEW: Yes
October 5, 2005
ACTION: X INFORMATION:
In January 2005, residents of Powell Creek Drive in the Forest Lakes South subdivision contacted several state and federal elected officials concerning the safety of Powell Creek Drive (Attachment A). This information was forwarded to the local VDOT Residency office and the Department of Community Development. VDOT conducted a speed study that indicated there was a speeding problem on Powell Creek Drive. The posted speed limit on Powell Creek Drive is 25 mph, but the average speed is 34 mph. Staff met with the Forest Lakes Community Association (FLCA) to discuss the safety of pedestrians and vehicles in both Forest Lakes North and South. Staff informed the FLCA about the VDOT Traffic Calming Program. The FLCA requested a number of improvements to address vehicular and pedestrian safety. One of these improvements can be made under the traffic calming program.
3.1 Make the County a Safe and Healthy Community in which citizens feel secure to live, work and play.
The majority of the improvements requested by the FLCA can be completed without Board of Supervisors approval because they are considered maintenance type improvements and/or are improvements that can be approved by VDOT administratively. The improvements that VDOT and/or the County staff will complete that do not require Board of Supervisors approval include:
· Paint 6’ inch edge lines on Powell Creek Drive in the Forest Lakes South section, typically the edge line is 4 inches (VDOT has completed this improvement)
· Paint “Slow 25 MPH” on the road in large print on Powell Creek Drive near the Ashwood Boulevard intersection and the round about. (VDOT anticipates a Fall 2005 completion)
· Speed enforcement through Forest Lakes North and South (County Police will periodically conduct speed enforcement)
· Reduce unnecessary use of school buses on Powell Creek Drive in the Forest Lakes South section (County Pupil Transportation Department has made this a standing policy)
· Change the color of the existing “Watch for Children Playing” signs to fluorescent yellow-green for signs on Powell Creek Drive. (VDOT anticipates a Fall 2005 completion)
· Place a yellow “Caution” sign on top of the existing speed limit signs. (VDOT anticipates a Fall 2005 completion)
· Selective trimming of hanging tree branches on Powell Creek Drive to improve sight distance. (VDOT anticipates a Fall 2005 completion)
· Installation of a flashing 15 mph school zone sign may be added on Powell Creek Drive (Route 1521) in front of the schools. (This improvement would be considered at a later time, if other improvements are not effective.)
The FLCA did request two improvements that by VDOT policy requires verification of support from residents that are directly impacted by the project and also requires the endorsement of the Board of Supervisors. Specifically, the FLCA requested the installation of 1) speed humps and 2) establishment of enhanced fines for speeding (and the installation of signs notifying the traveling public of the enhanced speeding fine) on Powell Creek Drive. Speed humps are considered a traffic calming improvement. VDOT’s Traffic Calming policy requires the establishment of a Task Force to discuss and recommend traffic calming improvements for the neighborhood. Staff convened a Task Force that included representatives from the FLCA, County staff from the Department of Community Development, Department of Education Pupil Transportation Division, Police Department, Fire/Rescue Office, and VDOT District and Residency office, and a member of the Board of Supervisors (Ken Boyd). This Task Force met on numerous occasions to discuss specific traffic safety concerns and the best way to address those concerns.
The Task Force determined that four speed humps should be located along Powell Creek Drive between Ashwood Boulevard and the traffic circle (Attachment B) and the installation of signs notifying the traveling public that there is an enhanced fine for speeding on Powell Creek Drive. Speed humps are a traffic calming improvement and require a petition indicating community support. Enhanced fines for speeding is not an official VDOT traffic calming improvement, but does require community support as well. The Task Force decided to consider implementing enhanced fines for speeding only after the speed humps had been installed for several months. If the speed humps are effective in reducing speeding then establishing enhanced fines (and installing enhanced speed signs) would not be necessary. This position also aligns with the Board of Supervisors’ policy on the installation of signs notifying the traveling public of enhanced fines for speeding, which states that these signs are not to be installed until other traffic calming alternatives have been exhausted.
The FLCA was required by VDOT to obtained approval of 75% of the residents in the impacted area for the speed humps and the installation of signs notifying the traveling public there are enhanced fines for speeding. The impacted area can be found on Attachment B. The FLCA was able to gather approximately 82% of the residents in the impacted area to support the request. A copy of the petition with the signatures can be found in the Office of the Clerk for the Board of Supervisors.
Upon adoption by the Board of the Forest Lakes Traffic Calming resolution (Attachment C), the Task Force will work with VDOT to install the speed humps. It is possible the speed humps could be installed before winter. Once the speed humps and the other improvements bulleted above are installed, staff will monitor the traffic situation in the area to determine if enhanced fines for speeding should be pursued.
The estimated cost for each speed hump is approximately $5000 ($20,000 total). The cost for the speed humps will be funded from the VDOT Six Year Secondary Road Construction Program where funds have been allocated for traffic calming. Other improvements will be funded through VDOT maintenance funds.
Staff recommends that the Board of Supervisors adopt the Forest Lakes Traffic Calming Resolution (Attachment C).
Attachment A-Letter from Powell Creek Drive residents concerning speeding on Powell Creek Drive
Attachment B- Map identifying the area and location of Speed Humps
Attachment C- Traffic Calming
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