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Thread: Revising a deficient bicycle trail crossing

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Revising a deficient bicycle trail crossing

    Before:






    This is a public album on Photobucket; feel free to peruse.

    Crash analysis paint


    After:


    News articles:

    Realignment pending

    About the fatal crash

    More about the intersection design

    Trail review that helped the process

    Volunteer work paid off. I researched the site, created the photo album, contacted local officials. Encouraged them to do something. Early on, the crossing signal was revised to include a "countdown" feature.
    County road commission head was the key. He brought all the jurisdictions together for a meeting, in which the county parks director offered to cover the costs of the trail work to the city of Wyoming.
    The work was finished last week, and the STOP sign/ghostbike lock-up pedestal has been removed (along with the original crosswalk, curb cuts, and signals).

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    I can remember this intersection. I only drove by it once, on my way to Holland last year. I was impressed to see a large medical facility having such good access to both the freeway and local roadways.


    What source covered the rest of the cost? Federal safety or enhancement funds?

    The road commission as well as the City must spend 1% of their state transportation funds on nonmotorized.

    Is there a signal at Metro Way? Does the crossing also have pedestrian access to the Hospital?
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  3. #3
    Cyburbian UrbaneSprawler's avatar
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    It's unfortunate to see someone pass away over what happened. That said, if I were a commuter bicyclist, I'd be ticked off to see the proposed solution and how far out of the way it brings me to make this crossing. The existing crossing as it is was at a signalized intersection, which should inherently be safer than moving it to the north (and what appears to be an unsignalized intersection). I don't understand why the existing design was viewed as unsafe, other than to read in one of the articles that only 6 seconds was provided to cross that many lanes of traffic, which seems insane. The link below shows a similar trail crossing at an on-ramp in south Denver, I've never heard of an issue with it. I just don't get the proposed solution.

    Highlands Ranch, CO C-470/Centennial Trail crossing

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    I can remember this intersection. I only drove by it once, on my way to Holland last year. I was impressed to see a large medical facility having such good access to both the freeway and local roadways.


    What source covered the rest of the cost? Federal safety or enhancement funds?

    The road commission as well as the City must spend 1% of their state transportation funds on nonmotorized.

    Is there a signal at Metro Way? Does the crossing also have pedestrian access to the Hospital?
    Not sure on the funding source; the parks director is keeping it quiet. Wyoming's city council voted to approve the expenditure on the first meeting. (Perhaps their legal department had some input. More than one person has noted, "no other family will have to go through this," and posting comments to the victim's FB page along the lines of, "Your grace continues... You will be saving lives in the future.")

    Here's a satellite view of Metro Health. It's an outer ring facility that was positioned there in the middle of nowhere after M6 opened. Former location here, now a retirement living community.

    There are sidewalks all over their new campus, along with a "village" that attempts to make it into a PUD. On my rare visits, I've noticed a dearth of anything one would walk or pedal to; premier retailer was Wright and Filippis. (Non-Michiganders: legendary provider of ambulatory supplies, sponsors the "wheeler" category in marathons)

    Streetview of the crash site when the ped xing crosswalk marks were still visible in the path of the freewheeling right-turning exit lanes

    Streetview of new crossing. The trail now runs up to the traffic signal, uses the ped xing pushbutton, and crosses at the sidewalk. (I am unclear on what it does on the east side of the road.)

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by UrbaneSprawler View post
    It's unfortunate to see someone pass away over what happened. That said, if I were a commuter bicyclist, I'd be ticked off to see the proposed solution and how far out of the way it brings me to make this crossing. The existing crossing as it is was at a signalized intersection, which should inherently be safer than moving it to the north (and what appears to be an unsignalized intersection). I don't understand why the existing design was viewed as unsafe, other than to read in one of the articles that only 6 seconds was provided to cross that many lanes of traffic, which seems insane. The link below shows a similar trail crossing at an on-ramp in south Denver, I've never heard of an issue with it. I just don't get the proposed solution. ...
    To clarify: there already was a signal and ped xing at the new trail crossing location. Here's a look at a similar treatment a few miles east. Streetview

    This trail system is unlikely to be used by bicycle commuters, as it's pretty far removed from housing and work sites. To reach it, you'd have to pedal past an established street grid. The victim (his name's Larry) was out on a Saturday training ride for the RAGBRAI bicycle tour.

    I experienced push-back from MDOT regarding adding signage to the exit ramps, to indicate the trail's presence. "We don't want to add clutter," I was told. Here's the sequence from the westbound exit.
















    See the trail?




    This tiny bike route sign is the only indication of the trail.


    Note that the proper signage would be the yellow warning sign, positioned further back from the intersection, like this. (After hearing the excuses, I started collecting images of "clutter.")


    The trail users in the previous shot are kids; check out the path they followed to reach the trail.


    Another of my proposals was a road diet (would have been much cheaper than all the new trailwork).
    ADT


    Original


    Suggested


    I'm not a highway planner; I don't understand why this roadway "needs" seven travel lanes. I'd also suggested NO TURN ON RED signalization (Michigan law permits a right turn on red, without a stop, at any intersection unless there is a sign prohibiting same). Others suggested a ped xing signal that would include flashing lights, an overhead sign, better pavement paint, and/or effectuation of a signal for the exit ramp.

    For some reason Larry was transported to a hospital downtown, rather than the ER just a few blocks away. I should ask about that.
    Last edited by Veloise; 06 Aug 2012 at 1:53 PM.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    ... (Michigan law permits a right turn on red, without a stop, at any intersection unless there is a sign prohibiting same)....
    Very few motorists come to a complete stop in such a situation, preferring an "Idaho stop" if they slow down at all. I mis-remembered the law, which is "right turn on red after stop."

    Here is a link to a FB page describing what can happen when you mix up a RTOR and a non-motorized facility.
    (Michigan ghostbikes)

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    16,000 ADT (2-way) on this roadway. Seven Mile near the I-275 bike path, metro Detroit.

    Warning sign some distance back


    Trail crossing has its own signal

  8. #8
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    The width of the roadway seems excessive for the AADT. A lot of times roads are that wide simply based upon the ego of the city or the nearby developer. Are there stop signs at the end of the ramps? Does the bus let off on the street in front of the place? This could be one reason for the extra capacity, but you could narrow it with bus bays.

    Thanks, after I previously posted, I checked the google map, and saw the built campus. I see that you are connecting the path with the pedestrian access. I know 'real bicyclists' would poo-poo that, but at least it allows you to use some existing infastructure.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    The width of the roadway seems excessive for the AADT. A lot of times roads are that wide simply based upon the ego of the city or the nearby developer. Are there stop signs at the end of the ramps? Does the bus let off on the street in front of the place? This could be one reason for the extra capacity, but you could narrow it with bus bays.

    Thanks, after I previously posted, I checked the google map, and saw the built campus. I see that you are connecting the path with the pedestrian access. I know 'real bicyclists' would poo-poo that, but at least it allows you to use some existing infastructure.
    End of the westbound ramp has traffic signals. It's a scary crossing even clad in hi-vis safety vest and with a heightened awareness of, well, you know.

    The Rapid travels south on BC Rd, turns into the "village," heads back out. There is no there south of there, it's like the wasteland along M-14. Set-back on the hospital building is about twice the distance added to the bike trail crossing.

    South of the freeway is a surgical center building, and cornfields, and open country.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    WisDOT's solutions for the Friendship State Trail (it runs along US 10 through the Appleton, WI area) includes one interchange where the trail was built under the crossroad:

    https://maps.google.com/?ll=44.21623...06899&t=k&z=17

    That is the US 10/WI 76 interchange just west of Appleton in unincorporated Winnebago County. It did help that WI 76 runs along the top of a ridge in that area. Yes, that's an active grade school at the bottom of the image.

    ----

    Same trail and US 10 freeway at County 'CB' (unnamed Westside Arterial), the next interchange east and a bit closer 'in' in the metro area, still in unincorporated Winnebago County. This is the first interchange west of US 41 (a future interstate) and a major water/river crossing (Little Lake Butte des Morts) and includes a few semi-major office employers in the SE quadrant of the interchange:

    https://maps.google.com/?ll=44.21788...06899&t=k&z=17

    The trail is protected by the signals at this crossroad and then continues eastward as that dark line south of that tree line/hedgerow.

    This trail is very busy and likely carries some legitimate commuter traffic during warm weather, especially at County 'CB'.

    Mike

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Good design should be implemented at the beginning

    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    WisDOT's solutions for the Friendship State Trail (it runs along US 10 through the Appleton, WI area) includes one interchange where the trail was built under the crossroad:

    https://maps.google.com/?ll=44.21623...06899&t=k&z=17

    That is the US 10/WI 76 interchange just west of Appleton in unincorporated Winnebago County. It did help that WI 76 runs along the top of a ridge in that area. Yes, that's an active grade school at the bottom of the image.

    ----

    Same trail and US 10 freeway at County 'CB' (unnamed Westside Arterial), the next interchange east and a bit closer 'in' in the metro area, still in unincorporated Winnebago County. This is the first interchange west of US 41 (a future interstate) and a major water/river crossing (Little Lake Butte des Morts) and includes a few semi-major office employers in the SE quadrant of the interchange:

    https://maps.google.com/?ll=44.21788...06899&t=k&z=17

    The trail is protected by the signals at this crossroad and then continues eastward as that dark line south of that tree line/hedgerow.

    This trail is very busy and likely carries some legitimate commuter traffic during warm weather, especially at County 'CB'.
    Adding the M6 trail to the new freeway r-o-w was an afterthought, and the brainchild of a former township commissioner. If the developers had sought input from experienced bicyclists, such as Larry Martin, it's likely that he would still be alive today.

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