Archive for Thursday, October 27, 2005

Report says traffic signals needed

Warrant study indicates Lexington lights needed at 91st and Commerce

October 27, 2005

The results of the latest survey indicate traffic signals are warranted at two Lexington Avenue intersections.

A study conducted earlier this month found two of four traffic factors at the intersections indicated traffic lights were needed on the street at Commerce Drive and 91st Street.

Data still hasn't been compiled on the number of accidents at the intersection, the fourth factor considered in the study. City engineer Mike Brungardt said he hoped to have that information by mid-November.

"Delay times aren't that oppressive at this time, but if we install lights they won't get worse," Brungardt said.

Traffic counts conducted by Bucher, Willis and Ratliff Corp. from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 11 indicated that peak hour traffic count and four-hour traffic at both intersections would warrant traffic lights. However, the eight-hour traffic volumes were not satisfied on that Tuesday.

Brungardt told the De Soto City Council last Thursday that the study suggested traffic lights were warranted at both intersections. The council will look at its options at its Nov. 3 meeting.

Further study will be needed for the design and coordination of the two lights so close in proximity, Brungardt said.

One complicating factor at the Commerce Drive intersection is the Kansas Highway 10 entrance and exit ramps opposite Lexington Avenue. KDOT would have to approve signals for that intersection, and it is unclear whether the agency would do so without all the warrants met.

KDOT approval could also share some of the cost of the signal at that intersection. It is estimated the signals would cost about $180,000 each.

The study found that traffic at the 91st Street intersection had increased by 28 percent since August 2001, when the last single warrant study was performed. Traffic at the Commerce Drive intersection jumped 24 percent.

A total of 6,423 vehicles passed through the 91st Street and Lexington Avenue intersection during the 11 hours of the study. Of those, 2,463 were southbound on Lexington Avenue, a nearly equal number (2,438) were northbound, and 1,522 were eastbound on 91st Street.

The more complex Commerce Drive/Kansas Highway 10 intersection was used by 7,123 vehicles during that same time span. Of those, 2,292 approached the intersection southbound on Lexington, 1,531 were northbound on Lexington, 1,780 took the eastbound K-10 ramp and 1,520 were westbound on K-10.

Although both intersections meet the same warrant criteria, there was significant differences in the traffic patterns of the two intersections. With 860 vehicles counted, the hour from 7 to 8 a.m. was by far the busiest 60-minute period at the 91st Street intersection. The count dwindled to 430 vehicles in the next hour and for the most part declined until 2 p.m. when it started increasing once again, topping out at 601 vehicles from 4 to 5 p.m.

The busiest hour at the Commerce Drive intersection was from 4 to 5 p.m. with 483 vehicles. That was 10 more than used the intersection the proceeding hour. Traffic was also heavy from 7 to 8 a.m. with 429 vehicles but then slowed to 247 the next hour and 246 from 9 to 10 a.m.

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