Porkchop update – ATD findings

Letter below from ATD Director regarding our beloved porkchop:

The Austin Transportation Department (ATD) has reviewed the intersection control devices at the intersection of Morrow Street and N. Lamar Boulevard based on the requests from Citizen organizations on either side of Lamar.

 

ATD reports the following observations and findings:

  • In 2010, one traffic calming median island and seven sets of speed cushions were installed to slow vehicle speed.  However, the sidewalk along the north curb has not been constructed and no modifications to the intersection of N Lamar Boulevard and Morrow Street have been implemented per staff’s previous recommendation to the Comprehensive Planning Transportation Committee (CPTC).
  • Allowing westbound through movements across the intersection gives transportation system users east of N Lamar Boulevard access to the Crestview Neighborhood, North Austin Optimist Fields, and other locations west of N Lamar Boulevard without traversing multiple arterial and neighborhood streets to reach the same destinations.  This results in fewer overall vehicle-miles traveled and does not require drivers to traverse arterials, which are typically less safe than neighborhood streets due to their higher operating vehicle speed and volume.
  • Nearby intersections at Brentwood Street and Romeria Drive/Denson Street provide connectivity across N Lamar Boulevard without any restricted movements.
  • Daily traffic volumes on Morrow Street, west of N Lamar Boulevard, are projected to increase from approximately 1,800 vehicles per day to approximately 2,500 vehicles per day (a 39% increase) if westbound through movements across the intersection are allowed (See Table 1 below).  These new volumes are well within the normal usage range for this type of street and do not present a notable safety concern if appropriate pedestrian facilities are in place.

Based on these observations and findings, ATD recommends the following with regards to the traffic control device:

  • Unless otherwise directed by Council, the raised island is not recommended to be removed at this time due to the absent sidewalk along the north curb of Morrow Street.  ATD recognizes the positive effects increased connectivity would bring to the transportation network in this area and would recommend removal of the raised island after the missing sidewalk is constructed.  ATD believes that the traffic calming median island and speed cushions currently installed and/or as might be supplemented would effectively control vehicle speeds, given the projected modest increases in daily vehicle volumes that might be expected after removal.

 

  • ATD will work with the Public Works Department (PWD) Sidewalk Program to pursue prioritization and funding of the sidewalk.

 

  • ATD traffic engineers will revisit the connectivity issue once a sidewalk is in place.

 

 

Daily traffic volume on Morrow Street, with and without the raised islands, is summarized in Table 1.

 

Table 1 – Daily Traffic Volume on Morrow Street

  Daily Traffic Volume on Morrow Street
Traffic Count Year West of N Lamar Boulevard East of N Lamar Boulevard
Eastbound Westbound Total Eastbound Westbound Total
2009 – Restricted movements 1,261 648 1,909 866 889 1,755
2015 – Restricted movements 1,175 601 1,776 979 1,093 2,072
2015 – Unrestricted movements* 1,175      1,301 2,476 979 1,093 2,072

*Northbound left-turns still restricted

 

Should you or your constituents have any additional technical questions, please have them contact ATD directly and we will be happy to respond.

 

 

Robert Spillar, P.E.

Director of Transportation

Austin Transportation Department

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