Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hub Intersection Traffic

Email to UDOT 3/15/2007 10:23 PM Suggestion for the intersection of 189 and 40 ( or 1200 S and Main St. in Heber. This is one of the busiest intersections in Heber City (Soon to be made worse by the proposed Big Box/Boyer development to be located there.)

An improvement to the flow of traffic could be made by allowing South bound traffic on Main St. to make the left turn onto 1200 S (heading East) at any time traffic is allowed to continue straight through. Currently the green left turn signal turns to red while the continuing through traffic continues to flow - often with little or no northbound traffic to impede the left turn.

Many drivers avoid the left turn signal by cutting through the commercial property (Hub or Arby) parking lots to avoid the lengthy light change. Secondly, when the left turn lane is repainted, the stop line should be moved back several(20) feet as the left turns from Hwy 189 onto Main frequently cut the (135 deg) corner creating an unsafe condition.

This intersection needs a lot of redesign, a plan is being formulated by the County and the City for a bypass around the West side of Heber City and cutting East to regain US 40 somewhere around the intersection. The large commercial development will hinder that plan.

Response: March 21, 2007 6:58 AM As you are aware, UDOT recently upgraded the traffic signal at the subject intersection by installing protected left turn phasing for traffic on US-40. This was done as a safety improvement because of the horizontal curve through the intersection.
We understand that it may reduce the capacity and level of service of the intersection, but we believe the safety benefits outweigh those other factors. We have heard about potential development east of the intersection, as well as the big box development northwest of the intersection, and as that area grows the protected left turn phasing will be even more justified, so we plan to keep it the way it is for now.
It is unfortunate that some drivers are resorting to making either illegal or improper movements through adjacent business property to avoid the signal. Perhaps you could speak with the Heber City Police and ask them to monitor the issue and enforce the necessary laws to reduce or eliminated the problem.

We are also aware of a request to completely overhaul the intersection,including straightening out the curve, which would be a dramatic impact on local businesses. We have not made any plans to do so at this time, but may consider it if discussions with the City and County continue to include this matter. If it ever is reconstructed, the location of all the stop bars would be included in the design.

3/23/2007 Thank you for the prompt response. I again drove through the intersection today - as I frequently do. I fail to see any "safety" benefit to restricting the left turn to only being allowable on the green turn signal. It seems to me quite rare to restrict a left turn in this manner. The road curve on US 40 does not hamper any sight restriction involving that left turn or hamper it in any way that I can see.

The North bound traffic into Heber City nearly always leaves adequate space to turn AFTER the red (no left turn) light appears while South bound traffic continues through the intersection. By stopping the left turn traffic prematurely, it creates a more dangerous situation because there is a greater chance a car will be present in the left turn lane on US 40 which IS a potential danger from cars making left turns from 189 onto Main St.

This two lane left turn is a far bigger safety problem than from Main St. to 1200 S. I think someone needs to analyze that flow again!! NO RESPONSE

It was a pleasure to meet you today in Heber, thanks for listening to our concerns about the intersection traffic and the drastic increase which is forthcoming.

A SECOND ATTEMPT 6/23/2008 : We didn't get to discuss this relatively minor suggestion, so I'd just like to reiterate a potential short term (and inexpensive, IMHO) solution to make the intersection a little better NOW. I frequently drive through the intersection making a left turn from Main St. onto 1200 South.

It frequently takes two signals to do so already. With the increase in semi-truck traffic coming up Provo Canyon, it is even a bigger problem now than last year and is not safe to be parked in the first position in that left turn lane.
  • Allow left turn on Green light for the southbound traffic. We are waiting through an entire traffic light cycle now even at 2 AM
  • Move the left turn stop line back 20 ft or so to make the left turn from 189 to Main St. a little 'rounder' - This would especially speed up the semis which now have to be careful in the turn to avoid those cars waiting to make the left to 1200 So.

The UDOT response 6/27/2008 :

Regarding your number 1 recommendation, as the Region Director, I'm very uncomfortable overriding a decision by the Traffic and Safety Engineer and don't want to do that.

However, when reconstructed by Boyer there will be dual left turns, which must be protected (no permissive allowed). The dual lefts, combined with a change in signal timing should correct the problem.

Regarding number 2, I think we see how Boyer's reconstructed improvements work and then determine if any modifications are necessary. Thanks again for meeting with us.

Dave Nazare, UDOT Region Three Director 801-227-8001

I guess one can admire consistency, but anyone wanting to try further might Email David Nazare

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