Thursday, November 26, 2009

Hub Intersection Traffic Part 3

An exchange of Emails with UDOT (They DO listen):

(Here are the Email addresses to UDOT if you would care to contact them: Dave Nazare, Doug Bassett )

Nov 2009:
I would be remiss this Thanksgiving day not to thank UDOT for modifying the left turn signal at the Hub intersection in Heber.

On additional point concerning #4 (s) below, changing the green light in the left turn lane to a yellow caution arrow would further enhance the safety of that left turn. (The sign next to the light is NOT that obvious to the motorist.

I would still offer the suggestions below, in addition to removing/minimizing the center curbs to allow left turn access into the Hub/OneStop - and from Daniel Road (perhaps an auxiliary coordinated light).

Regards and thanks for the change, one down - three to go.

Aug 2009:
Thank you for your prompt response, not to belabor the point, but:

1 & 2 It appears the "one receiving lane on 189" deems to be due to the right turn lane leading into the Boyer Project (which is apparently on hold and will not be open for quite some time. Designing the wide turn lane for trucks is understandable; but having a solid white line separating the lanes indicates, generally, no crossing. Making that a dotted line would allow right turn traffic to avoid the right turn then left onto Daniel. Closing the Daniel Road access (mainly to give priority to the future development) seems a poor decision.

3 It also appears, there is a limited amount of right lane space for a limited distance north on Main. (obviously without a shoulder) Allowing a wider turn should make it easier to semis. I don't understand why that would affect the WB left turn traffic onto 1200 South.

4 I understand your point but respectfully disagree.

These are just some comments and suggestions for consideration in your further studies as you "keep an eye on the intersection." Being an engineer, but not a traffic engineer, I'll yield to your expertise. (I do get a better response from UDOT, than from local officials)

Aug 2009 From UDOT:
to respond to your comments below.

1 & 2. The free right turn from SB US-40 to WB US-189 is wide so trucks with trailers can make the turn without riding up on the curb on either side of the roadway. There is only one receiving lane on 189, so we can't have two lanes making the right turn. There is not enough room on 189 to have two receiving lanes and a shoulder anyway. We recognize the difficulty some drivers may have when they try to make multiple lane changes in order to turn left on the Daniel airport road, and if capacity or accident problems arise in that area, we have the right to close the left turn onto the airport road to eliminate the problem(s). This would require traffic to access the airport road from a different road south of the HUB intersection.

3. We cannot have three eastbound left turn lanes on 189 for traffic turning onto 40 because there are not three receiving lanes on 40, and there is not enough room for three lanes and a shoulder anyway. We believe it may take a little time, but drivers EB on 189 will figure out which lane to be in as they approach and prepare to turn left onto 40. The new lane striping is the best we can do for now. If three left turn lanes were a possibility, then the WB left turn movement on 1200 South would probably conflict in the intersection, and the split phase operation would have to be implemented again. This was one thing you said was better -- to not have the split phase operation. Because we agree, I doubt we want to do something that requires us to go back to it.

4. We understand you still want us to change the SB left turn phase to a protected/permissive operation, but we reaffirm our position and hope you understand that we don't think it is wise to make the change, even if the intersection is a little less efficient. Our preference is safety more than efficiency for this particular movement. It is safer for the N-S left turn phasing to be the same in this case. Perhaps a future project where the curve through the intersection is flattened so that the visibility issue is resolved is the time when the left turn phasing can be changed.

We will continue to keep an eye on the intersection.

Aug 2009
With the opening of the new Hub intersection in Heber, I would like to offer my thanks for retiming the light controlling the left turn from Main St. to 1200 South eastbound. It has helped with that particular intersection transit. Also, it appears the stop line southbound on Main also seems to have moved back somewhat.

Now that, as you mentioned, "we see how Boyer's reconstructed improvements work and then determine if any modifications are necessary," may I offer some observations/suggestions:

While the intersection may be slightly better in some aspects than it was, it is drastically worse in others.

In no particular order,

1 - The free right turn from Main St. to 189 appears to be wide enough wide enough for two lanes.
2 - For traffic trying to get to Daniel Rd. it becomes a difficult maneuver merging through two lanes of traffic into the left turn lane to Daniel and effectively often blocks the ONE lane of the right turn.
Suggestion: Use the two lanes, one for the Daniel traffic, and one for 189.

3 - Semis, and vehicles with trailers, proceeding North on 189 and turning left onto Main still have difficulty moving into the two left turn lane which come up as quite a surprise to many and with that lift turn. There also seems to be periodic problems with the storage are at the stop light.
Suggestion: With FAR less traffic proceeding through the intersection from 189 to 1200 S, it might be advantageous to have THREE left turn lanes and ONE through. This would afford a wider left turn radius for semis and create 50% more storage area.
Suggestion 2: In the opposite direction, as there is relatively little traffic turning South on US 40 from 1200 S westbound, the left turn light timing should reflect that, thus expediting the eastbound through traffic.

4 - There is still a great deal of (relative) time that left turns from Main to 1200 S could be made if that left turn would be allowed when the northbound through traffic light is green. There is sufficient visibility heading south to permit that. That would also expedite traffic into the Hub and OneStop Station which were adversely affected by the various concrete dividers which are quite detrimental to access to the various businesses on Main St. (It's a shame those dividers were added a year (or more) before they might have been "needed" because of the Boyer development.)
Thank you for your consideration of these suggestions.

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