Downtown Transportation Improvement Project in the City of Euclid - Phases 1 and 2

Title: Downtown Transportation Improvement Project in the City of Euclid - Phases 1 and 2
Sponsor: City of Euclid
Proposed Source of Federal Funds: NOACA and ODOT

History/Background: In 2006, the City of Euclid obtained Transportation for Livable Communities (TLCI) funding from NOACA and engaged in creating a multi-modal approach to strategically plan for its future. The plan was called the 2007 Downtown Euclid TLCI study. The study focused on strengthening and integrating the neighborhoods, lakefront and downtown of Euclid by refocusing attention to the infrastructure to foster private investment throughout the downtown area. The plan as proposed called for a road diet along Lakeshore Boulevard (SR-283) and various other traffic control updates along with the construction of the Shore Center Drive Extension. The study did not include detailed traffic analysis in order to ensure that the proposals made would result in satisfactory operating conditions for the motoring and traveling public.

The City of Euclid retained a consultant to complete Safety Study for the downtown core area surrounding the intersection SR-283/East 222nd Street/Bliss Lane intersection. This intersection is included ODOT’s Safety Program Priority Locations 2012 Urban Non-Freeway Peak Searching Excess Segment Locations (2010-2012). These locations were selected because they have a higher-than-predicted fatal and injury crash frequency for each intersection. Approximately, the Top 50 locations are studied. The remainder of the locations listed have a higher-than-predicted frequency of crashes and can be used as a reference. According to the 2012 Urban Non-Freeway Peak Searching Excess Segment Locations (2010-2012), the intersection of SR-283/East 222nd Street/Bliss Lane is ranked #426 on the Statewide Urban Intersection Priority list (i.e. 2012 Urban Non-Freeway Peak Searching Excess Segment Locations (2010-2012). The “rank" attribute is based on the Excess value indicated in each list.

Current conditions: The central node of the Downtown Euclid transportation network is the signalized intersection SR-283/East 222nd Street/Bliss Lane. Approximately 100 feet to the south of the signalized intersection is the intersection of East 222nd Street/Babbitt Road/Brock Court/Commercial Drive. According to the sponsor, although these two intersections are technically separate for the purposes of establishing intersection crash rates and level of service (LOS), their operation is interdependent due to their extremely close proximity. The southbound traffic from the northern signal controlled intersection has the right of way at the southern intersection where the three other approaches are regulated by stop control.

Proposed Project: The proposed project involves the reconfiguration of the SR-283 (Lake Shore Boulevard)/East 222nd Street/Babbitt Road intersection, in the City of Euclid (Phase 1) and bicycle/pedestrian improvements, streetscape enhancements and green infrastructure along Lakeshore Boulevard, from East 217th Street to East 232nd Street (Phase 2).

The sponsor proposes the proposed improvements be constructed in two phases as follows (illustrations):

Phase 1 (Safety Project) – Reconfiguration of the Lakeshore Boulevard/East 222nd Street/Babbitt Road intersection including the extension of Shore Center Drive and realignment of Bliss Lane.
o The proposed improvements will encompass the reconfiguration of the central signalized intersection of Lakeshore Boulevard/East 222nd Street/Babbitt Road and the adjacent stop-control intersection of Babbitt Road/East 222nd Street/Brock Court/plaza entrance through an extension of Shore Center Drive that will allow for the conversion of the existing three-way stop-control intersection into a two-way stop-control intersection with free-flow traffic maintained along Babbitt Road.

Phase 2 (Road Diet) – This phase involves bicycle/pedestrian improvements, streetscape enhancements and green infrastructure along Lakeshore Boulevard, from East 217th Street to East 232nd Street.
o The proposed improvements will include roadway reconfiguration and “Road Diet” along Lakeshore Boulevard that removes a through lane in each direction providing space for dedicated on-street parking, wider travel lanes to accommodate bicycles and enhanced pedestrian space and streetscape amenities. Landscaped medians will be provided at select locations to provide access management and facilitate the safe crossing of pedestrians through the provision of median refuge spaces at mid-block crossings. Curb inlet bioswales will treat stormwater runoff for both quantity and quality while providing an aesthetic enhancement within the tree lawn buffer space between the roadway and sidewalk.

• Other ancillary improvements proposed as part of the plan (i.e. Triangle Park) will be pursued through alternative non-transportation funding due to their ineligibility for federal transportation funds as non-transportation investments outside the public right-of-way. These ancillary improvements have independent utility and their implementation could occur concurrently or subsequently without impeding the overall project.

The estimated construction cost of Phase I, provided by the sponsor, is $5,330,000. The sponsor obtained $1,500,000 in Safety funds through ODOT’s Safety program toward the construction cost. The Safety funds are available at a rate of 90%. The sponsor will provide the required 10% ($166,666) matching funds. The sponsor requests that eighty percent ($2,764,000) of the remaining construction cost be funded with STP funds. The sponsor will provide the required matching funds ($899,334).

The estimated construction cost of Phase 2, provided by the sponsor, is $ 6,830,000. The sponsor requests that $5,464,000 (eighty percent) of the construction cost be funded with NOACA-controlled funds ($3,964,000 in STP funds; and $1,500,000 in TAP funds).

The estimated construction cost of the other improvements, provided by the sponsor, is $1,800,000. The sponsor will pursue alternative funding sources to implement the non-Federal Aid system elements of the project, specifically the Triangle Park reconfiguration and the new entrance to Sims Park.

Staff Comment (Summary):

Programming Division:

Phase 1

• According to the study provided by the sponsor, a high number of left-turns occur at the intersection of East 222nd Street and Babbitt Road during both the AM and PM peak hours. Additionally, a high number of crashes occur at the intersection as a result left turns from the East 222nd Street eastbound approach onto Babbitt Road northbound.

• Banning left turns from East 222nd Street onto Babbitt Road northbound would necessitate northbound traffic travelling residential roads (i.e. Seabrooke Avenue, Lakemont Avenue and Fox Avenue) to access Babbitt Road northbound. The proposed extension of Shore Center Drive from Babbitt Road through to East 222nd Street is estimated to cost $1,280,819 (30% of the probable total construction costs for Phase 1 excluding inflation and contingencies).

• Item # 2 of Section VI. (i.e. Summary and Recommendations) of the Traffic Improvement Study CUY – Euclid Transportation Plan Downtown Euclid Roadway Reconfiguration states:

It was determined that the existing unsignalized intersection of Babbitt Road/East 222nd Street/Commercial Drive/Brock Court currently meets the volume thresholds to warrant a traffic signal based on existing traffic volumes. Although this intersection currently warrants a traffic signal, the analysis has been completed under the assumption that this intersection will remain unsignalized as no plan currently exists to install a traffic signal at that location and the proximity to the existing signal at the Lakeshore Boulevard/East 222nd Street/Bliss Lane intersection would likely lead to operational issues should a traffic signal be installed.

• Item # 8 of Section X. (i.e. Conclusions and Recommendations) of the Safety Study CUY–283–9.92 Lakeshore Boulevard/Babbitt Road states:

The Babbitt Road/East 222nd Street/Commercial Drive/Brock Court intersection currently warrants a traffic signal, however the proximity to the existing signal at the Lakeshore Boulevard/East 222nd Street/Bliss Lane intersection would likely lead to operational issues and a traffic signal is not recommended.

However, no analysis was provided to support these contentions. No traffic analysis was performed to evaluate signal operation. Staff recommends the sponsor evaluate the installation of a traffic signal at the intersection of Babbitt Road and East 222nd Street. Due to the short distance between the two intersections, they should be operated by a single signal control and phasing.

• The sponsor states that in June 2013, it was awarded $1,500,000 in SFY 2018 for the Construction of the Safety Project through ODOT’s Highway Safety Program (HSP). However, in March 2014 an ODOT Highway Safety Program representative reported that the city will have to reapply for these funds because the project is not ready to begin development. Furthermore, the city has been unable to secure additional funds, and NOACA will not have funding available until 2018 or later.

• The ODOT representative further reported that the safety funding committee was most interested in reducing crashes at 222nd Street and Babbitt Road. The rest of the project was not deemed critical from a safety perspective. This being the case, ODOT staff recommended the city should fall back and develop a smaller project that addresses crashes at East 222nd Street/Babbitt Road. ODOT asserts that the committee would be willing to entertain a safety funding request that was scoped to focus on this location. NOACA staff supports ODOT’s recommendation. NOACA's STP funds are programmed through SFY 2021. If these proposed projects are approved, they will be amended to NOACA's Long Range Transportation Plan.

• According to the NOACA Regional Pavement Management System (RPMS), the 2012 pavement condition rating (PCR) for East 222nd Street, from Lakemont Avenue to SR-283 is 74 (fair condition). By July 2017, the sponsor’s target year of award, the projected pavement condition will be 60 (fair to poor condition). The RPMS recommends minor rehabilitation at that time.

• East 222nd Street within the termini of the proposed Phase 1 project is categorized on the Cuyahoga County Bicycle Transportation Map as suitable for bicyclists having basic skills.

• According to the NOACA Regional Pavement Management System (RPMS), the 2012 pavement condition rating (PCR) for Babbitt Road, from Lakemont Avenue to SR-283 is 77 (good condition). By July 2017, the sponsor’s target year of award, the projected pavement condition will be 62 (fair to poor condition). The RPMS recommends minor rehabilitation at that time.

• Babbitt Road is categorized on the Cuyahoga County Bicycle Transportation Map as suitable for bicyclists having intermediate skills.

Phase 2

• According to Preliminary Estimate of Probable Costs of Phase 2 - Road Diet (Lakeshore Boulevard), the pavement line item is estimated to cost $1,719,318 (43% of the probable total construction costs for Phase 2 excluding inflation and contingencies).

• According to the NOACA Regional Pavement Management System (RPMS), the 2012 pavement condition rating (PCR) for this section of SR-283 is 97 (very good condition). By July 2017, the sponsor’s target year of award, the projected pavement condition will be 83 (good condition). The RPMS recommends preventive maintenance at that time.

• ODOT District 12 completed a $2,037,490 resurfacing project on SR-283, from the west corporation line to the east corporation line, in the City of Euclid, in April 2012.

• The termini of the Phase 2 (SR-283) project (East 217th Street to East 232nd Street is within the limits of the Regional Priority Bikeway Network Lakeshore Boulevard, from East 185th Street to Westbrook Drive, in the City of Euclid.

• SR-283, in the City of Euclid, is categorized on the Cuyahoga County Bicycle Transportation Map as suitable for bicyclists having intermediate skills.

• The project sponsor should include bike lanes within the scope of the project.

• The expected benefit of the project is not clear with respect to traffic calming, pedestrian and bicycle accommodations.

Recommend project be processed through project planning for committee and public review in order to obtain comments.

Committee Review:

Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Council (BPAC):

Phase 1
• In order to avoid the dooring of northbound bicyclists on East 222nd Street, the project sponsor should consider extending the shared use path through the park.

Phase 2

• The project sponsor should reconsider adding two parking lanes given that there appears to be ample off-street parking available.
• The project sponsor should limit on-street parking to the south side of Lakeshore Boulevard to create a buffer for pedestrians.
• The project sponsor should include bike lanes within the scope of the project.

Transit Council:
• The Transit Council supports projects that preserve or improve access to public transportation, walking and biking in the region. It will further develop an environment that is responsive to the needs of many modes of travel, not just vehicular, and includes safety and transit-supportive elements. GCRTA looks forward to continuing to work collaboratively on this project.

Transportation Subcommittee:

• No comments; recommended for Planning and Programming Committee review.

Planning and Programming Committee:

• No comments; recommended for Executive Committee review.

Executive Committee:

• No comments; recommended for Board of Directors review.

Intergovernmental Review and Consultation (IGRC):

Public Involvement:

Last updated: 6/26/2014 9:14:26 AM