COLUMBIA, MO (March 28, 2014)
After careful study of traffic patterns following the Scott Blvd closure and evaluation of temporary traffic control measures conducted on March 18 and 19, Columbia Public Works will continue with temporary traffic control measures on Forum Blvd and Chapel Hill Road until local schools and universities release for the summer recess.
Why the measures are being implemented:
- To assist with peak traffic flow during the closure of Scott Blvd at Hinkson Creek.
What will be implemented:
- Right in/Right out at the Missouri Athletic Center on Forum Blvd at Hinkson Creek each weekday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- The intersections of Chapel Hill and Limerick Lane and Chapel Hill at Fairview Road will be regulated each weekday by Columbia Police officers from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- New left turn lanes will be installed for east and west bound traffic on Chapel Hill at Fairview Road.
- Southbound Forum traffic needing to enter the Missouri Athletic Center when the temporary traffic control measures are in place are encouraged to execute a safe (yeilding to on-coming traffic) and lawful U-turn at Forum and Shoreside.
Results of the study of temporary traffic control measures on March 18 and 19:
- On Forum Blvd, creating the right in/right out traffic flow at the Missouri Athletic Center allowed southbound traffic to continuously flow and improved travel times by an average of 2 minutes and 32 seconds. Northbound Forum Blvd traffic improved on average by 1 minute and 32 seconds. In addition, keeping traffic flowing southbound greatly reduced traffic backing up on Forum Blvd into or past the intersection of Chapel Hill which is another heavily used alternate route during the Scott Blvd closure.
- On Chapel Hill, using manual traffic control at Limerick Lane and Fairview Rd improved westbound traffic flow on average by 4 minutes and 8 seconds. However, eastbound traffic flow was slowed by an average of 1 minute and 1 second. This is largely due to police officers having to stop eastbound traffic for vehicles wanting to turn north on Fairview Road while they allowed westbound traffic (the heaviest direction of traffic flow) to move through the intersection.
- Due to left turns off of Chapel Hill onto Fairview Road, Public Works will install left turn lanes for both westbound and eastbound traffic on Chapel Hill Road. This will allow vehicles wishing to turn left to stack in the left turn pockets thus allowing continuous east and west bound traffic to flow on Chapel Hill. Officers will release left turn traffic on a regular and controlled basis.
Results of the study of traffic during spring break:
- On Forum Blvd, southbound traffic averaged 9 minutes, an average of 1 minute longer than when temporary traffic control measures were in place.
- On Chapel Hill Road, westbound traffic flowed an average of 1 minute faster than when police officers controlled traffic.
- It is our conclusion, when schools and universities are not in session, the temporary traffic measures will not be needed on Forum or Chapel Hill Road.
Columbia Public Works worked closely with Columbia Police to establish this traffic control plan. Part of the planning process was to ensure that officers assigned to this traffic detail are off duty officers. This ensures that the number of scheduled shift patrol officers is not reduced for normal law enforcement operations and needs.
Overall, we believe enacting temporary traffic control measures between March 31 and the end date for Columbia Public Schools will be sufficent to regulate traffic during peak travel times while Scott Blvd is closed at Hinkson Creek.
We appreciate our customers feedback during the study and their continued patience while we work to lessen the impacts of the Scott Blvd closure and complete the project on time and on budget.