The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) developed the first Statewide Bicycle & Pedestrian Design Task Order to facilitate task orders to accelerate the implementation of active transportation systems in Ohio. B&N is leading the contract for ODOT Central Office, assisting local agencies to implement active transportation facilities in their communities. The task orders include Safe Routes to School project, two pedestrian safety audits, a feasibility study for a corridor in Dayton, and plan development for Columbus, Cleveland, Toledo and Dayton under the Pedestrian Safety Improvement Program.
Safe Routes to School (SRTS): SRTS project plans are being developed for three school districts for Village of Williamsburg, City of Delphos and the City of Leesburg. Infrastructure for these projects includes new sidewalks, curb ramps, flashing pedestrian crossing signs and crosswalk striping. In addition to preparing SRTS construction documents, the B&N team supported the Cincinnati Department of Transportation and Engineering (DOTE) to perform environmental services to support the design of the new sidewalk. B&N performed tasks to confirm the level of documentation and prepare a CE Level 2 document for their in-house design of sidewalk along Sussex Avenue and Coffey Street.
Pedestrian Safety Studies and Audits: Along Euclid Avenue in East Cleveland, Ohio, recent improvements reconfigured the signalization within the project limits. This created blocks, some up to a mile in length, with no controlled or signalized crossings for pedestrians. The corridor includes numerous public transit stops, businesses, several schools, and parking on both sides of the roadway, resulting in many vulnerable road users—elderly pedestrians and children—cross the roadway outside of the remaining signalized crossing locations. With nearly 25 crashes between 2016 and 2018, several being pedestrian-related crashes and fatalities, the City of East Cleveland turned to ODOT for assistance with improving pedestrian safety.
The B&N team had to identify ways to improve pedestrian safety at uncontrolled crossing locations, using such methods as high visibility markings, advanced pedestrian crossing signage, RRFBs or PHBs to enhance the crossing and pedestrian visibility. The unique project process included engaging neighborhood groups virtually during the COVID stay-at-home mandate, gaining public feedback by distributing a survey in neighborhood newsletters, and engaging local transit and business stakeholders for input through online meetings. Future recommendations for applications such as a road diet, and the identification of short-term, lower-cost solutions that could be included with current projects will be identified and pursued. State safety funding was secured for the short-term solutions and B&N is currently developing construction documents under the ODOT Safety Design contract.
The Village of Caldwell, Ohio, has identified concerns with pedestrian crossing safety at several busy intersections on state and local roadways in the village limits, as well as areas adjacent to these intersections. Pedestrian volumes are high in this area with an adjacent K-8 school, commercial developments and residential areas. The B&N team is performing a pedestrian safety audit and determining short-, medium-, and long-term solutions for a phased implementation process and seeking ODOT safety funding for the proposed recommendations.
Feasibility Studies: As part of a statewide Safety Analysis contract, B&N studied the four-mile corridor of Main Street (SR 48) for ODOT District 7 and the City of Dayton. In a three-year period, more than 900 crashes, including 36 pedestrian crashes, were reported along this corridor with seven fatalities. During the initial study efforts, B&N performed a detailed crash analysis to identify contributing factors and countermeasures such as lighting, traffic calming, a road diet and pedestrian crossing enhancements to improve safety in the corridor. The safety analysis effort was continued under the STW- Bike / Ped Design contract with a formal Feasibility Study to identify a preferred alternative and pursue state safety funding. B&N is performing this feasibility study to confirm the alternative. The preferred alternative will include enhanced midblock crossings with curb extensions and RRFBs, bus-pull offs, a road diet, parking, striped shoulders, and bike lanes with logical termini.
Rapid Implementation Pedestrian Improvements: Spanning both the Bike and Pedestrian Design contract and ODOT's January 2019 Safety Design Contract, for which B&N is a subconsultant, the Pedestrian Safety Improvements Program (PSIP) project address pedestrian safety improvements in the eight major cities in Ohio. With the goal of quickly implementing pedestrian-related improvements on a prioritized list of arterial roadways, B&N's contracts address four major cities in Ohio: Toledo (ODOT District 2), Dayton (ODOT District 7), Columbus (ODOT District 6) and Cleveland (ODOT District 12).
Using abbreviated plan development methods, the project is on an accelerated schedule with final plans expected to be complete by December 2020 – roughly seven months after starting the projects. With the goal of implementing the infrastructure as quickly as possible to improve pedestrian safety, intersections that required right-of-way acquisition or impacted utilities were eliminated from the contract to ensure the plan development schedule could proceed without delay. Construction will be completed in Summer 2021.