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Study Assesses Traffic Volume and Pedestrian Safety at Proposed QuikTrip

The relocated Maplewood QuikTrip would be on the northwest corner of Manchester Road and Big Bend Boulevard.

Crawford, Bunte, Brammeier (CBB) traffic engineer Lee Cannon studied the intersection of Manchester Road and Big Bend Boulevard, as well as Martini Drive, pertaining to the proposed relocation of the QuicTrip to the intersection. paid for the study.

He submitted the assessment to QuikTrip. A copy also went to the City of Maplewood, and Patch got a copy from the city.

Access to the station is proposed to be via one driveway on Manchester Road, via Martini Drive and two driveways on Big Bend Boulevard, near current curb cuts. The southern curb cut on Big Bend would be right-in only. QuikTrip would also donate right-of-way and widen southbound Big Bend to create a separate right-turn lane.

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The focus of the analysis was the morning commuter/school arrival, afternoon school dismissal and afternoon commuter peak hours of a typical weekday.

(Editor's note: the original report was written in paragraphs. It's presented here in bullet points. In most instances the wording is CBB's.)

Traffic counts and observations

  • The study was made in early May 2012
  • Traffic volumes were very high at the signalized intersection, 3,500 to 4,100 vehicles per hour during the three peak hours.
  • Daily volume at the intersection estimated at 35,000, which is relatively high
  • Current queuing on both roads will likely continue to block access to and from the site during peak hours.

Martini Drive

  • Used daily by passenger cars and school busses for access to Maplewood Richmond Heights School
  • Students also access the school via the west sidewalk along Martini
  • There was not a large number of student walkers on the Martini sidewalk
  • 25 in the morning
  • 55 in the afternoon dismissal hour
  • 15 in the commuter peak hour
  • Most students use the crosswalks at the intersection, a few crossed Manchester at Martini or Jack in the Box

Existing store traffic (in Feb. 2012)

  • 485 total trips in the commuter/school arrival peak hour
  • 395 afternoon in the afternoon/school dismissal peak hour

Proposed store traffic

  • 16 pumps, 4 more than the existing store
  • Traffic expected to increase by 15 to 20 percent over the current store, based on QuikTrip experience from similar locations
  • Trips are expected to increase by 100 cars in the commuter/school arrival peak hour
  • Trips are expected to increase by 80 cars in the afternoon school dismissal and afternoon commuter peak hours

Intersection traffic at the proposed new location

  • Expected to stay the same
  • Traffic is expected to increase north of the site on Big Bend and east and west of the site on Manchester by 5 to 30 cars per hour in each direction
  • Traffic south of Big Bend on Manchester is expected to decrease by 55 to 75 cars per hour in each direction
  • With respect to the existing traffic levels, the additional trips will not be noticed
  • The added traffic levels would be half or less of typical daily fluctuations estimated at a conservatively low 5 percent
  • This assessment did not address traffic impact from the approved CVS pharmacy or the potential future use of the old QuikTrip site

The levels of congestion are not expected to change noticeably at the Manchester/Big Bend intersection.

  • The addition of a southbound right-turn lane on Big Bend will lesson congestion somewhat at that point

Turning movements will increase

  • Expect Martini to carry approximately one-third of total site trips
  • Based on the access configuration which limits peak hour left-turns out of Martini and restricts the south drive on Manchester to right-in only, Martini will be used more for entering trips (45-60 percent) than exiting trips (20 percent or less of the total)

Pedestrian safety is key for all stakeholders

  • The existing sidewalk on the west side of Martini provides a safe location for pedestrians walking between the MRH and Manchester to the east or the west
  • Provides unobstructed access to Manchester Road west and the westbound bus stop on the north side.
  • Provides safe access to Manchester Road east and Big Bend Boulevard south via crosswalks at the signal

Crash history involving pedestrians

  • Maplewood Police Lt. Mark Griffin indicated there have been no pedestrian fatalities in his 27-year tenure
  • There have a been a few incidents resulting from students jaywalking across Manchester Road
  • A student crossing guard is now posted to encourage students to cross legally

We (CBB) do not believe the QuikTrip store would pose a significantly greater danger to pedestrians (primarily focused on school children).

  • The existing and proposed sidewalks and marked crosswalks provide reasonably safe accommodations for pedestrians
  • The proposed improvements would improve sight-lines at the intersection
  • Students on sidewalks near the Shell station, Jack in a Box and are on the far side of very high traffic highways. Their exposure to traffic on those sidewalks is higher there than it would be walking alongside or to or from the proposed QuikTrip.
  • Most of the traffic that will access QuikTrip is already traveling to and from the site south of Manchester Road.
  • An adequate sidewalk on the west side of Martini Drive is a safe place for students to walk to school

Cut-through traffic from Big Bend to Martini through the north end of QuikTrip should be discouraged.

The report also had safety recommendations for when construction takes place.

See related articles on Patch:

SCBoyle July 11, 2012 at 06:01 PM
This was the first time I had been to a P&Z meeting (really a civic meeting of any kind) and I could tell how this thing was going to go within the 1st minute of questions from the board. I am convinced those 'yes' votes were there before anyone walked in the room. Their questions amounted to how great the new sight lines were going to be and whether or not their would be a pole sign. The only intelligent questions/discussion came from the No votes. Imagine that. And then the obvious 'swing' vote abstains, with one member absent. Totally irresponsible on an issue so obviously important to the people and shape of MRH. I hold your hope that the city council are more professional and diligent.
Andrea Parham July 11, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Study was performed in May, during the daytime hours I guess?; and only seems to take in to account daytime school activities; what about when sports or other nighttime school events happen and the street of Martini is lined with parked cars?
Sam S July 12, 2012 at 04:18 AM
If its been deemed a dangerous corner-why would parent permit kids to cross the street as it exists today?If it isnt "safe" then why are concerned parents only now bei fussy?
Jeff Kiefer July 12, 2012 at 04:46 AM
Parents whose children walk to school and pass the intersection have been "fussy" to use your words already as their children have been bumped crossing responsibly with the light. They brought it to the attention of the school who implemented crossing guards. Therefore Increasing traffic flow here especially along Martini understandably creates more "fussiness". While the intersection is of concern I must reiterate again that increased traffic north along Martini and thus around the campus will create traffic hazards even for the parents who, like me, drop their child off via Rannals and Lohmeyer.
Jon August 12, 2012 at 04:09 PM
The projected volume increase is directly proportional to the number of additional pumps. This indicates that the current location is working at maximum capacity, while serving only north/south traffic. Since they're at capacity, during peak time traffic turning in and out of the facility almost certainly includes people driving in and out without stopping, after discovering there are no available pumps or parking spaces. This means that the number actually served underestimates the number driving in and out. Since the new location will add east/west traffic to north/south, the number of people driving in and out without stopping to buy gas (due to overcrowding) would be far greater. Thus, I have to believe raw traffic flow is being seriously underestimated. An additional factor is that these non-served persons are going to be irritated and angry, and their may well be careless, irresponsible and dangerous.

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