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.
- 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.
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