Thursday, September 27, 2018

Fake Village Entrance Traffic Study

When cities propose urban re-development projects such as the Laguna Beach Village Entrance, an Environmental Impact Report and a Traffic Study are required documents in the planning package. The traffic study performed for the Village Entrance appears in Appendix E of the EIR and begins like this:

Traffic Impact Study
Laguna Beach
Village Entrance Project
In the City of Laguna Beach
Prepared for:
The City of Laguna Beach
February, 2010
       © Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc
Apendix 'E' 292 pages

The finished plan (4-18-17) for the Village Entrance provides parking for 312 parking stalls with an urban linear park with multi-use path and decorative landscaping throughout: 

Yet the final plan drawing is missing the most important provisions recommended by the Traffic Study. From the study:

Summary of Findings and  Recommendations (partial list)
A project alternative proposes the Village Entrance Project incorporate a transit center and a visitor drop-off area into a transportation plaza outside the entry to the structure.
Laguna Beach Transit routes would be modified to include a stop at the Village Entrance Transportation Plaza under the Transit Alternative.
The uncontrolled crosswalk on Forest Avenue near Ocean Avenue should monitored after the opening of the parking structures, and if found necessary, pedestrian enhancements may be needed to facilitate pedestrian movement and safety
The California Coastal Commission offers alternatives to parking replacement when transit and other mobility modes are substituted for parking spaces. In the Village Entrance parking was removed but no transit provisions provided.

The methodology for traffic analysis is decades old and serves a car-centric mobility system, not a balanced mobility system addressing all four modes. Technical terms used in the methodology show this car bias without resorting to high-level mathematics. Some examples from the Level of Service Analysis:

   Conflicting Pedestrians (!!!!!!)
   Percent blockage (by pedestrians)
   Bus blockages
   Cars: Ideal Flow
   Saturated Flow
   Volume: vehicles per hour 
   Level of Service (to cars)
   Approach Delay (for cars)
   Approach LOS (for cars)
   Frpb: Ped/Bikes (effect of bikes and peds on lane flow)
   HCM Average Control Delay (of cars)
   HCM Volume to Capacity Ratio (of cars)

These terms show the bias placed on traffic analysis favoring the private vehicles over all other mobility modes. A modern treatment of traffic analysis for Laguna Beach should count people traffic not car traffic alone.        -LS

No comments:

Post a Comment