Southwest Area Transportation Plan (SATP)

Project logoINTRODUCTION

The Capital Region Transportation Planning Agency (CRTPA) and Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency (BP) have partnered to conduct the Southwest Area Transportation Plan (SATP).  This Plan will assess several corridors in Southwest Tallahassee/Leon County to develop a coordinated transportation/land use plan that addresses future mobility needs and supports future development in a form that is consistent to the vision of surrounding communities.  The four corridors being assessed in the SATP include:

 

1.  Orange Avenue – Monroe Street to Capital Circle, Southwest
2.  Lake Bradford Road (North) – Stadium Drive to Orange Avenue
3.  Lake Bradford Road (South) – Orange Avenue to Capital Circle, Southwest
4.  Springhill Road – Lake Bradford Road (North) to Capital Circle, Southwest

PROJECT BACKGROUND

  1. Began planning study in October 2017.
  2. Data Collection and Analysis related to:
  • Traffic Counts
  • Bicycle/Pedestrian Facilities
  • Environmental
  • Crash and Safety Data
  • Land Use
  • Transit

PROJECT CONSIDERATIONS

Blueprint Airport Gateway Project

  • Intergovernmental Agency approved amendment in March of 2018.
  • Blueprint dedicated funds to South Lake Bradford Road, Springhill Road, Orange Avenue and the new Florida State University Road.

Florida Department of Transportation – Project Development and Environment Study

  • Began the PD&E Study for Orange Avenue (CCSW to Monroe Street) in October 2018.
  • Anticipated completion in mid- 2020.

Public Outreach

  • 12 Stakeholder Meetings
  • 4 Neighborhood Meetings
  • 2 District Forums (June 2018 and September 2018)
  • Upcoming District Forum Meetings for Springhill Road and South Lake Bradford Road in January 2019)

Stakeholder Feedback – What we’ve heard so far

  • Student crossing areas should be improved.
  • School bus access must be maintained.
  • Transit headway, signage, and shelter improvements needed within the project area.
  • Pedestrian and bicycle improvements are necessary to connect neighborhoods
    and businesses.
  • Wayfinding signage is needed.
  • Major improvements are planned for Innovation Park.
  • Lighting, landscaping, and trash receptacles will improve the character of the area.
  • Children are typically unaccompanied on neighborhood streets.
  • Access to businesses and curb cuts should be maintained.
  • Neighborhood connectivity is paramount.
  • StarMetro access concerns for users near N Lake Bradford Rd between Stuckey and Levy Ave.
  • Sidewalks, bike lanes, and trails are needed throughout project the area.
  • Traffic concerns and widening requested for Orange Ave.
  • Traffic noise can be a major concern.
  • Traffic calming methods should be considered to reduce speeds in neighborhoods.

The feedback that we have received is mapped here.

Orange Avenue

The purpose for collecting this information from citizens and various organizations was to develop a picture of the potential that Orange Avenue has based on what is currently in the corridor. This “Picture” is what will be the foundation of the community’s vision to pass on to FDOT in the Orange Avenue Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study that was initiated in October of 2018. The following details the information gathered and heard from the public meetings.

Pedestrian – Existing Conditions
Orange Avenue has sporadically placed sidewalks along the length of the corridor, which appear to be based on existing right-of-way availability. The intermittent sidewalks switching between the north and south sides of the corridor creates a lack of connectivity for pedestrians and has been identified as a major issue along Orange Avenue. From Capital Circle, Southwest, a 4 to 5-foot sidewalk is present along the north side of the corridor continuously to North Lake Bradford Road. From North Lake Bradford Road to Springhill Road, there are no sidewalks present. A pedestrian desired path can be seen on the south side of the corridor over to Springhill Road, indicating a strong need for pedestrian facilities in this area. The feedback from the public echoed this sentiment, with North Lake Bradford Road to Springhill Road being one of the most highly mentioned locations for
pedestrian facilities. Starting at Springhill Road, a sidewalk is present directly adjacent to the road on the south side of the corridor for the remainder of the study area. A sidewalk begins on the north side of the corridor slightly west of Holton Street and continues until Monroe Street and beyond.

Pedestrian Opportunities
Capital Circle, Southwest to South Lake Bradford Road
• 6-foot sidewalk on south side of corridor.
• Replace existing 4 to 5-foot sidewalk on the north side of the corridor and expand to 6 feet.

South Lake Bradford Road to North Lake Bradford Road
• 6-foot sidewalk on south side of corridor.
• Replace existing 4 to 5-foot sidewalk on the north side of the corridor and expand to 6 feet.

North Lake Bradford Road to Springhill Road
• 6-foot sidewalk on south side of corridor.
• Temporary sidewalk on south side of the corridor until road widening occurs.

Springhill Road to Wahnish Way
• 6-foot sidewalk on south side of corridor.
• Extend existing sidewalk on north side of the corridor further west to Springhill Road.

Wahnish Way to Monroe Street
• If sidewalk is replaced on either the north or south side, add 6-foot sidewalk.

Note: 5-foot sidewalk is a minimum width in areas with a utility buffer, but 6-foot sidewalk is desired. In cases where there is an existing sidewalk, the sidewalk should be replaced to be 6-foot if being impacted by the road widening project. FDOT’s PD&E will determine impacts to existing sidewalks along Orange Avenue.

Multi-Use Path – Existing Conditions
Multi-use paths have become a popular transportation facility over the years, allowing enough space for dual uses. Currently, along Orange Avenue, there are no adjacent multiuse paths. The Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail crosses underneath Orange Avenue west of Holton Street with no access to or from Orange Avenue. Many public involvement participants for this plan have expressed the desire for a connection to the Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail from Orange Avenue via multi-use path or sidewalk. During the public involvement efforts, the most commonly mentioned facility needed and desired by participants was a multi-use path. Many participants noted that they would not feel safe having only on-street bicycle lanes as an option to ride along Orange Avenue. Several multi-use paths are planned in proximity to Orange Avenue and Capital Circle, Southwest.

Multi-Use Path – Opportunities
Capital Circle, Southwest to South Lake Bradford Road
• Construct a 12-foot multi-use path along the south side of the corridor.
• Remove existing sidewalk and construct a 12-foot multi-use path along the north side of the corridor.

South Lake Bradford Road to North Lake Bradford Road
• Construct a 12-foot multi-use path along the south side of the corridor.
• Remove existing sidewalk and construct a 12-foot multi-use path along the north side of the corridor.

North Lake Bradford Road to Springhill Road
• Construct a 12-foot multi-use path along the south side of the corridor.
• Construct a 12-foot multi-use path along the north side of the corridor.

Springhill Road to Wahnish Way
• Remove existing sidewalk and construct a 12-foot multi-use path along the south side of the corridor.
• Remove existing sidewalk and construct a 12-foot multi-use path along the north side of the corridor.

Wahnish Way to Monroe Street
• Remove existing sidewalk and construct a 12-foot multi-use path along the south side of the corridor.
• Remove existing sidewalk and construct a 12-foot multi-use path along the north side of the corridor.

Crosswalks – Existing Conditions
Along Orange Avenue, the following signalized intersections have existing crosswalks:

• Springhill Road
• Pasco Street
• Wahnish Way
• Adams Street
• Monroe Street

Because of the intermittent and inconsistent sidewalks and lack of crosswalks, pedestrians have unsafe connectivity options along the entire corridor. There is also a lack of crossings near R. Frank Nims Middle School, with the only pedestrian crossing located at Pasco Street east of the school. Many participants during the public outreach efforts expressed the need for an additional signalized crossing on the west side of the school as many kids are crossing there already. Another crossing location mentioned multiple times was near the Liberty Park neighborhood just east of North Lake Bradford Road. A heavily used transit stop is located on the northern side of Orange Avenue near this location. Many residents in and near Liberty Park cross Orange Avenue without any facility to access this transit stop. Another location mentioned needing a pedestrian crossing is the Florida A&M University community garden on the south side of Orange Avenue, just east of Wahnish Way. Students from the Florida A&M University Development Research School use the community garden and have no safe way to cross the four-lane section of Orange Avenue. All new crossings added along Orange Avenue should be signalized pedestrian crossings.

Crosswalks – Opportunities
Capital Circle, Southwest to South Lake Bradford Road
• Capital Circle, Southwest and Orange Avenue intersection.
• Crossing from South Lake Bradford Road to north side of Orange Avenue to access Paul Dirac Road.

South Lake Bradford Road to North Lake Bradford Road
• Reliant upon location of new FSU Road Location.

North Lake Bradford Road to Springhill Road
• Crossing from Liberty Park Neighborhood (Lake Henrietta Street) to north side of Orange Avenue.

Springhill Road to Wahnish Way
• Crossing from R. Frank Nims Middle School (Holton Street) to north side of Orange Avenue.
• Possibility for a pedestrian bridge instead of a crossing here.

Wahnish Way to Monroe Street
• Crossing from FAMU Community Garden to FAMU DRS school.

Pedestrian Refuge Islands – Existing Conditions
From Capital Circle, Southwest to Wahnish Way, Orange Avenue is a two-lane undivided corridor. After Wahnish Way, Orange Avenue has an additional two turn-lanes and then becomes a four-lane undivided corridor with left-hand turn lanes. With such high volumes of both pedestrians and motor vehicles, it is important for pedestrians to feel safe and have refuge when crossing Orange Avenue. Pedestrian refuge islands or raised medians should be located where there is not a signalized intersection or crossing. If possible, during the road widening of Orange Avenue, a median should be placed throughout to serve as refuges for pedestrians and cyclists along the corridor.

Pedestrian Refuge Island – Opportunities
Capital Circle, Southwest to South Lake Bradford Road
• South Lake Bradford Road and Paul Dirac Road.

South Lake Bradford Road to North Lake Bradford Road
• Proposed FSU Road if no signalized intersection is constructed.

North Lake Bradford Road to Springhill Road
• In conjunction with any improved crossing from Liberty Park to north side of Orange Avenue.

Springhill Road to Wahnish Way
• Signalized crosswalk at Nims Middle School with pedestrian refuge for safe student crossings.

Wahnish Way to Monroe Street
• South Adams Street – Add pedestrian refuges to medians that run along Orange Avenue.

Bicycle Lanes – Existing Conditions
East of Monroe Street, during the widening of Orange Avenue, 4-foot bicycle lanes were added to the corridor along with a 5-foot sidewalk and 3-foot grass buffer between the sidewalk and curb on both the north and south side of the street. Once you reach Monroe, the bicycle lanes cease to exist. There is a 6-foot sidewalk on both sides of the corridor. These continue until Wahnish Way as 5-foot sidewalks with a 3-foot buffer and a 1-foot shoulder. The sidewalk returns to 6 feet with no buffer on the north side of the corridor between Adams and Wahnish Way. The 1-foot shoulder also becomes a 2-foot shoulder west of Wahnish Way, and the sidewalks return to a 5-foot width with a 3-foot buffer. The sidewalk continues in front of Nims Middle School, becoming a 4-foot sidewalk with utility blockage and access management issues. West of the Leon County Health Department on the north side of the corridor, the paved shoulder on both sides becomes a 4-foot bike lane that varies in size due to the limited right-of-way. The bike lane abruptly ends about .3 mile west of the Health Department. A 6-foot bike lane begins on both sides west of Springhill Road, reduces to a 5-foot lane near Cypress Lake Road and ends at Pottsdamer Street, continuing as a wide paved shoulder, leaving nearly 2.5 miles without a bike lane before reaching Capital Circle, Southwest. A 5-foot sidewalk set back from the roadway about 5 feet reappears along this route on the north side of the corridor just west of the start of North Bradford Lake Road and continues to Capital Circle, Southwest.

Bicycle Lanes – Opportunities
Capital Circle, Southwest to South Lake Bradford Road
• Construct a multi-use path.
• Add a 7-foot buffered bike lane.

South Lake Bradford Road to North Lake Bradford Road
• Construct a multi-use path.
• Add a 7-foot buffered bike lane.

North Lake Bradford Road to Springhill Road
• Construct a multi-use path.
• Add a 7-foot buffered bike lane.

Springhill Road to Wahnish Way
• Construct a multi-use path.
• Add a 7-foot buffered bike lane.

Wahnish Way to Monroe Street
• Construct a multi-use path.
• Add a 7-foot buffered bike lane.

Note: If right-of-way restrictions don’t allow for a 7-foot buffered bike lane, 6 feet or 5 feet would be acceptable.

Connections to St. Marks Trail – Existing Conditions
The Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail extension runs along the former CSX rail corridor and passes underneath Orange Avenue between Wahnish Way and Springhill Road. There is currently no connection between the trail and Orange Avenue, limiting access between the two facilities, nearby residents and businesses, and schools. Many participants during the outreach efforts expressed a need to make a safe connection between the trail and Orange Avenue.

Connections to St. Marks Trail – Opportunities
• Construct a new four-lane bridge and access facilities on either side of Orange Avenue for bicyclists and pedestrians.
• Construct Orange Avenue at grade and construct the trail as a bridge over the corridor.
• Construct Orange Avenue and the trail both at grade and have a signalized crossing for trail users.

Transit – Existing Conditions
Along Orange Avenue, the following types of StarMetro Transit stops exist:
• No seating – pole only
• Two seats with bus stop pole
• Bench with bus stop pole
• Shelter

From Monroe Street to Wahnish Way, one shelter type stop exists, providing coverage and seating for people waiting for the bus. They are located on only one side of the corridor, however— one on the north side and the other further west on the south side, leaving people on the opposite side without shelter or much seating. Between Wahnish Way and Springhill Road, there  are three two-seat with bus stop pole stops, and two with no seating. There is one shelter near the intersection of Orange Avenue and Wahnish Way. From Springhill Road to Capital Circle Southwest, there are five bus stops, none of which provide seating. The bus route runs consistently along the corridor but ends at Eisenhower Street, about one mile from Capital Circle Southwest. Existing census data regarding vehicle ownership in the area indicates the need for better transit availability and infrastructure in this area. The following opportunities and recommendations regarding transit facilities along Orange Avenue will be provided to StarMetro for consideration.

Transit – Opportunities
Transit Amenity Level Amenities
Low – Limited seating, structure
Medium – Seating, structure/shelter, trash cans, lighting
High – Ample seating, structure/shelter, trash cans, lighting, wayfinding, bicycle racks

Capital Circle Southwest to South Lake Bradford Road
• Low Transit Amenities.

South Lake Bradford Road to North Lake Bradford Road
• Low to Medium Transit Amenities.

North Lake Bradford Road to Springhill Road
• Low to Medium Transit Amenities.

Springhill Road to Wahnish Way
• Medium to High Transit Amenities.
• Relocate the bus stop in front of Nims Middle School to opposite side of Orange Avenue.

Wahnish Way to Monroe Street
• Medium to High Transit Amenities.

Roadway – Existing Conditions
The existing and future conditions analysis indicated that a portion of Orange Avenue is experiencing congestion and capacity issue today, and this is expected to continue, the entire corridor is expected to operate over capacity. In addition, the crash data indicated that 52% of crashes were rear-end crashes. Rear-end crashes are indicative of congestion. Many of the segment’s yearly crash rates are over the statewide average and indicate that there is a safety issue along the corridor. Public involvement comments identified congestion at the signalized intersections to be a concern.  Future development in the area has the potential to impact the corridor with traffic pattern changes, additional intersections, and the need for additional improvements to the bicycle, pedestrian, and transit infrastructure. Right-of-way along the corridor varies and will be considered as part the future PD&E phase through FDOT.

Roadway – Opportunities
Signalized Intersection improvements
• All intersection reconstruction, new construction and safety improvements shall evaluate roundabouts as a potential solution per the current FDOT policy on roundabouts.
• Intersection retiming and coordination improvements may decrease the delay experienced the signalized intersections during peak periods.

Capacity Improvements
The corridor four-lane typical section should tie into the eastern section of Orange Avenue east of South Monroe Street that was improved in 2013 to accommodate an increase in traffic volume along with improved pedestrian and bicycle facilities.
• Majority of crashes over the last five years on Orange Avenue were rear-end collisions, indicating congestion. Alleviating that congestion with increased capacity along the corridor will impact the crash rate and improve the corridor safety.

Capital Circle, Southwest
FDOT’s Capital Circle Southwest road widening project is anticipated to provide additional capacity at the intersection of Capital Circle Southwest and Orange Avenue alleviating some of the congestion experiences in existing conditions.

Access Management
Access management should be considered when providing any improvements along the corridor. Good access management improves safety at driveways, safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, and helps direct traffic advantageously for businesses and  operations along the corridor.

Future Volumes
Future traffic volumes indicate that the roadway segment from South Lake Bradford Road to South Monroe Street is expected to operate over capacity by the year 2040 and the entire corridor is expected to be over capacity by the year 2045. The coupling of the existing crash rates and types and the projected future capacity constraint supports the opportunity for widening the corridor to four lanes. A more detailed traffic analysis will be conducted during FDOT’s PD&E study and will determine the ultimate capacity needs along the corridor.

Summary of Opportunities
Capital Circle, Southwest to South Lake Bradford Road
This segment of the Orange Avenue Corridor from Capital Circle Southwest to South Lake Bradford Road is expected to be operating over capacity by 2045 (based on a preliminary traffic analysis). An opportunity for widening the roadway to four-lanes is suggested; however, FDOT’s PD&E study will further determine the need for additional capacity through this section. The preferred opportunity would be to four-lane the corridor, add a 12-foot multi-use path on one side of the corridor, and add a 6-foot sidewalk on the other side of the corridor. Whichever side of the corridor that the multi-use path should be constructed on will be determined during the PD&E study to reduce right-of-way and environmental impacts. Low to medium transit amenities should be included in this section for increase comfort of transit users. A moderately landscaped median should also be included in the typical section for the corridor to serve as a pedestrian refuge. This segment of the corridor should also include potential intersection realignment and improvements near South Lake Bradford Road, Orange Avenue, and Paul Dirac Road.

South Lake Bradford Road to North Lake Bradford Road
This segment of the Orange Avenue Corridor from South Lake Bradford Road to North Lake Bradford Road is expected to be operating over capacity by 2045 (based on a preliminary traffic analysis). An opportunity for widening the roadway to four-lanes is suggested; however, FDOT’s PD&E study will further determine the need for additional capacity through this section. The preferred typical section includes four-laning the existing two-lane section, adding a 12-foot multi-use path to one side of the corridor, and adding a 6-foot sidewalk to the other side of the corridor. Whichever side of the corridor that the multi-use path should be constructed on will be determined during the PD&E study to reduce right-of-way and environmental impacts. Low to medium transit amenities should be included in this section. With the proposed new north-south road through Florida State University property North of Orange Avenue in this segment.

North Lake Bradford Road to Springhill Road
This section of the Orange Avenue Corridor has many residents and some businesses located directly adjacent to the corridor and is expected to be operating over capacity by 2045 (based on a preliminary traffic analysis) An opportunity for widening the roadway to four-lanes is suggested; however, FDOT’s PD&E study will further determine the need for additional capacity  through this section. This segment also has high pedestrian traffic so the preferred opportunity for pedestrian facilities would be to add a 12-foot multi-use path on one side of the corridor and add a 6-foot sidewalk on the other side of the corridor. Whichever side of the corridor that the multi-use path should be constructed on will be determined during the PD&E study to reduce right-of-way and environmental impacts. A median in this segment would be preferred as a pedestrian refuge since
there is so much pedestrian traffic. This segment will also require a signalized pedestrian crossing at the Liberty Park neighborhood. Low to medium transit amenities should be included especially near transit stop located near Lake Mary Street. Intersection improvements are needed at Orange Avenue and North Lake Bradford Road as well as at Springhill Road.

Springhill Road to Wahnish Way
This existing two-lane section of the Orange Avenue Corridor is expected to be operating over capacity by 2045 (based on a preliminary traffic analysis). An opportunity for widening the roadway to four-lanes is suggested; however, FDOT’s PD&E study will further determine the need for additional capacity through this section. The preferred opportunity would be to four-lane the
corridor, add a 12-foot multi-use path to one side of the corridor, and add a 6-foot sidewalk on the other side of the corridor. This section is currently operating over capacity warranting corridor expansion. Also, in this segment, it is recommended that a connection between Orange Avenue and the Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail via multi-use path or sidewalk is constructed during the road widening project. A signalized pedestrian crossing was heavily supported connecting R. Franks Nims Middle School to the north side of the corridor. Currently, the only crossing from the school to the opposite side of the corridor is at Pasco Street; this deters students who are traveling to the west of the school from using the crossing. Medium to high transit amenities should be included in this section due to the number of business located here, and the number of neighborhoods connected to the north and south of Orange Avenue. The bus stop in front of R. Frank Nims Middle School should be considered for relocation as well. This segment of the corridor should also include intersection improvements at Pasco Street.

Wahnish Way to Monroe Street
This segment is the only existing four-lane portion of the Orange Avenue corridor in the Southwest area plan. This area should have improved multi-modal facilities including a 12-foot multi-use path on either the north or south side of the corridor. The existing sidewalk should remain on the side of the corridor that does not have the multi-use path. A pedestrian crossing should be constructed between the FAMU garden and the FAMU Development and Research School. Medium to high transit amenities should be included in this section to the high proximity to Florida A&M University and businesses.

Corridor Summary
Through extensive public outreach and stakeholder input, a variety of possible multi-modal improvements for Orange Avenue have been proposed. The improvements include the need for safe and more connected pedestrian facilities such as continuous sidewalks, multi-use path along the entirety of the corridor, and pedestrian crossings near high traffic areas. Public and  stakeholder input also indicated the desire for better bicycle facilities and transit amenities to accommodate the variety of user types often seen along Orange Avenue. Future traffic volumes indicate that the roadway segment from South Lake Bradford Road to South Monroe Street is expected to operate over capacity by the year 2040 and the entire corridor is expected to be over capacity by the year 2045. The crash rates over the last five years show rates that are above the statewide average for similar facilities and majority of crash types are rear-end crashes which are indicative of congestion. The coupling of the existing crash rates and types and the projected future capacity constraint supports the opportunity for widening the corridor to  four lanes.

The opportunity improvements identified in this corridor plan are based on both data analyses along with public and stakeholder input. It is recommended Florida Department of Transportation Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study for Orange Avenue consider the opportunity improvements. Coordination with the Capital Region Transportation Planning Agency, Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency, Leon County and the City of Tallahassee should continue as the PD&E
better identifies which of the opportunities seem most feasible for implementation.

The Orange Avenue Corridor Report was critical to complete first since the FDOT initiated the PD&E Study. The full agenda item and report from April 16, 2019 can be found below.

Orange Avenue SATP Report

There were three other reports and a Public Involvement compendium that were presented and approved by the CRTPA Board at their September 16, 2019 meeting.  This information can be found below.

North Lake Bradford SATP Report

South Lake Bradford SATP Report

Springhill Road SATP Report

Public Involvement (Part 1)

Public Involvement (Part 2)

The acceptance of these reports completed the SATP Project.

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