The City of Lebanon has contracted with Rack and Ballauer Excavating Co, Inc. for the construction of a pedestrian safety improvements project that will address 12 intersections in the Downtown Lebanon area. This project is the result of a pedestrian safety study that was performed in response to the Lebanon Downtown Master Plan. This project has also received ODOT safety funds which, will cover 90 percent of the project costs.
The project will improve pedestrian visibility and safety. The improvements will include items such as improved lighting, new crosswalk markings and Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) in certain areas, improved pedestrian signage, and improved pedestrian and traffic signal timing. The project will also include other aspects such as dedicated left turn signals at the intersection of Broadway and Main Street and a mid-block crossing on Broadway between Main Street and Mulberry Street.
Construction is anticipated to begin mid-May and be finished in November. During construction, pedestrian traffic will be maintained, however pedestrians will need to be rerouted around the areas actively under construction. The contractor will provide signage to direct pedestrians. Access to all businesses will be maintained. There will also be minor traffic disruptions when work is taking place; however, no full road closures are anticipated.
Below is a map that shows the intersections that will be improved with this project.
North Broadway Corridor Improvements
The City of Lebanon has contracted with Ford Development Corporation for the construction the North Broadway Corridor Improvements project. This project will include streetscape improvements along a portion of the west side of North Broadway, Road Diet improvements from Warren Street to DeSales Avenue and restriping of the existing pavement markings from DeSales Avenue to Miller Road.
The Road Diet portion of the project will transform the section of North Broadway between Warren Street and DeSales Avenue from four lanes into three lanes, one northbound, one southbound, and one center turn lane. This new configuration will allow for on-street parking along portions or the roadway and also for a new bikepath beginning south of the Warren County Fairgrounds and extending to DeSales Avenue. The existing pavement width will not be changed. The image below shows the configuration of a four-lane to three-lane Road Diet.
Road Diets have been studied by the Federal Highway Administration and shown to have benefits including:
- An overall crash reduction between 19 to 47 percent.
- Reduction of rear-end and left-turn crashes by removing left-turning vehicles from the through lane.
- Reduction of sideswipe crashes due to eliminating the need to change lanes.
- Reduction in left-turn crashes from vehicles in the outside opposing lane ‘hiding’ behind vehicles in the opposing inside lane.
- Fewer lanes for pedestrians to cross.
- The opportunity to install bicycle lanes when the roadway width is redistributed.
- Reduced right-angle crashes as side street motorists must cross only three lanes of traffic instead of four.
- Traffic calming and reduced speed differential, which can decrease the number of crashes and reduce the severity of crashes if they occur.
- Simplifying lane selection for motorists (especially older and younger drivers) making left turns from or onto the mainline.
The figure below shows the typical road section changes that occur in a four-lane to three-lane road diet.
The figure below shows the reduction in potential accident areas when changing from a four-lane to three-lane roadway. In this figure, the white diamonds represent points where vehicles could collide during turns or lane changes.
The figure below shows the reduction in potential accident areas when changing from a four-lane to three-lane roadway. In this figure, the white diamonds represent points where vehicles could collide when crossing the intersection.
This figure shows the elimination of the potential for oncoming vehicles in the outside lane to ‘hide’ behind an oncoming vehicle in the inside lane. This potential is eliminated with the road diet.
Regarding any concerns with the reduction in the number of travel lanes, the average daily traffic on North Broadway in the area of the road diet is approximately 8,900 vehicles per day, while the average daily traffic on Main Street in the area of Broadway is approximately 14,000 vehicles per day. The volumes on North Broadway are far lower than those found on Main Street, which is the same roadway section as what is proposed for the road diet area.
Portions of this information has been adapted from the FHWA Road Diet Informational Guide.