When will construction on the new roundabout and realigned Riverside Drive begin?The City of Dublin will proceed with final engineering for the key Bridge Street District Scioto River corridor public infrastructure projects this year, including the relocation of Riverside Drive and the roundabout at State Route 161/Riverside Drive. The City will also proceed with final engineering for a grading and utilities plan for the riverfront park, and develop alternative designs, costs, and landing options for the Scioto River pedestrian bridge.
Construction is programmed in the City’s annual 5-year Capital Improvements Program to begin in 2015, but many factors will affect the actual timing of the construction, including the development of maintenance of traffic plans, coordination with area businesses and communications with others that travel through the area, relocation of existing businesses where necessary, and the timing of potential private development on the east side of the realigned Riverside Drive. Conceptual plans have been reviewed by the City, including the “Bridge Park” mixed-use development project proposed by local developer Crawford Hoying, but no plans have been approved by the City at this time.
In 2014, the City will also proceed with the design and construction of a new roadway between Dale Drive and Tuller Ridge Drive to provide an alternative route when construction begins on the Scioto River corridor public improvements.
How much traffic and congestion will result from the Bridge Street District development?
The Grid Street Network
Transportation consultant firm Nelson/Nygaard was engaged to help the City determine if the proposed grid roadway network shown conceptually in the Bridge Street District Vision Plan would be sufficient to accommodate the planned build-out development of the Bridge Street District. To do this, Nelson/Nygaard used the future development types and patterns concepts included in the Vision Plan.
Since 2011, the grid roadway network has been thoroughly reviewed and verified during several studies conducted by nationally-recognized transportation consultants. Most significantly, the studies support the urban street system planned for the Bridge Street District.
The key transportation features of the urban street system in the Bridge Street District are:
- The grid-style road network disperses traffic over many smaller streets.
- The presence of multiple connections increases the number of potential travel routes exponentially, thus there is no need for turn lanes at intersections internal to the Bridge Street District.
- Rather than developers submitting individual traffic impact studies and identifying mitigating strategies for projects, developers will be required to construct the portions of the grid street network with their projects and dedicate the necessary right-of-way.
As the grid develops, there will be some growing pains, interim locations of congestion, and some difficulties navigating during construction. However, a generally understood transportation principle in places like the Bridge Street District is that some level of congestion is an acceptable trade-off for the creation of the vibrant, walkable urban living environment envisioned for the District.
But these traffic issues alone should not dictate success or failure because:
- Vibrant streets are more than simply a means to move vehicles. They should also be safe places for pedestrians and cyclists as well as vehicles. Allowing on-street parking, providing narrower travel lanes, lowering speeds, and providing safe pedestrian crossings are paramount to creating spaces that will attract shoppers, residents, and workers.
- Streets that are given over largely to vehicles create large expanses of asphalt, encourage higher speeds, shrink pedestrian spaces, limit transit service, and generally detract from quality of life.
The Dublin Community Plan recommends a balance between maintaining reasonable level of service standards and other quality of life issues. Dublin has already started to embrace the policy that designing streets for more than just vehicles offer safer environments for vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists and eliminate the for building significantly larger intersections or adding additional lanes in certain roadway corridors such as Emerald Parkway, Brand Road, and Avery-Muirfield Drive.
How will traffic generated by individual development projects be evaluated and managed?Since 2011, the grid roadway network planned for the Bridge Street District has been thoroughly reviewed and verified during several studies conducted by nationally-recognized transportation consultants, and supports the vibrant, walkable urban living environment of the District.
Rather than developers submitting individual traffic impact studies for each project and identifying mitigating strategies for projects as is required in other Dublin developments, developers in the Bridge Street District must incorporate and construct the recommended grid street network with their projects, including dedicating the necessary right-of-way to contribute toward the completion of the street grid as shown in the Thoroughfare Plan and Bridge Street District Area Plan of the Dublin Community Plan.
Refer to How much traffic and congestion will result from the Bridge Street District development? for more information.
Why build a roundabout at the intersection of Riverside Drive and State Route 161?At the November 18, 2013 regular Dublin City Council Meeting, staff was asked to compile a summary of the efforts and traffic control selection process for the US 33/SR 161/Riverside Drive intersection improvement project. In addition, staff was asked to discuss the safety aspects and advantages of roundabout as well as the operational relationship between the US 33/SR 161/Riverside Drive and the Bridge Street/High Street intersections.
What are the traffic impacts of the Bridge Street District, both internal to the District and on the regional transportation network (particularly Riverside Drive, Sawmill Road, and access to I-270)?
Traffic management is and has always been a high priority for the City, and will not change during the Bridge Street District development process. The City has completed extensive work on transportation planning and traffic management, including sophisticated computer modeling of traffic projections and patterns, examining areas of potential conflict, ensuring accommodation for future transit, and investigating other transportation-related issues.
In 2014, the City will begin construction on the final phase of Emerald Parkway that will provide a new connection between Riverside Drive and the terminus of Emerald Parkway south of Hard Road. This road connection is expected to have a positive effect on internal traffic flow and offer yet another alternative route of travel.
Over the next 30 years, there will of course be some differences in traffic flow and (like today) there will be areas of congestion. The growth and development of Central Ohio, particularly in the northern portions of the metro area, are expected to continue and will likely add to congestion regardless of the specific impacts of the Bridge Street District development. However, one element that is often overlooked is the availability of a more urban-like street network planned for the Bridge Street District that will help better distribute traffic flows. Where much of the traffic now relies on a single roadway to reach a destination, multiple streets with many more connections to reach desired locations allow drivers to make other decisions about their routes of travel and better distribute traffic.
The City also continues to work with our neighboring jurisdictions, including the City of Columbus, Franklin County, and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) on regional transportation improvements including improvements to Sawmill Road and the I-270 and US 33 interchange.
In addition, the Bridge Street District plans strive to provide a balance of modes for transportation. Not only will vehicles be served in this district, but pedestrians, cyclists, and transit will also be provided space in the public realm. COTA has noted to the City that the significant density envisioned for Bridge Street will meaningfully enhance the transit serviceability of Dublin. This means the reliance on a single occupancy vehicle will not be necessary for some in the Bridge Street District. Refer to “What are the plans for public transit in the Bridge Street District?” for more on this topic. [SDB1]
This approach represents a paradigm shift in how we think about transportation in Dublin and is consistent with City Council’s progressive views on bicycle use, transit availability, and a pedestrian emphasis in the Bridge Street District.
As new development occurs, the City will continue to study the impacts of each Bridge Street District project on the area’s transportation system. More specific analyses that aim to identify the specific transportation improvements needed in the early phases of the Bridge Street District’s development are underway. Learn more about the Bridge Street District street network in the Bridge Street District Special Area Plan and the Thoroughfare Plan in the Dublin Community Plan.
Will the proposed roundabout at Riverside Drive and state Route 161 be safe for drivers and pedestrians?
Modern roundabouts have proven to be safe and effective in Dublin. Please see http://dublinohiousa.gov/engineering/roundabouts-in-dublin/ for general information regarding the safety of roundabouts and how to correctly drive through a modern roundabout.
The intersection of Riverside Drive and State Route 161 has been on the City’s list of intersections to improve for several years. Beginning in 2007, the City began to study the possible intersection design alternatives to understand the impacts of any improvements to the intersection. The roundabout alternative was selected for several reasons:
- Allows left-turn movements on State Route 161 to both northbound and southbound Riverside Drive.
- Does not require replacement of the bridge over the Scioto River.
- Has the lowest construction cost of the studied intersection improvement alternatives.
- The intersection will perform at acceptable levels many years in to the future.
The roundabout provides a smaller overall footprint than other solutions for the intersection. Also of note, the southbound bypass lane (the lane that goes under the bridge) will be maintained, but altered to provide one vehicular lane and a bicycle path.
Regarding pedestrian use of a roundabout, the roundabout offers the following:
- Lower speeds of all vehicles circulating in the intersection.
- Easier for pedestrians to identify gaps in the traffic to cross.
- Vehicles approaching from only one direction.
- Fewer lanes to cross at one time than a signalized intersection would require.
- Medians, or ”splitter islands,” provide a place for pedestrians to safely wait while waiting to cross lanes.
When approaching a multi-lane roundabout, bicycles should exit the roadway and use the shared use path around the roundabout rather than remaining in a lane. Bicyclists should keep in mind the shared use path will be used by both pedestrians and cyclists and everyone should be aware of their surroundings to provide a safe environment for all.
What are the plans for public transit in the Bridge Street District?Public transit is integral to the walkable, mixed-use environment envisioned in the Bridge Street District. Transit is necessary to complement the range of available transportation options without requiring people to get in their cars for many of their daily activities. To function most effectively, transit service requires high densities and centers of activity to ensure high ridership rates and levels of service. Places like the Bridge Street District will be ideal for transit service once there is enough density to justify additional routes, and should improve the prospects for the Dublin area’s long term transit serviceability.
Transit service in the Bridge Street District is currently very limited, based on the low densities of development throughout much of the District today. In addition to a COTA Express route with bus stops south of Bridge Street and a Crosstown line with a stop near Sawmill Road, there is an existing COTA Park and Ride station on Dale Drive that sees a high level of ridership. The existing Park and Ride is in the area shown as part of the potential “Bridge Park” mixed use development and realignment of Dale Drive, and any relocation of this facility should minimize service disruptions and should remain in close proximity of the existing Park and Ride. COTA is in coordination with City staff on this topic.
Increased bus service is likely to be the principal option for public transit for the Bridge Street District in the near future because it is easier to adjust routes based on potentially changing centers of activity and ridership rates. However, as the Bridge Street District develops over the coming years, the City will continue to evaluate options for alternative modes of transit.
- Boards & Commissions
- City Buildings
- Code & Charter
- City Council
- City Manager
- City Observances
- Organizational Chart
- Parks & Recreation