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Neighborhood Congestion Studies – Study # 1 Preliminary Findings and Recommendations

Neighborhood Congestion Studies – Study # 1 Preliminary Findings and Recommendations

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Neighborhood Congestion Studies – Study # 1 Preliminary Findings and Recommendations

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  1. Neighborhood Congestion Studies – Study # 1 Preliminary Findings and Recommendations Technical Meeting June 1, 2010

  2. Outline • Introduction • Overview: study area, objectives • Recommendations • Six recommendations: summary, drawings • Each recommendation in detail • Enforcement and responsibilities for implementation • Next steps • Open discussion

  3. Introduction

  4. As a large urban institution, AUB should be a responsible neighbor. This is the idea behind the Neighborhood Initiative. Through research and outreach activities, the Neighborhood Initiative works to improve the quality of life (greenness, affordability, walkability, …) in the area of Beirut nearest campus.

  5. Congestion is one the major problems threatening the quality of life in the neighborhood. The Neighborhood Initiative is supporting practical studies that recommend solutions to the problem of congestion in its many dimensions.

  6. Three “Congestion Studies” are planned: • Study #1 examines the conflict between walking and driving along Bliss Street. It will recommend ways to improve both traffic flow and the pedestrian environment on the southern edge of AUB. Today we report on first results and recommendations of this study. • Study # 2 will examine different scenarios for improving parking. • Study # 3 will examine options for improving public transportation serving Ras Beirut.

  7. Worth noting • These are preliminary findings and recommendations. Many details need to be worked out. The iterative process seeks the input of all relevant stakeholders. • The study area is small, but will generate lessons for other congested areas of Beirut.

  8. The Research Team • Isam Kaysi • Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering • Maya Abou Zeid • Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering • Robert Saliba • Associate Professor, Graduate Program in Urban Design, Department of Architecture and Design • Cynthia Myntti • Professor, Public Health Practice, and Project Leader, Neighborhood Initiative • Maya Kassab • Graduate student, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering • Abdallah El Hajj • Graduate student, Urban Design • Twelve 3rd year civil engineering undergraduate students

  9. Overview: Study Area, Objectives

  10. Current Issues on Bliss Street • Traffic flow issues – delays and congestion due to: • Drop-off and pick-up • Pedestrian interference from random crossings • Friction from parking and double-parking • Delivery of goods to businesses • Pedestrian issues: • Safety • Inadequate facilities and environment

  11. Pedestrian-vehicular conflicts and congestion are issues affecting various stakeholders in the neighborhood: • AUB staff, faculty, and students • Neighborhood residents • Local businesses and their clients • Passers-by

  12. Objectives Improving pedestrian safety on Bliss Street Improving flow of traffic on Bliss Street Making pedestrian environment more pleasant

  13. Six recommendations:summary, • drawings • Each recommendation in detail Recommendations

  14. Summary of Recommendations 1. Add four pedestrian crosswalks 2. Block pedestrians from crossing at the Main Gate 3. Establish drop-off / pick-up areas involving AUB wall modification 4. Establish delivery zones for businesses 5. Remove parking lane and encourage parking in existing lots 6. Widen sidewalks

  15. Six recommendations: summary, • drawings • Each recommendation in detail Recommendations

  16. Objectives of Data Collection • To understand: • Road network and traffic patterns • Pedestrian movement patterns • Preferences of businesses • Patronage patterns of businesses

  17. Data CollectionOctober 2009-November 2010 Vehicular traffic counts Physical road network attributes Pedestrian counts (including pick-ups / drop-offs at AUB gates) AUB all-student/employee travel surveys AUB student/employee GPS survey Data from Ras Beirut residents Well-being Survey Business managers and customers surveys

  18. Recommendation One: Crosswalks Data/observations • Unstructured pedestrian crossings slow down traffic and pose a hazard for pedestrians • Vehicular and pedestrian counts near Main Gate • Average peak-hour vehicular traffic: 1030 vehicles • Average hourly pedestrians at noon: 1620 pedestrians • Similar pedestrian-vehicle conflict issues at Medical and Men’s Dorms Gates • Bliss Street businesses are mostly serving AUB students and employees: • Managers report that 62% of customers are from AUB

  19. Recommendation One: Crosswalks (Map) Suggestions • Establish four raised well-marked crosswalks with special pavement material • Near Abdel Aziz Street • Near St Mary’s School • After Jeanne d’Arc Street • Near Gandhi Street

  20. Recommendation Two: Main Gate Diversion Data/observations Pedestrian-vehicle conflict at Main Gate crossing

  21. Recommendation Two: Main Gate Diversion

  22. Recommendation Two: Main Gate Diversion

  23. Recommendation Two: Main Gate Diversion Suggestions • Reduce pedestrian-vehicle conflict at Main Gate by channeling pedestrians to cross at other crosswalks on either side of the Main Gate • Left (near St Mary’s School) • Right (after Jeanne d’Arc Street) • Put planters along the sidewalk by the Main Gate to discourage crossing at the Main Gate

  24. Recommendation Three:Drop-off / Pick-up Areas

  25. Recommendation Three:Drop-off / Pick-up Areas Data/observations • Drop-offs / pick-ups near the AUB gates: • Slow down through traffic • Create a safety problem • Constitute a significant % of traffic on Bliss Street (by the Main Gate) at peak hours • 16% in the morning • 22% in the afternoon • 37% of Bliss Street traffic between Abdel Aziz and Jeanne d’Arc turns left on Jeanne d’Arc Street (Map)

  26. Recommendation Three:Drop-off / Pick-up Areas Suggestions • Establish two drop-off / pick-up areas with shelters • After Jeanne d’Arc Street • Reduces pedestrian-vehicle conflict • Encourages traffic to move more efficiently on Bliss Street between Abdel Aziz and Jeanne d’Arc Street • Near Men’s Dorms Gate (before Gandhi Street) • Primarily due to IC traffic • Motorcycle parking area to be designed • Motorcycle parking

  27. Recommendation Four: Delivery Zones Data/observations • Many businesses on Bliss Street get supplies on a daily basis (especially food-related businesses)

  28. Recommendation Four: Delivery Zones Suggestions Establish two delivery zones on Bliss Street, between Abdel Aziz and Jeanne d’Arc Streets, accommodating one van each Provide motorcycle parking in these zones

  29. Recommendation Five: Parking • Bliss Street (between Abdel Aziz and Jeanne d’Arc Streets) • Remove parking lane and keep two lanes for moving traffic (sufficient for peak traffic volume) • Jeanne d’Arc Street (between Bliss and Makhoul Streets) • Remove one parking lane • Keep one moving lane and one parking lane (Map)

  30. Recommendation Five: Parking • Encourage parking in existing lots • Place bigger signs before and on Bliss Street leading to the locations of these lots

  31. Recommendation Six: Sidewalks Data/observations Sidewalks narrow or unpleasant for pedestrians

  32. Recommendation Six: Sidewalks

  33. Recommendation Six: Sidewalks

  34. Recommendation Six: Sidewalks

  35. Recommendation Six: Sidewalks Suggestions • Widen sidewalks • On Bliss Street (from 2 to 4-5 m) • Between Abdel Aziz and Main Gate (south side) • Between Main Gate and Bekhazi Street (both sides) • On Jeanne d’Arc Street (from 2 to 3 m) • Between Bliss and Makhoul Streets (right side going up) (Map)

  36. Recommendation Six: Sidewalks Suggestions (continued) • Allow businesses to put seating facilities on the widened sidewalks • Widened sidewalks and potential seating facilities may encourage people to sit and linger, changing the character of the street.

  37. Enforcement and Responsibilities for Implementation

  38. Enforcement • The recommended interventions will require enforcement at different levels: • Banning parking on Bliss Street between Abdel Aziz and Jeanne d’Arc Street and in delivery zones and drop-off / pick-up areas • Encouraging vehicles to drop off / pick up in the designated areas (and pedestrians to wait there) • Discouraging vehicles from waiting in drop-off / pick-up areas • Where sidewalk cafes develop, enforcing a minimum sidewalk width for pedestrians

  39. Responsibilities for Implementation * Traffic Police and Vehicle Registration and Traffic Management Authority

  40. AUB’s Responsibilities for Implementation • Drop-off / pick-up areas will require pushing back the AUB wall in two locations: • Near Ada Dodge Hall • Near Men’s Dorms Gate

  41. Next Steps

  42. Next Steps • Town hall meeting • June 16, 2010 • Additional data collection • Summer/fall 2010 • Traffic simulation • Summer/fall 2010 • Final workshop • Fall 2010