Taconic Task Force Report 2 - June 2002

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Taconic Task Force Report 2 from From: http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/projects/taconic/report.shtml on 6/6/02.

Typos noted such as 'modem' vs. 'modern', 'I 100' vs. '1,100', etc.
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TACONIC STATE PARKWAY
TASK FORCE REPORT
North of Route 44
June 2002

INTRODUCTION

In recent years, there have been a number of serious accidents on the Taconic State Parkway (TSP). A disproportionate number of these occur at and within the influence area of the parkway's at-grade intersections. Those at-grade intersections result in conflicts between through and crossing traffic, significant speed differentials between vehicles exiting and entering the parkway, and they require that lane changesbe made by vehicles trying to avoid one another. These are all inconsistent with a modem higher-speed, limited-access type highway. Modem highways are designed to minimize or eliminate the human cost of driver errors and misjudgements, costs that not only involve the drivers, but also their passengers and other motorists.

Major improvements to the parkway have been made in Westchester County and at isolated other locations. The mid-Hudson area north of Westchester is growing, speeds have increased, traffic volumes on the TSP are increasing and this results in a growing concern for safety at these at-grade crossings. These factors underline the need to modernize the parkway and to eliminate as many sources of vehicular conflict as possible.

Modernizing the parkway now will prevent today's problems from worsening and avoid similar problems in the future in areas that will be developed. Land use development occurs at parkway access points and as it occurs, traffic increases, and people become dependent upon those access points. This both adversely affects safety and will increase disruptions, inconveniences and hardships when those access points need to be closed. It is preferable from every public interest Viewpoint to take actions today to guide development that is consistent with the future geometric configuration of the parkway.

It is the objective of the Department of Transportation to ultimately eliminate all at-grade median crossings of the parkway and to minimize side road access points to the greatest degree possible. This will occur over time with some actions being undertaken soon and others requiring planning and coordination with local governmental and public agency officials.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

The TSP was developed over a period of 39 years, from 1923 to 1962 with major sections being constructedduring each decade. By 1940, the parkway had reached north to Route 55 in Dutchess County. After the Second World War, in 1947, work was begun that resulted in the northward expansion to Route 199 ten miles east of Red Hook.

By the mid 1940's, a "Master Plan" for the Taconic Parkway had been developed which proposed that the parkway be extended to Albany and beyond. During the 1950's and early 1960's that vision was partially implemented. However, during that same time period, the New York State Thruway, a modem, high-standard freeway, was constructed on the west side of the Hudson River (except for the Berkshire spur) that provided a high speed north-south corridor. Consequently, the parkway was considered complete once it reached the Berkshire spur.

The 105 miles of the TSP that were constructed created one of the most scenic roads in the country and has enjoyed national recognition. In 1992, New York State established the Scenic Byway Program under Article X111-C of the State Highway Law. At the same time the Taconic State Parkway was designated as a New York State Scenic Byway. According to the parkway's Corridor Management Plan, "a scenic byway is defined as a road corridor with regionally outstanding scenic, natural, recreational, cultural, historic, or archeological significance." In addition to the scenic attributes of the TSP, "the historic value of the parkway was recently recognized by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation's determination of the parkway's eligibility for listing on the National Register. The section of the parkway from Compond Road to its terminus at Route 1-90 has been determined eligible under NR Criterion A (Events) in the themes of recreation, transportation and regional planning for its role in the history of New York State Parks and under Criterion C: (Design) in the areas of landscape architecture, engineering, and architecture as a representative intact example of a twentieth-century parkway." (Page 34 Taconic State Parkway Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan)

MAJOR ISSUES

There are several major issues related to the Taconic State Parkway:

- the role of the parkway in the 21st century

- safety

- growth and development

The TSP plays an important role and has great scenic and historic value to the Hudson Valley region. The valley will benefit from the preservation of those attributes which complement the historic, cultural, and recreational aspects of the area. The TSP has also evolved into a major commuting route, making it both scenic and functional. Many people depend on the parkway for efficient and convenient trips to and from many points between New York City and Albany. The park-way is the only higher-speed, limited access north-south highway in Dutchess and Columbia counties. Given the cost and impacts of new highway construction, no new limited-access highways will be constructed in the Hudson Valley. The Taconic is irreplaceable. Continued modernization of the parkway will provide eastern Hudson Valley communities with a highway that is a unique combination of efficiency, scenic beauty, and safety.

There have been suggestions that the parkway's function be changed from a limited access highway to a signalized roadway. Sections of some parkways in Westchester County have been signalized. This has occurred in urban areas where cross streets have become so developed and dependent upon parkway access that the construction of interchanges became impossible. In Westchester, however, there are several other limited access highways for north-south traffic to use and that county has very mature land use patterns without a great deal of developable land. Signalizing at-grade intersections on the TSP north of Westchester could adversely affect safety since the park-way functions as a high-speed, limited access facility and signalizing intersections would greatly decrease the parkway's ability to carry traffic to, from, and through the Hudson Valley thereby having an adverse economic and property value impact. The Taconic benefits the area and everyone in it, but that benefit would be lost if it were turned into a signalized suburban arterial.

But while the parkway functions as a "limited access" type of highway, safety is an issue. The parkway was designed for a more pastoral era and is in need of modernization. At-grade crossings and closely-spaced access points are inconsistent with the parkway's function and introduce unexpected conflicts with other vehicles. This was recognized and discussed in the Intersection Elimination Study published in May 1969 by the East Hudson Parkway Authority, the previous parkway "owner". At that time, there were 33 at-grade crossings north of 1-84. That report recommended the elimination of all of them and the construction of three interchanges, thirteen grade separations, one service road and the closing using cul-de-sacs of the remaining sixteen at-grade crossings. The majority of these recommendations were never implemented. The existing intersection and interchange spacing is presented in Table 1.

Table I EXISTING INTERSECTION/ INTERCHANGE SPACING FROM TO DISTANCE (Miles) Route 44 Hibernia Road Interchange At-grade 2.9 Hibernia Road Hollow Road At-grade At-grade 0.3 Hollow Road Salt Point At-grade Turnpike 0.5 Interchange Salt Point Willow Lane Turnpike At-grade 2.8 Interchange Willow Lane Pumpkin Lane At-grade At-grade 0.6 Pumpkin Lane Nine Partners At-grade Lane At-grade 1.1 Nine Partners Bulls Head Lane At-grade Road Interchange 1.8 Bulls Head Willowbrook Road Road At-grade Interchange 1.2 Willowbrook Cold Spring Road Road At-grade 0.6 Cold Spring Route 199 Road At-grade Interchange 1.6 The parkway's physical configuration, the presence of numerous at-grade crossing and access points, and the parkway's role as a major commuter route all contribute to its safety liabilities. Commuters are often in a hurry and despite a constant New York State Trooper presence on the parkway, the 85th percentile speed of motorists (the speed typically used for highway design geornetrics) is about 65 miles-per-hour, or ten miles-per-hour greater than the posted speed limit. Faster speeds require greater sight distances and result in less time for motorists to make critical decisions. As vehicles enter and exit highways, there is a speed differential with through traffic, more lane changes, and motorists are forced to make more decisions and maneuvers. It follows that reducing the number of potential conflict points (at-grade crossings and accesses) will also reduce the number of decisions required of motorists, and, consequently, the number of poor decisions that cause accidents.

Accident data shows that as traffic has grown, both on the parkway and along the roads intersecting the parkway, vehicular conflicts at the at-grade intersection access points have resulted in more accidents. The following chart clearly shows that the at-grade intersections are the locations at which a disproportionate number of fatal and personal injury accidents occur. Historically, there have been more intersectional accidents in southern Dutchess County where traffic volumes are greater. It is evident, though, that even to the north, where traffic volumes are lower, that the number of accidents "spike" within the influence area of the at-grade intersections.

As land use development increases and volumes on the parkway continue to grow, accidents in northern Dutchess can be expected to increase sharply as gaps in the parkway traffic decrease. Local development will generate more traffic wanting to cross or access the parkway and that traffic will result in longer queues at the at-grade intersections increasing motorist frustrations and precipitating more daring drive-outs. Table 2 presents the existing interchange spacing: this is compatible with safe modem standards.

Table 2 PROPOSED INTERCHANGE SPACING FROM TO DISTANCE (Miles) Route 44 Salt Point Interchange Turnpike Interchange 3.7 Salt Point Bulls Head Turnpike Road Interchange Interchange 6.3 Bulls Head Route 199 Road Interchange 3.4 Interchange Growth and development in the Hudson Valley over the last 40 years has been significant and, at times, dramatic and that growth continues. Map I shows the population growth of municipalities in Dutchess County in the last decade. Growth in population and land use development has translated into traffic volume growth. Since the 1969 Intersection Elimination Stud report was issued, traffic volumes have continued to increase. In Westchester County, TSP volumes now exceed 90,000 vehicles per day. In Dutchess County, traffic volumes range between 7,000 to 30,000 vehicles per day. Volumes in Columbia County are about 5,000 vehicles per day-Between 1978 and 1998, traffic volumes on the TSP between 1-84 and Route 52 increased from 8,850 to over 28,000; from Route 199 to Columbia County volumes increased from 3,850 vehicles per day to 4,785 vehicles per day.

Map I indicates a growth pattern related to the parkway (and 1-84 in southeastern Dutchess County) and a northward growth trend. Growth is predominately occurring along the north-south corridors. Properties in Dutchess County are sometimes advertized as "convenient to the parkway" to increase their desirability to potential longer-distance commuters. During the last ten years, the populations of many adjacent municipalities have increased by 25 to 30 percent or more and this looks as though it will continue. Many of the perceived disruptions and inconveniences faced by individuals in southern Dutchess County due to the median closures along the parkway Will be repeated in more northern areas if those adjacent properties are developed with the expectation of at-grade access to the parkway.

A history of accidents reinforced by several recent serious accidents, antiquated highway geometrics, continuous development and traffic growth, and the promise of continued growth due to the availability of developable land and the high desirability of the Hudson Valley, necessitated that the New York State Department of Transportation take additional steps to improve the parkway to better suit its more modem role.

IMPROVEMENT STRATEGY

The Commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation has formed a Task Force to develop a strategy to improve the safety of the Taconic State Parkway. Based upon extensive data collection, and observations of traffic conditions, the Task Force has determined that the at-grade intersections on the Taconic State Parkway will be the focus of the Task Force's recommendations to improve the operating conditions of the Parkway.

It is the long-term strategy of the Task Force to eliminate all at-grade median crossings of the Taconic State Parkway north of Westchester County to the Berkshire spur of the Thruway. It is also the long-term strategy to eliminate all private drives on the parkway and to reduce the number of at-grade access points to the number deemed necessary to provide for safe and convenient vehicular movements. Some of these actions can be taken quickly; others require mitigation and still others require long-term cooperative planning between state, county and town governments.

In December 2001, the Taconic State Parkway Task Force released the first in a series of three reports concerning recommendations for improving the Taconic State Parkway. The first report provided recommendations for the Taconic State Parkway between Interstate 84 and Route 44. This report is the second in the series and provides recommendations on the section of the Taconic State Park-way north of Route 44 to the terminus in northern Columbia County near Albany. It is anticipated that the third report in this series covering the segment of the TSP south of 1-84 will be released in the summer of 2002.

Many factors were considered as the recommendations were developed. Four of the underlying considerations were:

1. To achieve a reasonable interchange spacing in conformance with the characteristics of a high volume, high speed, limited access, divided highway.

2. To close non-critical intersections along segments of the TSP where personal injury and fatal accidents have occurred or have a high probability of occurring.

3. To provide reasonable access for emergency vehicles, consistent with the degree of access normally associated with other, high speed limited access divided highways.

4. To preserve the parkway character consistent with principles outlined in the Taconic State Parkway Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan.

The full achievement of the Task Force's long-term strategy will require funding that has not yet been identified. Consequently, it is necessary to prioritize the improvements. Since parkway traffic volumes are relatively low north of Route 199 and since northern Dutchess County and Columbia County do not yet contain intensive development and its resulting cross traffic, at-grade intersection median closures north of Route 199 will be the lowest priority and their closure and mitigation will be the subject of planning studies to be conducted by the NYSDOT. Each county and all adjacent municipalities will be invited to participate in the studies which will determine which intersections will be replaced by interchanges, which will be replaced by grade separations, and which will be closed. These studies will provide local governments with the information needed to guide land use development that is consistent with future parkway access and to avoid problems in the future similar to those being faced today by all parties and individuals south of Route 199.

In summary, the Task Force's strategy focus for the Taconic State Parkway is to close all median at-grade crossings and eliminate unsafe or unnecessary side access, while exploring all opportunities to improve area traffic circulation and overall operating conditions on the Taconic State Parkway.

PROPOSED IMPROVEMENTS

The following pages present information and recommendations on each intersection located between Route 44 and Route 199. As mentioned previously, at-grade intersections north of Route 199 will be the subject of future joint planning studies. Since accidents are related to traffic volumes and since there is a sharp decrease in volumes north of Route 199, those intersections to the north are of lower priority.

This report outlines broad strategies. It is not a project-specific document. All actions that are taken will follow the appropriate environmental process. Proposed actions having potentially significant impacts, such as the construction of a bridge or interchange, will follow a rigorous location-specific process designed to fully examine and explain the impacts of that action so that decision-makers fully understand the consequences of the proposed action. Proposed actions having small or no environmental impacts, such as the installation of traffic control devices, require a less detailed environmental process.

All of the proposed actions will result in some inconvenience to people who cross or access the parkway at the altered at-grade intersections. But all proposed actions will reduce exposure to at-grade conflicting movements with high-speed traffic. Most access changes will require longer trips on local or county roads. Typically, those roads have less traffic, lower speeds, and very different motorist expectations. Most parkway users have trip origins and destinations located several miles from the parkway and can divert to alternate routes some distance from the parkway. In addition, there are several good alternate town and county highways in this area which are parallel to the parkway and which Minimize inconvenience, to some degree. Most people now crossing the parkway will need to travel a few Miles more, adding several minutes to their trips. The most greatly inconvenienced people will be those with both origins and destinations close to the parkway and who simply want to cross the parkway to, literally, get to the other side. If they are located midway between the Salt Point and the Bulls Head Road interchanges, they will have a seven-mile detour. This would apply to very few motorists.

Area traffic will be monitored for impacts related to the changes made to parkway access. There will be some diversions, for instance, to the intersection of Salt Point Turnpike and County Road 13 in the hamlet of Clinton Comers. Possible improvements will be considered.

In the 1998 capital program, the complete reconstruction of the TSP between Route 44 in Dutchess County and Route 82 in Columbia County was scheduled to be completed by SFY 2006/07. Because of subsequent financial constraints, this schedule is no longer feasible and the reconstruction of the TSP now extends out past 2013. This schedule change has a detrimental impact on the condition of the pavement on the TSP and it will be necessary to address the rehabilitation of the pavement in some manner prior to the reconstruction of the parkway.

In 2001, a preventive maintenance project re-paved the parkway in Dutchess County between Wilbur Flats Road and the Columbia County line. In 2002, a project is scheduled to resurface the pavement from Wilbur Flats Road south to Cold Spring Road. In future years, the Region will continue to utilize its preventive maintenance paving program to resurface other segments of the parkway between Route 44 and Route 82 to provide the public with a reasonably smooth riding surface and to maintain the pavement structure until it can be re-constructed.

The sight distance evaluations for each intersection are based on actual measured speeds. The 85' percentile speed is typically used for design. At 60 mph, the desirable sight distance is 1200 feet and the critical limited sight distance is 540 feet. At 65 mph, the desirable sight distance is 1300 feet and the critical limited sight distance is 610 feet.

EMERGENCY SERVICES

Parkway improvement plans are being developed with emergency service needs in mind. Several meetings have been held with emergency services representatives since the Task Force was formed. Restricted access to the parkway affects the provision of emergency services both on the opposite side of the parkway and along the parkway itself. In addition, it affects the coordination of services provided by adjacent municipalities.

These meetings are considered to be part of a continuous process to ensure that services will be available when needed.

"Turn-arounds" have been provided at several locations, more will be provided, and, in some instances, existing medians which will be closed to general public traffic will be accessible to emergency service vehicles.

Adjustments and improvements will be made as experience and results dictate. For instance, several of the original "turnarounds" constructed in 2001 are being modified based on the need to increase their comer radii and their location signs are being repositioned.

Emergency service representatives have been asked to contact the Department at any time with any problems and suggestions.

 

HIBERNIA ROAD

DESCRIPTION: At a distance of 2.9 miles north of the Route 44 interchange, Hibernia Road is the first at-grade crossing. The Taconic State Parkway is a four-lane, partial access control divided rural highway with 11 foot travel lanes. No shoulders are located within this area. The median at this location is trapezoidal, measuring 20 to 22 feet in length. Vehicles of greater length have been observed storing in the median and obstructing one or more of the through lanes on the Parkway.

Hibernia Road is a two-lane town road with a 18'asphalt surface. The approaches to Hibernia Road are level and intersect the TSP at a 90-degree angle. The portion of Hibernia Road west of the TSP has moderate to heavy residential development with a few commercial properties, including a dog boarding business, nursery school, picnic pavilion and a restaurant. The portion of Hibernia Road east of TSP has mild to moderate residential development. Hibernia Road intersects Route 115 (Salt Point Turnpike) on the west side and County route 13 (Clinton Comer's Road) and then Route 82 on the east side.

The sight distance for motorists crossing the northbound lanes of the TSP is 1000 feet and the sight distance for vehicles crossing the southbound lanes of the TSP is 600 feet. From the median, the sight distance for vehicles crossing the northbound TSP is 950 feet. For vehicles at the median crossing the southbound TSP the sight distance is 700 feet. The 85' percentile speeds (typically used for design) are 64 mph, both northbound and southbound, which result in desirable and critical sight distances of about 1300 and 610 feet, respectively.

TRAFFIC VOLUMES: The AADT for the section of the TSP between Route 44 and Route 115 was 8,25 0 in 2000. The AM peak hour traffic volumes on the west side of Hibernia Road include 94 vehicles entering or crossing the TSP. On the east side there are 76 vehicles entering or crossing the TSP during the PM peak hour.

ACCIDENT INFORMATION: The accident summary for the period from May 1, 1998 to April 30, 2001 identified 22 total accidents. Of these 10 were right-angle, one was rear-end, five fixed-object, two were overtaking accidents and four were animal accidents. Eight of the ten right-angle accidents involved southbound and westbound vehicles and were most likely due to limited sight distance to the north combined with a narrow median which does not allow for adequate storage for vehicles crossing or turning onto the TSP.

There was a fatality at this location and four personal injury accidents.

OPTIONS: The option of a connector road between Hibernia Road and Hollow Road on the west side was considered. This was discounted due to the potential cost versus small benefit. In addition, a bridge was considered at this location. This too was discounted for the potential cost versus benefit. Plans were previously completed to reconstruct this section of the TSP. The approved alternative at that time was to widen the median at Hibernia Road and keep the at-grade crossing. Widening the TSP median has not been found to substantially reduce accidents and has not been cost effective at other locations. Therefore, this option is no longer recommended.

There is considerable residential and commercial development on the west side creating a demand for access. Due to there being very poor alternative and in some cases unacceptable access the west side will not be closed immediately. This access will be monitored and evaluated.

RECOMMENDATION:

- Close the median in June 2002.

- Remove median blacktop and cul-de-sac the westbound (eastern side ) approach in 2003.

- Leave west side access open.

 

HOLLOW ROAD

DESCRIPTION: Traveling north on the TSP, the next intersection is Hollow Road. Hollow Road is a county road 0.3 miles north of Hibernia Road and 0.5 miles south of the interchange at Salt Point. Hollow Road has a 21-foot asphalt surface with center lines and edge lines. Each approach intersects the TSP at slightly less than a 90-degree angle and each leg approaches the TSP at a slight downgrade (I to 2%). Portions of Hollow Road both east and west of the TSP have mild to moderate residential development with an abandoned motel on the west side and NYSDOT maintenance sub-headquarters on the east side. Hollow Road intersects Route 115 to the west and CR 13 to the east.

The sight distance for motorists on the west side of Hollow Road approaching the TSP is 325 feet looking northbound. The sight distance is impeded by a vertical crest in the road. Sight distance for motorists on the east side of Hollow Road is adequate. For vehicles at the median, the sight distance on the west side is 475 feet and on the east side it is adequate. The 85' percentile speeds (typically used for design) are 65 mph northbound and 62 mph southbound; these result in desirable and critical sight distances of about 1300 and 610 feet.

The median at Hollow Road is trapezoidal, measuring 25 to 28 feet in length. Vehicles of greater length have been observed storing in the median and obstructing one or more lanes on the parkway.

TRAFFIC VOLUMES: The AADT on the TSP between Route 44 and Route 115 was 8,500 in 2000. The AM peak hour traffic volumes on the west side of Hollow Road include 68 vehicles entering the TSP. On the east side there are 15 vehicles entering or crossing the TSP during the PM peak hour.

ACCIDENT INFORMATION: Between May 1, 1998 and April 30, 2001 there were I I accidents. Three were classified as right-angle, three fixed-object, one was rear-end, three involving animals and one overtaking. Similar to Hibernia Road, two of the three right angle accidents involved southbound vehicles. This is most likely due to limited sight distance to the north combined with a narrow median (28') which does not allow for adequate storage while vehicles wait to cross or turn onto the TSP. Six of the I I accidents resulted in personal injuries.

OPTIONS: As mentioned above, a connector road was considered between Hollow Road and Hibernia Road. This has been eliminated as a proposal due to the cost and minor benefit. If the access at Hollow Road to the TSP were closed, good alternate access to the TSP is available via Salt Point Turnpike on the west side. On the east side alternate access to the TSP is also available via the Salt Point Turnpike interchange.

RECOMMENDATION:

- Close the median in June 2002 and cul-de-sac the west side.

- Remove the median blacktop and cul-de-sac the east approaches in 2003.

 

SALT POINT TURNPIKE

DESCRIPTION: Continuing 0.5 miles north of Hollow Road on the TSP is the Salt Point Turnpike interchange. Salt Point Turnpike connects to the TSP at a grade-separated interchange with Salt Point Turnpike crossing over the TSP. Salt Point Turnpike is a two-lane rural highway. The interchange between the TSP and Salt Point Turnpike is a half cloverleaf with ramps in the northwest and southeast quadrants.

TRAFFIC VOLUMES: The AADT for the section of the Taconic between Route 44 and Route 115 was 8250 in 2000. The AADT for the section of the Taconic between Route 115 and Route 199 was 7,020 in 2001. The peak hour traffic volumes on Salt Point Turnpike include 54 vehicles entering the TSP on the southbound ramp in the AM and 72 vehicles on the ramp entering the TSP northbound in the PM. Exiting the TSP during the peak hour are 85 vehicles on the southbound ramp in the AM and 64 vehicles on the northbound ramp in the PM. During the PM peak hour 297 vehicles cross over the TSP on the bridge at Salt Point Turnpike.

ACCIDENT INFORMATION: Between 4/91 and 3/94 there were four accidents at this location. Three of the accidents involved animals and one involved a vehicle at the ramp turning in front of a vehicle on Route 115. Updated accident information is in the process of being analyzed.

OPTIONS: Although the ramps at this interchange do not meet current standards, the interchange functions adequately and no improvements are recommended.

RECOMMENDATION:

- No changes are proposed to the Salt Point Turnpike interchange at this time.

 

WILLOW LANE

DESCRIPTION: Traveling 2.8 miles north of the interchange at Salt Point Turnpike, the next intersection is Willow Lane. The grade-separated interchange at Bulls Head Road is another 3.5 miles to the north of this intersection. Willow Lane is a low volume town road that intersects the TSP at-grade. Willow Lane has a 90-foot median that is on a 2% to 3% downgrade eastbound.

The portion of Willow Lane to the west of the TSP has a 15 foot asphalt surface with a "ONE LANE ROAD/20 MPH" warning sign for westbound traffic. The portion of Willow Lane east of the TSP has a 18' asphalt surface. The westbound approach intersects the TSP at a 90 degree angle and is level. The eastbound approach intersects the TSP at nearly a 90 degree angle and is at a +3% to +4% grade. Both legs of Willow Lane have moderate residential development, with a plumbing and heating business and a farm on the east side. Willow Lane intersects CR 12 to the west and Pumpkin Lane to the east.

The sight distance for motorists on the west side of Willow Lane at the TSP is 1200 feet. Sight distance for motorists on the east side of Willow Lane Road is 900 feet. For vehicles at the median, the sight distance on the west side is 700 feet and on the east side it is 800 feet. The 85' percentile speeds (typically used for design) are 63 mph northbound and 64 mph southbound, which result in desirable and critical sight distances of about 1300 and 610 feet, respectively.

TRAFFIC VOLUMES: The AADT for the section of the Taconic between Route 115 and Route 199 was 7,020 in 200 1. The AM peak hour traffic volumes on the west side of Willow Lane include eight vehicles entering or crossing the TSP. On the east side there are 10 vehicles entering or crossing the TSP during the AM peak hour.

ACCIDENT INFORMATION: Between May 1, 1998 and April 30,2001 there were 12 accidents at Willow Lane. Of these, three were right angles, two were overtaking accidents, one rear-end, one fixed object and five involved animals. Four of the accidents resulted in personal injuries.

OPTIONS: Due to the low volume of traffic at this location and the pattern of right-angle accidents, the recommendation is to close this intersection.

RECOMMENDATION:

- Close the median June 2002.

- Remove the median blacktop and cul-de-sac the east and west approaches in 2003.

 

PUMPKIN LANE

DESCRIPTION: An additional 0.6 miles north of Willow Lane is the at-grade crossing at Pumpkin Lane. Pumpkin Lane is 3.4 miles north of Salt Point Turnpike. The interchange at Bulls Head Road is another 2.9 miles to the north. Pumpkin Lane is a low volume town road with a 18' asphalt surface. Each approach of Pumpkin Lane intersects the TSP at a nearly 90 degree angle. The intersection is level on the westbound approach and there is a 1% to 2% grade on the eastbound approach. Both legs of Pumpkin Lane intersect with other low volume roadways. There is mild residential development on both sides of the TSP. The median at this location is 150 feet and is on a +1% to 2% grade eastbound.

The sight distance for motorists on the west side of Pumpkin Lane at the TSP is 600 feet. Sight distance for motorists on the east side of Pumpkin Lane is 550 feet. For vehicles at the median, the sight distance on the west side is 800 feet and on the east side it is 1000 feet. The 85 th percentile speeds(typically used for design) are 63 mph northbound and 65 mph southbound, which result in desirable and critical sight distances of about 1,300 and 610 feet respectively.

TRAFFIC VOLUMES: The AADT for the section of the Taconic between Route 115 and Route 199 was 7,020 in 2001. The AM peak hour volumes on Pumpkin Lane include 20 vehicles entering or crossing the TSP from the west side and 12 vehicles entering or crossing the TSP from the east side of Pumpkin Lane.

ACCIDENTS: An accident summary at this location shows that there were eleven accidents between May 1, 1998 and April 30, 2001. Two of these accidents were right-angle, three were fixed-object, five involved animals, and one was an overtaking accident. Three of the accidents resulted in injuries. There was a fatality at this crossing in April, 2001.

OPTIONS: This at-grade intersection suffers from inadequate sight distance, has low traffic volumes and there has been a recent fatality.

RECOMMENDATION:

- Close the median June 2002.

- Remove median blacktop and cul-de-sac both sides 2003

 

NINE PARTNERS ROAD

DESCRIPTION: Heading north on the TSP, Nine Partners Road is the next intersection 1. 1 miles north of Pumpkin Lane. Nine Partners Road is 4.5 miles north of the interchange at Salt Point Turnpike. The interchange at Bulls Head Road is another 1.8 miles to the north. Nine Partners Road intersects the TSP at-grade. The median at this location is 110 feet and is on a +1% to 2% grade eastbound. Nine Partners Road is a low volume town road with an 18' asphalt surface. Each approach of Nine Partners Road intersects the TSP at nearly a 90 degree angle, although the westbound leg actually runs at about a 45 degree angle to the TSP. There is a +4(+/-)% grade on the eastbound approach flattening out at about 80 feet west of the intersection, and a -2 (+/-)% grade on the westbound approach. Both legs of Nine Partners Road intersect with other low volume roadways. There is low density residential development in this area.

The sight distance for motorists on the west side of Nine Partners Road at the TSP is 550 feet. For motorists on the east side of Nine Partners Road, the sight distance is 500 feet. For vehicles at the median, the sight distance on the west side is 600 feet and on the east side it is 800 feet. The 85' percentile speeds(typically used for design) are 64 mph both northbound and southbound, which result in desirable and critical sight distances of about 1300 and 610 feet respectively.

TRAFFIC VOLUMES: The AADT for the section of the Taconic between Route 115 and Route 199 was 7,020 in 2001. The AM peak hour volumes on Nine Partners Road include 23 vehicles entering or crossing the TSP from the west side and 24 vehicles entering or crossing the TSP from the east side of Nine Partners Road.

ACCIDENT INFORMATION: An accident summary at this location shows that there were eight accidents between May 1, 1998 and April 30,2001. Four of these accidents were right-angle, one was fixed-object, two involved an animal, and one was an overtaking accident. The four right-angle accidents involving southbound vehicles can be attributed to the restricted sight distance along the southbound approach due to the vertical crest. There was an accident involving a school bus at this intersection in May 2000. Four of the accidents resulted in personal injuries. Previous to this time period, there were two fatalities at this intersection.

OPTIONS: This at-grade intersection suffers from inadequate sight distance, has low traffic volumes and there have been fatalities.

RECOMMENDATION:

- Close the median June 2002.

- Remove median blacktop and cul-de-sac both sides in 2003.

 

BULLS HEAD ROAD INTERCHANGE

DESCRIPTION: Heading north on the TSP, Bulls Head Road is the next intersection 1.8 miles north of Nine Partners Road. Bulls Head Road is a grade separated interchange crossing over the TSP. The interchange is a cloverleaf to the south of Bulls Head Road. Initially, this location was an at-grade crossing. The grade-separated interchange was constructed in the 1980's. Willowbrook Road runs parallel and close to the TSP at this location. From Willowbrook Road travelers can access a 25-space Park and Ride lot.

TRAFFIC VOLUMES: The AADT for the section of the Taconic between Route 115 and Route 199 was 7,020 in 2001. The peak hour traffic on Bulls Head Road includes 102 vehicles entering the TSP on the southbound ramp during the AM and 14 vehicles on the ramp entering the TSP northbound. Exiting the TSP during the PM peak hour are 10 vehicles on the southbound ramp and 95 vehicles on the northbound ramp. During the PM peak hour 180 vehicles cross over the TSP on the bridge at Bulls Head Road.

OPTIONS: The current ramps at Bulls Head Road were constructed in the 1980's and meet current standards.

RECOMMENDATION:

- No changes are proposed to this intersection.

 

WILLOWBROOK ROAD

DESCRIPTION: Continuing north on the TSP, the next intersection is Willowbrook Road. This is an at-grade intersection, 1.2 miles north of Bulls Head Road. The Route 199 interchange is another 2.2 miles to the north. There is a 115-foot median at this location on a +1% to 2% grade eastbound. Willowbrook Road is a town road with an 18' asphalt surface on the eastbound approach and a 16' asphalt surface on the westbound approach. The eastbound approach intersects the TSP on a 45 degree angle and the westbound at 90 degrees. There is a -4 (+/-)% grade on the westbound approach, and it is level on the eastbound approach. Both legs intersect with other low volume roadways. In this area there is some residential development.

The sight distance for motorists on the west side of Willowbrook Road at the TSP is 1200 feet. On the east side of Willowbrook Road the sight distance is 850 feet, less than desirable based on sight distance criteria. At the median, the sight distance is 750 feet to the north and 1200 feet to the south. The 85' percentile speeds (typically used for design) are 66 mph northbound and 64 mph southbound, which result in desirable and critical sight distances of about 1300 and 610 feet respectively.

TRAFFIC VOLUMES: The AADT for the section of the Taconic between Route 115 and Route 199 was 7,020 in 200 1. The AM and PM peak hour volumes on Willowbrook Road include three vehicles entering or crossing the TSP from the west. No vehicles enter the TSP from the east in the AM and one crosses in the PM.

ACCIDENT INFORMATION: An accident summary at this location shows that there were ten accidents between May 1, 1998 and April 30, 2001. The summary of accidents identifies that six of these accidents involved animals and four involved fixed-objects. Two of the fixed-object accidents resulted in personal injuries.

OPTIONS:

RECOMMENDATION:

- Close the median June 2002.

- Remove the median blacktop and cul-de-sac the east and west sides in 2003.

 

COLD SPRING ROAD

DESCRIPTION: An additional 0.6 miles north of Willowbrook Road is Cold Spring Road. Cold Spring Road is located 1.8 miles north of the interchange at Bulls Head Road and the interchange at Route 199 is located an additional 1.6 miles to the north. Cold Spring Road is a low volume town road that intersects the TSP at grade. The median at this location is 100 feet and is on a +1(+/-)% grade eastbound. Cold Spring Road has a 18' asphalt surface, however, the westbound approach widens to 3 5 feet for a distance of 100+/- feet to the east of TSP. Each approach intersects the TSP at nearly 90 degrees. The westbound approach is on a -2(+/-)% grade. Both legs intersect with other low volume roadways. In the vicinity of Cold Spring Road there is sparse residential development.

The sight distance for motorists on the west side of Cold Spring Road at the TSP is 700 feet. Sight distance for motorists on the east side of Cold Spring Road is 350 feet. For vehicles at the median, the sight distance on the west side is 900 feet and on the east side it is 350 feet. At 65 mph, the criteria is that sight distance under 1300 feet is less than desirable. The 85' percentile speeds(typically used for design) are 65 mph northbound and 62 mph southbound, which result in desirable and critical sight distances of about 1300 and 610 feet respectively.

TRAFFIC VOLUMES: The AADT for the section of the Taconic between Route 115 and Route 199 was 7,020 in 2001. The peak hour volumes on Cold Spring Road include two vehicles crossing the TSP from the west in the PM and 6 vehicles entering or crossing the TSP from the east during the AM peak hour.

ACCIDENT INFORMATION: An accident summary at this location shows that there were six accidents between May 1, 1998 and April 30, 2001. There were four fixed-object accidents, one overtaking accident, and one accident involving an animal. Two of the fixed-object accidents resulted in personal injuries.

OPTIONS: Due to the low usage of this intersection, the recommendation is closure.

RECOMMENDATION: - Close the median June 2002.

- Cul-de-sac the east and west sides and remove the median blacktop in 2003.

 

ROUTE 199

DESCRIPTION: Continuing north on the TSP, the next intersection is Route 199. Route 199 is a grade-separated interchange located 1.6 miles north of Cold Spring Road. Route 199 is 3.4 miles north of the interchange at Bulls Head Road. The interchange at Jackson Comer's Road is another 4.6 miles to the north. The TSP crosses over Route 199 at this location. The interchange is a half cloverleaf with ramps in the northwest and southeast quadrants.

TRAFFIC VOLUMES: The AADT for the section of the Taconic between Route 115 and Route 199 was 7,020 in 200 1. The AADT for the section of the Taconic between Route 199 and Columbia County was 4,785 in 2001. The peak hour traffic volumes on Route 199 include 110 vehicles entering the TSP on the southbound ramp in the AM and 21 vehicles on the ramp entering the TSP northbound in the PM. Exiting the TSP during the peak hour are 33 vehicles on the southbound ramp in the PM and 148 vehicles on the northbound ramp in the PM. During the peak hour there are 360 vehicles on Route 199 going under the bridge of the TSP.

OPTIONS: The acceleration and deceleration at Route 199 are currently non-standard. However, this interchange functions well and no improvements are proposed.

RECOMMENDATION:

- No changes are proposed to the Route 199 interchange.

 

NORTH OF ROUTE 199

Proceeding north on the TSP through northern Dutchess County and into Columbia County, there are the following intersections and interchanges, of which 13 are at-grade crossings:

North Road Wilbur Flats Road Ferris Road Jackson Comers Road Interchange Henry Near Road Lake Taconic State Park Route 82 Interchange County Route 10 Post Hill Road Snydertown Road Manor Rock Road Bauer Road Palmer Road Route 23 Interchange Route 217 Interchange Harlemville Road Rigor Hill Road Route 203 Interchange Route 295 Interchange As mentioned previously in the Improvement Strategy (page 10), due to low traffic volumes and few identified accident problems, no changes are currently proposed to these intersections and interchanges.

Courtesy of

www.dutchess29.org