Preliminary traffic evaluations comparing three-lane and four-lane alternatives indicate that three-lanes will provide ample capacity during peak traffic hours and accommodate traffic volumes through 2040 based on traffic models. Additionally, the three-lane alternative provides more room for stormwater treatment and a shorter pedestrian crossing, resulting in three seconds of reduced exposure to vehicular traffic during the crossing as compared to the four-lane alternative. The pilot project is being conducted to verify these results and update them, if necessary.
Traffic control devices will be in place for approximately six weeks to observe driver behavior, measure actual vehicle speeds, and evaluate performance of the section with reduced lanes.
This project is expected to reduce excessive speeding on this segment of Sprague. Studies indicate this segment experiences high driving speeds and has relatively low traffic volumes. Over 60% of drivers were shown to exceed the posted speed limit with over 120 drivers exceeding 50 mph on a typical day. Volumes on this segment only utilize approximately 20 percent of existing capacity of the current lane configuration. As a result, vehicles travel at high speeds, leading to unsafe pedestrian conditions. Of all fatal and serious injury crashes in the city, the most prominent contributing factor is excessive speeds.
If adopted permanently, the proposed lane reduction would also allow for the placement of new stormwater facilities and a safe pedestrian crossing. Learn more about these projects below.