Lancaster Elementary School

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Lancaster Elementary School SCHOOL ROUTE PLAN For LANCASTER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL LOCATION 19 ORANGE COUNTY Prepared for: ORANGE COUNTY SCHOOL ASSESSMENT PROGRAM ORANGE COUNTY PUBLIC WORKS Traffic Engineering
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Lancaster Elementary School SCHOOL ROUTE PLAN For LANCASTER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL LOCATION 19 ORANGE COUNTY Prepared for: ORANGE COUNTY SCHOOL ASSESSMENT PROGRAM ORANGE COUNTY PUBLIC WORKS Traffic Engineering Division 4200 South John Young Parkway Orlando, Florida Contract No.: Y4-903B HNTB No Prepared by: Lake Mary, Florida August 14, 2006 Professional Engineer: Josiah P. Banet, P.E. P.E. No School Route Plan- Lancaster Elementary School TABLE OF CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY INTRODUCTION EXISTING CONDITIONS QUALITATIVE ASSESSMENT RECOMMENDATIONS APPENDIX FIGURES, EXHIBITS, and TABLES FIGURES Figure 1 - Project Location Map...3 Figure 2 School Boundary Map... 8 Figure 3 School Route Plan Map...9 Figure 4 Condition Diagram: Lancaster Road at Sheryl Ann Drive Figure 5 Condition Diagram: Sheryl Ann Drive/School Entrance at Amidon Lane Figure 6 - Conceptual Diagram EXHIBITS Exhibit 1 - Sheryl Ann Drive/School Entrance at Amidon Lane Exhibit 2- Sheryl Ann Drive/School Entrance at Amidon Lane Exhibit 3- Lancaster Road at Sheryl Ann Drive Exhibit 4- Lancaster Road at Sheryl Ann Drive TABLES Table 1-Field Inventory... 4 Table 2-Summaries of Vehicular Volumes...5 Table 3-Summaries of Pedestrian & Bicycle Volumes...6 School Route Plan- Lancaster Elementary School 1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY HNTB Corporation was retained by Orange County Public Works to conduct a School Route Plan Study for Lancaster Elementary School located at 6700 Sheryl Ann Drive, Orange County, Florida. This study is being performed as a part of the County s School Assessment Program to identify safe routes for children to walk and bicycle to school. Based on the results of the analysis, field observations, and engineering judgment, the following recommendations and conclusions were developed: 1. Pedestrian bicycle access to the school is safe and efficient. 2. Due to the heavy pedestrian and bicycle traffic along the Sheryl Ann Drive sidewalk, an additional sidewalk should be provided along the east side of Sheryl Ann Drive between Lancaster Road and Amidon Lane. As an alternative, the existing sidewalk along the west side of Sheryl Ann Drive could be widened to provide additional capacity for pedestrians. 3. A crosswalk exists on Sheryl Ann Drive in front of School Entrance and no ramp is provided to connect the sidewalk on west side of Sheryl Ann Drive. A pedestrian ramp should be installed to access the crosswalk. 4. The existing School Crossing sign for southbound vehicles at the crosswalk north of school entrance should be replaced with a new School Crossing sign with a Down Arrow Panel as per the standard index A Stop sign exists for the vehicles exiting the school gate and no stop bar is provided. A Stop bar should be provided at this location. 6. A sidewalk should be constructed on the south side of Amidon Lane to provide a direct pedestrian path along Amidon Ln between Lancaster Elementary and Walker Middle School. 7. Consideration should be given to providing eastbound and westbound protected-permissive left turn phases at the Lancaster Road and Sheryl Ann Drive intersection. Providing a protected westbound left turn phase will help to eliminate vehicle-pedestrian conflicts. 8. No Right Turn On Red When Pedestrians Are Present signs should be installed at the east west approaches to the intersection of Lancaster Road and Sheryl Ann Drive and at Lancaster Road and Winegard Road. 9. The flashing beacon on the wrong way warning sign along Calypso Drive describing the traffic pattern during school hours needs to be repaired. 10. It is recommended that school zone signs with flashers be installed along Lancaster Road to the west of Sheryl Ann Drive and to the east of Calypso Drive to alert drivers that this is an area with schoolchildren crossings. It is also recommended that a reduced school zone speed limit be set in this area to reduce the speeds of the passing motorists along Lancaster Road. The reduced school speed zone should be terminated by installing the End School Zone for east west approaches. 11. Consideration should be given to opening the school gate on school property to the west parking lot earlier to allow carpools and students to enter school property, alleviating the traffic backup along Sheryl Ann Drive and the potential conflict with the students waiting at the corner of Sheryl Ann Drive and Amidon Lane. School Route Plan- Lancaster Elementary School 2 1. INTRODUCTION HNTB Corporation was retained by Orange County Public Works to conduct a School Route Plan Study for Lancaster Elementary School located at 6700 Sheryl Ann Drive, Orange County, Florida. The purpose of this study is to identify safe routes for children to walk and bicycle to school. The analysis methods used in conducting this study are consistent with those set forth in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD 2003), the Manual on Uniform Traffic Studies (MUTS), and Orange County guidelines and procedures. School Route Plan- Lancaster Elementary School 3 Figure 1 - Project Location Map School Route Plan- Lancaster Elementary School 4 2. EXISTING CONDITIONS Lancaster Elementary School is located in central Orange County on Sheryl Ann Drive and Amidon Lane intersection, approximately 0.25 miles south of Lancaster Road. Significant features for the study location are summarized below: Feature Table 1-Field Inventory Description School Name Lancaster Elementary School Address 6700 Sheryl Ann Drive Orlando, FL School Hours 8:30 AM- 2:45 PM (1:45 PM Wednesday) Student Enrollment 939 Primary Roadway Access Sheryl Ann Drive Two-lane primary access road becomes one way southbound between 8:00-9:40 AM, 2:25-4:20 PM and on Wednesday 1:25-4:20 PM Posted speed limit: 25 mph Sidewalks: West side of roadway Amidon Lane Two-lane primary access road becomes one way eastbound between 8:00-9:40 AM, 2:25-4:20 PM and on Wednesday 1:25-4:20 PM Posted speed limit: 25 mph Sidewalks: North side of roadway Lancaster Road (under construction) Four-lane arterial with the center turn lane. Left turn lanes are provided at the intersection Posted speed limit: 35 mph Sidewalks: Both sides of roadway Pedestrian and Bicycle Access to Sidewalk is provided on west side of Sheryl Ann Drive. A fenced School connector sidewalk is provided through the parking lot connecting Sheryl Ann Drive and Amidon Lane to the west of school. Carpool Access to School Carpools pick up students on west side of school. Bus Access Bus loop for morning drop off and pavilion adjoining Middle School parking lot for the afternoon pick up. Guarded School Crossings Lancaster Road and Winegard Road Controlled by traffic signal Pedestrian indications, crosswalks, and pushbuttons School crossing warning signs on all approaches Two crossing guards provided during school times Lancaster Road and Sheryl Ann Drive Controlled by traffic signal Pedestrian indications, crosswalks, and pushbuttons School crossing warning signs on all approaches One crossing guard provided during school times Other Facilities Sidewalks are provided along most roadways in adjacent neighborhoods within the walk zone. Reduced Speed School Zones Other Features of Interest Vehicular, Pedestrian, and Bicycle Volumes None Walker Middle School is located adjacent to the school on Amidon Lane. School Route Plan- Lancaster Elementary School 5 Two-hour turning movement counts were conducted at the intersections of Lancaster Road with Sheryl Ann Drive and Sheryl Ann Drive/School Entrance with Amidon Lane. The counts were conducted from 8:00 to 9:00 AM and 1:15 to 2:15 PM to coincide with the morning arrival time and Wednesday afternoon departure time of students at the school. Pedestrian, bicycle, automobile, and bus traffic were recorded separately for this count. The following tables summarize the results of these counts: Table 2-Summaries of Vehicular Volumes Approaches Sheryl Ann Drive at Lancaster Road Sheryl Ann Drive Lancaster Road Direction Northbound Southbound Eastbound Westbound Movement L T R TOT L T R TOT L T R TOT L T R TOT Morning Arrival: 800 to 900 Vehicles Busses Total Afternoon Departure: 1315 to 1415 Vehicles Busses Total Approaches Sheryl Ann Drive/School Entrance at Amidon Lane Sheryl Ann Drive/School Entrance Amidon Lane Direction Northbound Southbound Eastbound Westbound Movement L T R TOT L T R TOT L T R TOT L T R TOT Morning Arrival: 800 to 900 Vehicles Busses Total Afternoon Departure: 1315 to 1415 Vehicles Busses Total School Route Plan- Lancaster Elementary School 6 Table 3-Summaries of Pedestrian & Bicycle Volumes Lancaster Road at Sheryl Ann Drive Total 8:00 8:15 8:30 8:45 Total 1:15 1:30 1:45 2:00 AM PM AM 0 Sheryl Ann Drive AM Total Total PM 47 Total AM 0 8: : : : : : : : AM PM Total Lancaster Road Total AM PM 0 0 1: : : : : : : : Total PM 33 Total PM 0 Sheryl Ann Drive Total 8:00 8:15 8:30 8:45 Total 1:15 1:30 1:45 2:00 AM PM Total AM PM 11 Lancaster Road Sheryl Ann Drive/School Entrance with Amidon Lane Total 8:00 8:15 8:30 8:45 Total 1:15 1:30 1:45 2:00 AM PM AM 115 Sheryl Ann Drive AM Total Total PM 40 Total AM 0 8: : : : : : : : AM PM Total N/A Total AM PM 0 0 1: : : : : : : : Total PM 25 Total PM 0 School Entrance Total 8:00 8:15 8:30 8:45 Total 1:15 1:30 1:45 2:00 AM PM Total AM PM 0 Amidon Lane School Route Plan- Lancaster Elementary School 7 3. QUALITATIVE ASSESSMENT Lancaster Elementary School is located on Sheryl Ann Drive and Amidon Lane intersection, approximately 0.25 miles south of Lancaster Road. The school serves children who live in adjacent neighborhoods to the north and west of the school and as well as children who live in neighborhoods to the east of Orange Blossom Trail. The entire school zone falls within the two mile walk zone of the school. Orange County currently provides bus service for children that live north of Lancaster Road and subdivisions just to the east of Orange Blossom Trail. Figure 2 illustrates the school zone boundaries, two-mile walk radius, and existing bus stops for Lancaster Elementary School. Figure 3 is a School Route Plan map of the area within the two-mile walk limit where school bus service is not provided. This area is the focus of the qualitative assessment. The school route plan area was reviewed by a registered professional engineer to evaluate vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle flow patterns to determine what improvements are necessary, if any, to improve the safety and efficiency of the children traveling to and from school. Sidewalks Many students access the school as pedestrians or bicyclists. The main access to the school from Lancaster Street is along the sidewalk on the west side of Sheryl Ann Drive. Students can also access the school via a sidewalk that connects to the neighborhood to the west of the school. Sidewalks exist on both sides of Lancaster Rd and within the surrounding neighborhoods. Access to the school from Lancaster Rd to the school is provided via sidewalks along Sheryl Ann Dr, Calypso Drive and Amidon Lane. A sidewalk is provided on the west side of Sheryl Ann Dr, the west side of Calypso Dr, and the north side of Amidon Ln. The sidewalk on Sheryl Ann Dr is used by a large number of students and parents going to and from school. Due to the heavy pedestrian and bicycle traffic along the Sheryl Ann Drive sidewalk, an additional sidewalk should be provided along the east side of Sheryl Ann Drive between Lancaster Road and Amidon Lane. As an alternative, the existing sidewalk along the west side of Sheryl Ann Drive could be widened to provide additional capacity for pedestrians. A crosswalk exists on Sheryl Ann Drive in front of School Entrance and no ramp is provided to connect the sidewalk on west side of Sheryl Ann Drive. A pedestrian ramp should be installed to access the crosswalk. The existing School Crossing sign for southbound vehicles at the crosswalk north of school entrance should be replaced with a new School Crossing sign with a Down Arrow Panel as per the standard index A sidewalk connects the pavilion on the east side of Lancaster Elementary School to the parking lot of Walker Middle School. While this connection exists, the main purpose is for bus and after school van pick up in the afternoon. While both schools are located along Amidon Lane, there is not a sidewalk that connects them along the south side of the street. To walk between the schools, one must use the sidewalk located on the north side of Amidon Lane, requiring the crossing of the street twice. In one instance, students were observed walking between Lancaster Elementary School and Walker Middle School in the ditch on the south side of Amidon Lane, where a sidewalk does not exist. 98 N Lancaster Elementary School 2 Mile Walk Zone Legend School Zone Boundary School School Bus Stop Traffic Signal Figure 2 School Boundary Map School Route Plan- Lancaster Elementary School 10 A sidewalk should be constructed on the south side of Amidon Lane to provide a direct pedestrian path along Amidon Lane between Lancaster Elementary School and Walker Middle School. School Crossings Along the walking route for students to Lancaster Elementary School, there are two locations where crossing guards are present. These locations were: Lancaster Road and Sheryl Ann Drive intersection Lancaster Road and Winegard Road intersection The intersection of Lancaster Road and Sheryl Ann Drive was observed during the morning and afternoon school hours. There is one crossing guard at this location which provides safe crossings for pedestrians and bicyclists through this intersection. At this intersection Sheryl Ann Drive is offset to the north and south of Lancaster Road. As part of a construction project completed this year, Lancaster Road was widened to four lanes from two lanes. Due to this recent construction, the signs and markings are in good condition at the intersection. However, this additional capacity has led to the majority of traffic traveling above the posted 35 mph speed limit through the intersection. Traffic volumes are moderate. During school hours, there is a heavy eastbound right turn and westbound left turn due to school traffic. The westbound left turn movement is a permitted movement relying on gaps in the eastbound through traffic to turn. It was observed that during the morning drop off period, these westbound gaps did not occur frequently enough to allow safe passage of all queued westbound left turning vehicles. This resulted in several left turns on red, as westbound left turning motorists tried to beat the cross street traffic through the intersection. This creates a conflict point for pedestrians crossing Lancaster Road. Consideration should be given to providing eastbound and westbound protected-permissive left turn phases at the intersection. Providing a protected westbound left turn phase will help to eliminate vehicle-pedestrian conflicts. No Right Turn On Red illuminated signs are installed at the intersection on the signal mast arms. However, based on input from the crossing guard, right turns on red while pedestrians are in the crosswalk continue to be a safety concern. There are conflicts between motorists making an eastbound right turn on red movement and children crossing the west approach of the intersection. In addition, there are conflicts between motorists making a westbound right turn on red movement and children crossing the north approach of the intersection. No Right Turn On Red When Pedestrians Are Present signs should be installed at the east west approaches to the intersection. Figure 4 illustrates the existing intersection of Lancaster Road and Sheryl Ann Drive. The intersection of Lancaster Road and Winegard Road was also observed during the morning and afternoon school hours. As mentioned, Lancaster Road was recently widened to four lanes from two lanes. This additional capacity has led to the majority of traffic traveling above the posted 35 mph speed limit. Traffic volumes at this crossing location are moderate. School Route Plan- Lancaster Elementary School 11 School children cross the north and south approaches to the intersection and are protected by two crossing guards. Based on input from the crossing guards, there are conflicts between motorists making right turn on red movements and children crossing the north and south approaches of the intersection. No Right Turn On Red When Pedestrians Are Present signs should be installed at the east west approaches to the intersection. Due to the recent construction, the signs and markings are in good condition at this intersection. Traffic Conditions During school hours, Sheryl Ann Drive, Amidon Lane, and Calypso Drive become one-way streets to provide better traffic flow for school traffic. These roadways form a circulating loop, with Sheryl Ann Drive one-way southbound from Lancaster Road to the school, Amidon Lane one-way eastbound from Sheryl Ann Drive to Calypso Drive, and Calypso Drive one-way northbound from Amidon Lane back to Lancaster Road. Motorists are notified about this modified traffic pattern by signs with flashing beacons along both Sheryl Ann Drive and Calypso Drive. However, the flashing beacon on the wrong way sign along Calypso Drive informing motorists that this road is a one-way road during school hours was observed to not be working during the school hours. In addition, speed humps have been installed along Sheryl Ann Drive, Amidon Lane, and Calypso Drive as traffic calming devices to limit the speeds of motorists near the school. The flashing beacon on the wrong way warning sign along Calypso Drive describing the traffic pattern during school hours needs to be replaced. As mentioned earlier, the recently completed construction along Lancaster Road widened the facility from two to four lanes. As might be expected with the increase in capacity, speeds of passing motorists have also increased, with many exceeding the posted 35 mph speed limit. The speed of these motorists is a safety concern with the pedestrians crossing Lancaster Road at the designated cross walks. It is recommended that school zone signs with flashers be installed along Lancaster Road to the west of Sheryl Ann Drive and to the east of Calypso Drive to alert drivers that this is an area with schoolchildren crossings. It is also recommended that a reduced school zone speed limit be set in this area to reduce the speeds of the passing motorists along Lancaster Road. The reduced school speed zone should be terminated by installing the End School Zone for east west approaches. School Route Plan- Lancaster Elementary School 13 School Operations Lancaster Elementary School was observed during the morning and afternoon hours to assess the operations of children entering and leaving the school. The following observations were made: Pedestrians and bicyclists access the school along Sheryl Ann Drive, Calypso Drive, Amidon Lane, and via a sidewalk that connects to residential streets to west of the school boundary. Many of the pedestrians and bicyclists are accompanied by parents, particularly the younger schoolchildren. The majority of pedestrians accessing the school from Lancaster Road utilize the sidewalk along the west side of Sheryl Ann Drive. In the morning, students are required to wait outside the gate until school officials open the gate to let them onto school property. This creates a condition where a large group of students gathers outside the school fence at the corner of Sheryl Ann Drive and Amidon Lane. Likewise in the morning, carpools waiting to drop their students off are required to wait until the gate is opened to the parking lot on the west side of the school. This can create a backup of vehicles along Sheryl Ann Drive, sometimes reaching all the way to Lancaster Road. Consideration should be given to opening the school gate to the west parking lot earlier to allow carpools and students to enter school property, alleviating the traffic backup along Sheryl Ann Drive and the potential conflict with the students w
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