EASTERN SHORE METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION
THE EASTERN SHORE – February 12, 2015 – The Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Policy Board held a meeting on Wednesday, February 11, 2015, in the Council Chambers at Daphne City Hall in Daphne, Alabama. The Policy Board is the governing body of the MPO.
The Policy Board began its meeting by reviewing and accepting the findings of the Concept of Operations for adaptive traffic signal technology on the Eastern Shore. Adaptive traffic signals count the number of vehicles passing through the intersection during each green-yellow-red phase and then adjust the timing of the next phase to accommodate changes in traffic. The signals communicate with each other through a central computer system and therefore require a fiber optic or other communication backbone. The study recommends that the Eastern Shore MPO install an adaptive traffic signal system on the Eastern Shore in two separate phases. The first phase includes installing the signal system at every light on the following corridors:
- US 98 from CR 32 to US 31
- SR 181 from US 90 to US 31
- US 90 from US98 to SR 181
- US 31 from US 98 to SR 181
The preliminary system originally envisioned by MPO staff included only lights on US 98 and SR 181. The Sain study adds the lights on US 31 and US 90 to accommodate traffic that detours onto these roads when traffic backs up on I-10. The first phase of the system is estimated to cost around $3,625,000.
The second phase would involve adding adaptive signals on SR 181 from County Road 32 to US
90. The estimated cost of this phase is $750,000. The second phase currently lacks an existing fiber optic backbone. The Policy Board unanimously accepted the findings of the Concept of Operations. The Concept of Operations is available for review on the MPO website.
The Policy Board reviewed and adopted the Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Concept for the Eastern Shore MPO. The Concept focuses on bicycling and walking as a form of transportation. The Concept explains that:
Transportation planners are tasked with promoting infrastructure and operations strategies that have positive impacts on network capacity. For this reason the Eastern Shore MPO Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Concept takes a distinctly different approach to bicycle and pedestrian planning. The concept focuses on promoting utilitarian cycling and walking while still accommodating recreational and leisure users. A utilitarian trip moves a person or product from location A to location B with the aim of accomplishing a specific purpose at location B. A trip is classified as utilitarian if the user would have taken a motor vehicle but for the user’s decision to travel by bicycle or on foot. Thus, utilitarian trips remove vehicles from the roadway and have a positive impact on network capacity.
The overall response to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Concept was positive and the MPO Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee voted unanimously to recommend approval of the Concept to the Policy Board at its January meeting. The Final Concept is available for viewing on the MPO website.
The Policy Board adopted Resolution 2015-02 making the following modification to the MPO Visionary/Needs Project List:
- Daphne – Transit Park and Ride Facility
- Spanish Fort – Transit Park and Ride Facility
- Baldwin County – Extension of Lawrence Road
- ALDOT – Widening US 31 from SR 181 to SR 59
- ALDOT – Adaptive Signal Project on SR 181 (south)
- ALDOT – Revisions to Scopes and Estimates on US 98 and SR 181 Adaptive Signal Projects
The Policy Board also adopted Resolution 2015-03 adding four state projects to the MPO’s Financially Constrained Project List and agreeing to fund fifty percent (50%) of costs associated with those projects. The projects included the first phase (three projects) of the adaptive traffic signals and a redesign project for the 181 Interchange on Interstate 10. The estimated 2015 total cost for these four State projects is $6,685,000. With the adoption of Resolution 2015-03, the Policy Board committed to cover half of the project costs with MPO funds.
Other items before the Policy Board included the appointment of 2015-2016 Citizens Advisory Committee Members and Amending the Unified Planning Work Program (MPO Planning Budget) to include funding for a Spanish Fort Causeway Master Plan and Overlay Project. The Policy Board also requested that MPO Staff investigate the possibility of scheduling work sessions for the Policy Board to discuss the upcoming agenda prior to the regular meeting. A full copy of the Policy Board meeting Agenda Packet is available on the MPO website.
The next meeting of the Eastern Shore MPO Policy Board is scheduled for Wednesday, April 22, 2015, at 10:00 AM at Daphne City Hall. For more information regarding the Eastern Shore MPO please visit www.easternshorempo.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Agenda Action Report