Sunday, September 15, 2019

Office of Traffic Management is on the Move

There is a team of people who are constantly thinking about the City’s number one issue, traffic. Since its inception in 2014, the Office of Traffic Management has been working on ways to improve vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle movement, and safety within the city.

“With so many people on social media these days, we get a real-time picture of the challenges that commuters are facing during road construction and big events,” said Rob Cohen, Director of Public Works. “The feedback and comments have helped us work through the issues and roadblocks that drivers encounter.”

As a result of the recent completion of the roundabout at Dove Road and Peytonville the Office of Traffic Management has pulled together a video showing the best ways to drive the City’s roundabouts safely.

“The roundabout is a proven method to help decrease head-on crashes at high traffic intersections,” said Police Chief James Brandon. “It promotes a continuous traffic flow and helps eliminate the need for drivers to ‘beat the light’.”

Currently the City has nine roundabouts located throughout town. There are plans for at least one more dual-lane roundabout as part of the upcoming White Chapel widening project from Highland to SH 114.

For questions about the City’s roundabouts or the Office of Traffic Management, please call (817) 748-8098.

OBA – New "Yield to U-Turn" Signs coming to Southlake Boulevard

Right on Red Yield to U-Turn

Example of new signs to be placed along Southlake Boulevard.

Beginning  January 9, 2015, the Public Works Department will be installing “Right on Red Yields to U-Turn Signs” at the north and south side of Carroll Avenue and Southlake Boulevard (FM 1709).   The installation of these signs at Carroll Avenue and Southlake Boulevard  will kick-off an anticipated 30-day process to install similar signs at approximately 32 locations along Southlake Boulevard.

Concerns of potential accidents between those making legal u-turns and those turning right on red have been communicated clearly to the City – “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost been hit while I’m making a legal u-turn (with a green arrow) – by a car turning right on a red. And they get mad at me!” or ” I have had to speed up or slow down on my u-turn as other driver’s making right turns on red would be turning into my turning area.” The signs are meant to help drivers and clear up confusion.

Affected lanes will close temporarily so crews can install the signs.  Closures are not expected to exceed an hour weather permitting. Additionally, the installations will take place during off-peak times in order to lessen the impact on traffic in and around the intersection.  Motorists should be aware of this work and exercise caution when traveling through the intersection.

The safety of motorists and non-motorists is a top priority for the City of Southlake, which is why the Office of Traffic Management (OTM) is moving quickly to resolve this issue. This effort is just part of the OTM’s mission to support better mobility within City limits.

For additional information, please contact the Office of Traffic Management at  817-748-8130. If you have concerns or want to comment on traffic and mobility in Southlake, visit the Office of Traffic Management website and submit your questions/concerns here .

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Other intersections (north and south) along Southlake Boulevard (FM 1709) where these signs will be placed include:

Nolen Drive

Byron Nelson Parkway

FM 1938

Kimball Avenue

White Chapel Boulevard

Brock Drive

Home Goods driveway

Timber Lakes Drive

Watermere Drive

Village Center

Southridge Lakes Parkway

Opening west of Watermere Drive

Carroll Avenue

Peytonville Avenue

Pearson Lane

Tower Boulevard

Player’s Circle/Meadowlark

 

Staying Jolly in Holiday Traffic

Traffic lightsAs wonderful as this time of year can be, the holidays can be stressful.  One of the biggest challenges we face during the holidays is the increased traffic in and around shopping areas.  The City’s Office of Traffic Management (OTM) has been working to minimize the impact of the season’s higher-than-normal traffic volumes on Southlake’s major arterials.  Here are some things you should know about the OTM’s efforts.

Extra police officers will be on duty through the holiday season.  The extra officers will be assigned as needed for traffic management, as well as crime prevention duties.

Southlake Boulevard signal timing has been adjusted.  Using traffic count data, the City has been working with TxDOT to increase the signal timing between Tower Boulevard and Nolan Drive.  The cycle has been increased by 20 seconds, during the holiday season, primarily helping traffic with left turn movements.

U-Turns on major streets.  The Office of Traffic Management has received several questions about which driver has the right-of-way when making a legal U-turn.  Here are some U-turn fast facts:

  • U-turns are legal, unless there is a posted “No U-turn sign.” 
  • U-turns are not allowed within 500 feet of a curve or a crest of a hill, since that makes it difficult to see oncoming traffic.
  • Anyone attempting a U-turn near a median should keep in mind that the driver with the green light has the right of way (Right turn on red must yield to U-turn driver.)
  • It is important to remember that a driver attempting to turn right on red can do so legally only after stopping and determining that it is safe to make the turn. Failing to do so can result in a “failure to yield, right on red” citation.

Traffic management plans are being developed for the opening of new retail shops.  Many of the City’s new retailers are interested in hosting grand opening events and the OTM is working closely with them to address the anticipated traffic that will be generated as part of the event.  This effort includes identifying routes, parking and providing on-the-ground oversight and support.  You can expect events at PGA Golf and Basset Furniture in December.

Signs and maps are being used to direct out of town visitors to their destinations.  Bringing in shoppers benefits the Southlake economy, but often these visitors are unfamiliar with the best route to their destination or to parking areas.  Directional signs will help, as will published maps.  Our goal is to move this traffic efficiently through the City.

A new traffic signal will soon be installed at Carroll Avenue and Federal Way.  The new signal will increase safety for Carroll Avenue travelers and motorists leaving Town Square.

Pedestrian safety is important too.  The OTM has placed vertical panels at the crosswalks of key intersections in Town Square, reminding motorists to pay attention as shoppers cross the streets.

Accident clearance protocols are in place.  Accidents can slow traffic when lane closures are necessary.  The Police and Fire Departments have protocols conducive to clearing accidents from the roadways as quickly as possible, allowing normal traffic flow to resume.

These efforts have been designed to keep traffic flowing through the holidays.  The Office of Traffic Management is dedicated to alleviating the frustration of holiday traffic congestion using many different tools.

Happy holidays…and drive safely!