Ward Drive Urban Improvement Project
Q: I am having trouble finding gaps in traffic to make a left-turn from Ward Drive south onto Lancaster Drive. Could a green arrow be added to the signal for left-turning vehicles?
A: No. This type of signal phase is called a “protected left-turn phase”. Public Works has studied current and projected traffic volumes and they are not high enough to justify adding the protected phase. However, the project does include the addition of an eastbound right-turn lane that will make it easier for westbound left-turning motorists to find gaps in traffic.
Q: Could a pedestrian crosswalk and flashers be installed mid way between Fisher Road and Lancaster Drive?
A: In response to this question, Public Works conducted pedestrian counts and completed an evaluation to see if such a crossing is warranted. The results of the study indicate that a crosswalk is not currently warranted in this section of Ward Drive. In addition, the construction of continuous sidewalks on both sides of the road will cause the current crossing patterns to change. Once the project is complete, Public Works will re-evaluate the need for a crosswalk.
Q: Vehicles seem to speed coming off of Highway 99E and through the “S” curve. Is there some way the project improvements could slow them down?
A: Two elements of the project should help to keep motorists at the 35 mph posted speed. The first of these is the narrowing of the travel lanes. Narrower lanes are a common method used in reducing speed. Narrower lanes will not be used in the curves, however, since large trucks do not fit within the lanes, causing premature wear to the painted lane lines and creating a long-term maintenance expense. The second element is the addition of the new traffic signal at Fisher Road. .
Q: Is it possible to open the west end of Ibis Street to connect to Ward Drive?
A: No. A new intersection on Ward Drive at the west end of Ibis Street/Court would be too close to Highway 99E, creating a possible accident problem and would impede traffic flow at this location.
Q: When will the project be constructed?
A: Construction should begin spring of 2013 and be completed by September 30, 2013.
Q: Will there be bus shelters constructed with the project?
A: No. Cherriots recently changed their routes and there no longer are any Cherriots busses on Ward Drive or Fisher Road north of Cooley Drive.
Q: Are school bus stops being considered in the project design?
A: Yes. Public Works is working with Salem Public Schools to determine the best location and configuration for their bus stops.
Q: Could a street light be added at the southeast corner of Fisher Road and Ward Drive to make pedestrians more visible? Could it be installed before the project is constructed?
A: Street lights will be added to this intersection as part of the signal improvements. Public Works has studied the intersection and it does not warrant installing street lights before the project begins. Additionally, installing street lights now would be an expense that is not recoverable with the project.
Q: Will the newer sidewalk on the south side (3700 to 3900 block) be incorporated into the project?
A: Unfortunately, no. The required number of traffic lanes will not fit between the existing walk and the houses on the north side, which will require removal of the existing walk and reconstructing it several feet to the south.
Q: Will the road be resurfaced or just widened?
A: Public Works is determining whether resurfacing the entire project is warranted at this time. The existing three lane section from Highway 99E to Ward Court will be resurfaced as part of the project.
Q: Will the road need to be closed during construction?
A: No. Road improvements will be constructed under traffic and access maintained to adjacent properties, except temporarily for short periods when widening, doing concrete work, or resurfacing the road. Q: How will the project address environmental concerns?
A: The project includes the following features designed to benefit the environment:
Q: How will driveways be dealt with?
A: Driveways will be reconstructed, generally of the same material as currently exists, as far back as necessary to provide a good driveable transition.Q: How will private property drainage be handled?
A: Existing drains to the road will be extended through the new curb or connected to the storm drain system. Area drains will be provided in yards as necessary to maintain existing drainage.