Study Background |
Over the years, the non-motorized modes of transportation of walking and biking have declined. This trend has increased the inactivity of the population, roadway congestion and pollution levels. Often, the lack of non-motorized transportation is due to insufficient infrastructure, including system gaps, barriers and safety hazards.
Carver County has taken the initiative to complete an assessment of their roadway system, to identify the deficiencies for non-motorized modes of transportation. To thoroughly assess safety problems for biking and walking along their roadway facilities, many factors were reviewed, including crash patterns, vehicle speeds, sight distance/visibility, pedestrian exposure to vehicular traffic, and trails, sidewalk and roadway shoulder.
Study Goals and Methodology |
The purpose of the study was to complete an assessment of the non-motorized facilities along Carver County roadways to identify gaps and barriers for pedestrians and bicyclists to access high priority areas, including schools and transit facilities. Based on the assessment results, gaps and barriers were identified that are limiting the ability to walk or bike along these facilities.
These gaps and barriers were identified by applying the following safety criteria to these County roadway facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists:
Traffic volumes >400 average daily traffic (ADT) | Based on the MnMUTCD, roadways with an ADT <400 are defined as a low-volume, which can generally accommodate shared modes of transportation. As traffic volumes increase, it becomes more important to provide a separate space for bikes and pedestrians to travel. Roadways with higher traffic volumes were identified.
Traffic speed ≥ 40 mph | Speed is a major factor in crashes. A pedestrian hit at 40 mph has an 85% chance of being killed, opposed to a person hit at 20 mph, who has a 5% percent chance of being killed. Roadways with> 50% of the segment with a speed limit >40 mph were identified.
Lighting at major intersections | The visibility of pedestrians and bicyclists is based on a number of factors, including: screening by physical objects; lack of lighting, and roadway geometry. Major intersections without lighting were identified.
Three or four-lane undivided roadway | The number of lanes that pedestrians and bikes need to cross affects their safety. Studies have shown that the number of lanes (3+ vs. 2 lanes) are related to crash rates. Also, multi-lane roads with raised medians have lower ped crash rates, compared to roads with no raised median. Roadways that have 3+ lanes and no median were identified.
History of pedestrian/bicycle crashes | 5 years of crash data (‘05-’09) in Carver County was reviewed to identify locations with ped or bike crashes.
Traffic control at major intersections | Traffic control at major intersections can (although not always) provide safety benefits for pedestrians and bicyclists by providing gaps and stopping the traffic flow. Major intersections lacking traffic control were identified.
Marked crosswalks | Marked crosswalks can increase visibility and identify preferred crossing locations, particularly at mid-block locations. Crosswalks also have a greater function near high pedestrian generator locations, such as schools and transit facilities. Locations where a marked crosswalk may improve safety and has not installed were identified.
Non-motorized facilities (trails, sidewalks, six-foot shoulder) | Pedestrian and bike facilities include; trails, sidewalk and usable shoulders provide a dedicated space within the roadway right-of-way. County roadways lacking these facilities were identified as a safety issue.
Produced by Carver County
Download Report (No appendices)
Download Appendix A - School Study Area Maps
Download Appendix B - Transit Study Area Maps
Download Appendix C - Crash Data
Download Individual School Study Maps ↓
Need more data? If you need additional data or have questions about this report, please contact Carver County Planning & Water Management Department at 952-361-1829.