Stronger Pedestrian Signs Installed at O'Kelly Chapel Crossing

New Pedestrian Signs at O'Kelly Chapel Crossing

As additional action from the monitoring of trail users and vehicles done this past May, the District DOT staff has installed signs to remind motorists that they are obligated to yield to pedestrians. These are regulatory signs and motorists not yielding can be ticketed. We are exploring ways to get transportation improvement funding for user activated flashing signal lights for this crossing through Chatham County. Stay tuned, this may not be a quick process.
Mid-November Update: No success in finding resources for the lights this year. The project is now included in Chatham's planning process as an effort to be seriously considered for funding by the Chatham Commissioners in 2016.

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American Tobacco Trail Safety Study--Article in the Independent Weekly

This just in! The Independent Weekly reports this week on the recently published study of safety on the American Tobacco Trail. Click here to read the coverage in the Indy:

Click here for the full report of findings: Durham Safety Study

Click here to read: Dave Connelly's response to the INDY article

New Signs at O'Kelly Chapel Road Crossing

Advisory 35 mph sgn at O'Kelly Chapel crossing of the ATT.

Good News for trail users frequenting the ATT crossing at O'Kelly Chapel Road! Based on the 9 day monitoring of users crossing O'Kelly by volunteers with TRTC and vehicle speeds and numbers monitoring by DOT, DOT has installed 35 mph advisory signs for both directions. These are not legally enforceable limits, but these yellow advisory signs are very often effective in lowering the average speed of motorists passing through trail crossings. This is still a potentially dangerous crossing due to the limited sight lines by motorists and the enforceable limit of 50 mph. Users have suggested having blinking yellow lights installed at this crossing. We'll be exploring getting these as long term safety upgrades through the MPO planning process. July 21 Update: District 8 DOT has pulled together a study group to look at options for improved signage and other changes to improve safety at O'Kelly and similar road crossings. More on this as findings emerge.

Trailhead Parking Construction at New Hope Church Road

As part of their long term support of improving user access to the ATT and other trails and greenways, the Town of Cary is now constructing a new trailhead facility on the north side of New Hope Church Road. This trailhead will have year-round restrooms, substantial parking, bike racks, a short walking trail, picnic benches and a direct off-road connection to the ATT. Construction has been underway since late Fall and completion is expected by late Summer/early Fall. The bathroom building is looking nice in this early June image. You can see a rendering of the trailhead's layout in the attached PDF:

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ATT Project Updates

Exercise Stations at Scott King Road trailhead--ATT

Over the past two months we've seen the completion of two ATT projects: Quarter mile markers reflecting the north to south measurements done last year have been installed in all three counties. In Durham white markers have been painted directly on the asphalt while in Chatham and Wake Counties bi-directional stand up signs have been installed. (See ATT Construction Photos for view of new signs)

On the south side of Scott King Road in Durham County, Ben Kearsley, an Eagle Scout candidate, recently installed four exercise stations. This is a really nice addition to the trail and should be a popular amenity for numerous users of the ATT as well as those visiting Herndon Park. The balance beam station was made from rails and ties which once carried the trains on the former Durham & Southern line. TRTC and Tazikis Mediterannean restaurants of Cary provided support for this project.

Research Report on Impacts of Completing the ATT Bridge

I-40 Bike-Ped bridge on the ATT in Durham.

The Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE) at NC State University has released a report on the effects of completing a critical link in the American Tobacco Trail in Durham, NC: Bridging the Gap: Economic, Health, and Transportation Impacts from completing a critical link in the ATT. The construction of the bridge over Interstate 40 and corresponding paved connections joined the two unconnected trail segments forming a continuous 22-mile shared use path corridor. Data collected before (in 2013) and after the addition of the bridge segment (in 2014) were compared to determine changes. The researchers found that use of the trail increased 133% and an additional $3.7 million is spent annually on goods and services by those using the trail. The research also portrayed exceptional gains in the amount of physical activity and economic impact measured by people using the trail, occurring just three short months after the opening of the bridge. This ITRE led study provides empirical evidence that constructing bicycle and pedestrian facilities, particularly those that fill a critical link in non-motorized transportation network, will result in measurable positive impacts. A recent article by Jim Wise in the Durham News focuses on the health and economic benefits brought by this bridge connection

To read or at least browse through this report ITRE offers two versions of the report on their web site: An 8 page brochure which presents summaries of the major findings and a 99 page full report which includes numerous tables and longer discussions.


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