Pedestrian safety A construction project scheduled to begin in the spring on Goodwin Avenue is expected to calm traffic and enhance pedestrian safety. A traffic count conducted along the Goodwin Avenue corridor one day during March 2007 logged 3,700 vehicles and 4,700 people passing through the Goodwin Avenue-Illinois Street intersection during a six-hour period. This student was trying to stay dry on Sept. 12 at the corner of Sixth and John streets.
Photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Edit embedded media in the Files Tab and re-insert as needed.
Urbana officials unveiled redesign plans for Goodwin Avenue during a public information meeting at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on Sept. 9.
The improvements, from Springfield Avenue to Gregory Drive, are expected to calm traffic and enhance pedestrian safety and visibility. The improvements will include high-visibility crosswalks and curb bump-outs that extend into the parking lanes to reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians. Likewise, the vehicle lanes, which are 18-20 feet wide, will be restriped and narrowed to 10 1/2 feet. On-street bicycle lanes that are 6 feet wide will be added and sidewalks will be widened.
All new lighting will be installed and will be clustered at intersections to enhance visibility. Pedestrian signs will be installed 25 feet ahead of crosswalks to alert motorists. Turn lanes will be eliminated at intersections as feasible.
Traffic signals will be upgraded at the intersection of Springfield and Goodwin avenues with protected-permitted left turn signals and pedestrian countdown timers. The intersection has a high volume of buses making turns but the current curb dimensions are not large enough to accommodate buses making right turns and will be reconstructed.
No major improvements will be made at the Goodwin Avenue-Green Street intersection since improvements along Green Street are scheduled as part of another project to be completed within the next five years.
The number of on-street parking spaces will be reduced along some sections of Goodwin and increased in others, with an aggregate reduction of 12 spaces. Between Springfield Avenue and Green Street, the number of on-street parking spaces will be reduced from 35 to 21.
Additionally, bus stops on Goodwin Avenue between Springfield Avenue and Gregory Drive will be consolidated and reduced by half, from 12 to six.
The total project costs are expected to be $1.5 million. A $900,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation Highway Safety Improvement Program will cover about half of the costs, with the UI and Urbana providing up to $400,000 each. The IDOT grants were awarded for projects that have the potential to reduce traffic fatalities. Between 2002 and 2006, there were 90 collisions on Goodwin Avenue, city officials said.
Left turns cause twice as many accidents as right turns, and traffic lights with protected-permitted left turns reduce the accident rate by 70 percent, said Jennifer Selby, a civil engineer for Urbana and the project manager.
The improvements are in accordance with the “complete streets” concept - designed to accommodate all modes of transportation safely – as recommended in the Multi-modal Transportation Study for the University District. The distinctive streetscapes, signs and crosswalk markings will reflect improvements made elsewhere on campus streets and serve as a visual reminder to motorists that they are entering the campus area and need to be alert for high volumes of pedestrian, vehicular and bicycle traffic, said Morgan Johnston, transportation demand management coordinator in Facilities and Services.
On Sept. 11, Johnston and officers from the UI, Urbana and Champaign police departments held a Campus Safety Day on the Quad and distributed T-shirts, bookmarks, maps with bicycle routes and other materials to promote safety awareness for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcycle riders. They gave away 500-600 T-shirts imprinted with the “I stop, I look, I live” campaign slogan and installed headlights on 55 bicycles so that bicyclists who ride at night will be visible to motorists and in compliance with state laws, Johnston said. The event was sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Students and the UI police.
The bicycle headlights were provided by a subcommittee of the multijurisdictional CATS Education Committee, which bought 1,000 of the headlights as part of a safety campaign called “Light the Night.” The lights will be installed for bicyclists at other safety events around the community this fall.
Johnston also is in the process of updating the Campus Bicycle Master Plan. The on-street bike lanes to be added along Goodwin will connect with bike lanes at Gregory Drive on the south, with lanes on Springfield on the north and with other lanes as the network is expanded in the future.
Construction on the Goodwin Avenue project is expected to begin in April 2009 and continue through the summer and fall.
At a later date, additional improvements that help channel pedestrian traffic – such as higher curbs, fences and plants that discourage crossing in certain areas – may be added on Goodwin as well, city officials said.
Back to Index