Petition to Extend Wilson Boulevard Reconfiguration To or West of Livingston Street
Dear Members of the County Board,
We are Boulevard Manor and Dominion Hills residents and we are urging you to extend the Wilson Blvd. lane reconfiguration project from North Manchester Street westward to the County Line, or at least past North Livingston Street, for the following reasons:
1. The lane reconfiguration for Wilson Blvd. from Manchester Street to Edison Street has greatly improved the safety and comfort of pedestrians and bicyclists traveling in the corridor, due to the buffer provided by the bike lane and decreased vehicular travel speed.
2. The County's After Implementation Traffic Analysis (April 2016) documents only a slight increase in travel time through the corridor (15 seconds) and no observed impact on safety or cut-through traffic through Boulevard Manor.
3. Where the lane reconfiguration was made, travel speed has decreased; however, to the west of the project, vehicular travel speeds have increased between Arlington Mill Drive and Larrimore Street from 34 to 39 mph. The 85th percentile speed is now nearly 10 mph over the speed limit. This excessive speed puts pedestrians crossing Wilson Blvd. between Livingston and Manchester at greater risk, including Ashlawn and DHARA families crossing Wilson to the school or the swimming pool. Ashlawn parents report increased difficulty making turns from Manchester onto Wilson Blvd during school drop-off and pick-up periods.
4. The bike lane on westbound Wilson Blvd terminates at the precise spot where cyclists most need a designated lane -- the point where the cyclist's momentum is lost trying to climb the steep hill on Wilson. Westbound automobiles often switch to the right lane and quickly accelerate to pass slower traffic they had been following as soon as the lane become available, too often without looking to see if a cyclist is present.
5. The stretch of sidewalk along the north side of Wilson Blvd between N Arlington Mill Drive and Larrimore is dangerously narrow, with two utility poles planted directly in the center, making it virtually unusable for pedestrians -- particularly the families with young children walking to one of the parks along Four Mile Run.
6. Locating the transition from four to two lanes prior to Livingston (e.g., at Liberty) could introduce pedestrian and vehicular conflicts on a busy block that is home to a shopping center, the DHARA pool, and County Powhatan Springs skateboard park, and a mid-block crosswalk that serves the neighborhood elementary school.
7. Extension of the reconfigured corridor west of Livingston will help to address current pedestrian safety issues at Livingston, where drivers frequently fail to stop for pedestrians crossing Wilson, even after new signage was added.
8. Extending the lane reconfiguration would also make it easier and safer to turn from N. Larrimore Street onto Wilson Blvd. The steep, rocky embankment on the north side of Wilson Blvd significantly blocks the view of cars looking at oncoming traffic travelling in the right lane, westbound up the hill. The only way to clearly see that no cars are approaching is to inch out into Wilson Blvd, a dangerous practice for drivers on Larrimore and westbound on Wilson.