We were able to navigate a challenging political environment and come up with a design to resolve outstanding safety issues
A nearly two-mile corridor in Washington, North Carolina, 15th Street features both neighborhoods and shopping along its length. This road lacks turn lanes, sidewalks, and bike lanes, and its high daily use means a high crash rate—incidents are 40% more likely than on other similar roads in the state.
When the City of Washington needed a solution to make this corridor safer and more accessible for all users, it turned to our Complete Streets designers. With property impacts a significant community concern, the most critical part of the planning and design process was public engagement. One of the sections under review has a five-point intersection near a hospital—we recommended a one lane roundabout and tested it in a virtual design workshop with hospital, fire, and emergency crew members. Our final design narrows 15th Street from four lanes to three and includes medians, bikeways, crosswalks, shared paths, and two new HAWK beacons—pedestrian-activated stoplights—all within the existing right-of-way.
This design will improve safety for cars, cyclists, pedestrians, and people with disabilities while connecting different neighborhoods to commercial areas. It has received tremendous support and though it still needs to be endorsed by the Department of Transportation, the community is pleased and excited to embark on these improvements.
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