Safety Improved on Somerset Drive for City of Prairie Village, Kansas

Posted on Wednesday, February 5th, 2014 by
In Projects, Transportation Engineering, tagged in

The City of Prairie Village wanted to improve driver and pedestrian safety on Somerset Drive between Nall Avenue and Roe Avenue, including the intersection at Nall. They hired our team to help them achieve their goals, which included:

  • Improving driver and pedestrian safety
  • Eliminating driver confusion
  • Providing pedestrian access

Driver Safety
Somerset Drive serves as a collector for the City of Prairie Village and provides a connection to the City of Overland Park. The travel lanes of the intersection’s east and west legs were offset, making it difficult for drivers to navigate. To improve driver safety, we incorporated the following elements into our design:

  • Removing the offset in the eastbound and westbound driving lanes
  • Increasing the intersection curb return radii for easier right turns
  • Aligning Rosewood Drive and Meadowbrook Country Club driveway to a traditional four-leg intersection
  • Upgrading the traffic signal, including adding the city’s first flashing yellow left turn arrows
  • Removing the outside, northbound lane north of Nall Avenue and designating it as a right turn only lane south of Nall Avenue

The traffic upgrades allow the intersection to operate more efficiently, saving user time, while the geometric improvements eliminated driver confusion, making the intersection safer.

Pedestrian Access
Extending and replacing sidewalks along Somerset Drive promoted walkability and connectivity. The pedestrian signals, ADA ramps, and delineated crosswalks at Nall Avenue provide safer crossings for citizens. Improvements relating to pedestrian safety and access included:

  • Extending a five-foot concrete sidewalk from Birch Lane to Nall Avenue on the south side of the street
  • Relocating a five-foot concrete sidewalk between Rosewood Drive and Nall Avenue on the north side of the street
  • Providing ADA pedestrian connections at Nall Avenue
  • Adding pedestrian signals

Community Consensus
A public meeting was held to gather input from residents and inform them about the project. The proposed improvements were illustrated on aerial photography and with renderings, allowing the design team to show residents the positive impacts of the project. Residents were encouraged to fill out comment cards and provide contact information.

A Joint Enterprise
The intersection is unique as it borders the Cities of Prairie Village and Overland Park. While our contract was with the City of Prairie Village, the signal itself is part of Overland Park’s traffic signal system. We worked with Overland Park on the traffic signal design and prepared construction documents for all of the improvements as part of the design contract with Prairie Village. Due to the age of the traffic signal, the decision was made to replace all equipment, which included pedestrian signal upgrades and flashing yellow arrows for the left turn movements.

Project Special Features:   

  • Use of multi-jurisdictional agency funding
  • Reconfiguration of intersection geometry
  • ADA pedestrian access
  • Landscaping
  • Infrastructure maintenance

In addition to these improvements, landscaping and trees were added along Somerset Drive between Nall Avenue and Rosewood Drive to enhance the corridor and create a welcoming aesthetic.

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