Traffic lights in Lakeshore and Abrams: Neighbors question town designs

Photo courtesy of Google Maps.

Neighbors who live near the Lakeshore Drive and Abrams Road intersection found that most accidents there are caused when drivers turn left.

So when Gus Khankarli, director of the City of Dallas Department of Transportation, and other officials told them that left turn signals weren’t included in the current design, the neighbors didn’t get it.

At Monday’s community meeting hosted by Dallas District 9 City Councilmember Paula Blackmon, neighbors asked why including left-turn arrows was not a priority, why a sign would be installed before study could look at traffic throughout the Abrams Road corridor and how adding another light would solve the problem.

“I just think we have to do something, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to stay there forever when we have the whole hallway,” Blackmon said.

City of Dallas crash data.

This whole process started in 2016 when a citizen asked the City to consider adding a traffic light at the intersection. The City, which must constantly assess roads to ensure they are safe, has undertaken a mandate study to determine if a signal should be placed at Abrams-Lakeshore.

In the 2011 Texas Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devicesthere are nine warrants, or criteria, to look for in the type of study the City was conducting in 2016. Not all nine warrants must be satisfied for a sign to be installed, but “the satisfaction of a warrant or Traffic signal warrants must not in itself require the installation of a traffic control signal,” according to the manual.

When the City completed the study, staff found that Mandate 2, four-hour vehicle volume, was met. It says:

“The need for a traffic control signal should be considered if an engineering survey finds that, for each of the 4 hours of an average day, plotted points representing vehicles per hour on the main street (total of both approaches ) and the vehicles per hour on the high-volume (one-way) side street approach are all above the applicable curve in Figure 4C-1 for the existing combination of approach lanes. secondary street, the upper volume is not required to be on the same approach during each of these 4 hours.

Figure 4C-1, Mandate 2, four-hour vehicle volume. 2011 Texas Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

The signal was included in the 2017 bond program and was approved. After that, the design process began.

Now the design process is complete. However, city officials said they don’t expect the signal to actually be installed for at least a year due to supply chain issues, among other reasons.

When neighbors continued to talk about the lack of a left-turn arrow in current designs, city officials said that with the latest technology, adding a left-turn arrow would be easy modification. Once the Abrams Corridor Study is complete and signals along Abrams (including Abrams and Richmond) are replaced with new versions, the City will be able to synchronize the signals to work together and control the flow of traffic.

A neighbor asked City staff at the meeting if he had actually seen the intersection in person and wondered how adding another light to a stretch of road that already had several would solve the problem.

To prevent the installation of the traffic light, another study would have to be done to prove that a signal would no longer meet any of the warrants. But at this point, city officials expect new research to still show that a signal is warranted based on crash experience, Warrant 7.

Residents at the meeting said speed is an issue on Abrams and many people use Lakeshore as a shortcut. City officials advised them to speak with their council member or make a 311 service request to add stop signs along the neighborhood road.

There is still much to discuss. Blackmon and District 14 Council Member Paul Ridley will invite interested neighbors to join small groups to talk about what has already been designed and what a left turn arrow would add. Currently, the design also provides crosswalks and signals with ADA ramps at all corners of the intersection.

The groups will meet at the end of January 2022 for another community meeting.


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