The following text has been excerpted from the plan to facilitate screen reader technology. For figures, graphics, and appendicies, please see the .pdf file.
Prepared for the Town of Johnsburg July 15, 2020
1 Introduction and Project Goals
The hamlet of North Creek, located in the Town of Johnsburg, is facing a convergence of projects which
provide an opportunity to shape the future of the community. Several large – scale developments, both public and private, are planned in or around Ski Bowl Park, located across New York State Route 28 from the heart of the hamlet. These projects will bring together a wide variety of recreational and residential uses, which in turn create the potential for additional traffic impacts.
In addition to concerns that the traffic volume from these projects will exceed the capacity of the existing
intersections, there is potential for quality – of – life impacts and increased congestion, especially during peak events. Another key priority for the Town is improving pedestrian accommodation at existing and proposed crossings of New York State Route 28 (NY 28) .
The Town is also planning to reclaim an area currently being used for sand and gravel mining by the
Department of Public Works. This area, located adjacent to the current Ski Bowl Park, will be redesigned to provide additional recreational amenities for the community. In addition, it has been a long – standing desire to strength en the connection between the hamlet and Ski Bowl Park, especially in terms of bicycle/pedestrian accommodations and gateway amenities.
To address these concerns, the Adirondack/Glens Falls Transportation Council enlisted MJ Engineering and Land Surveying for transportation planning and engineering assistance on behalf of the Town of Johnsburg.
This report is intended to fulfill two goals:
• Complete a comprehensive analysis of traffic impacts from all of the projected development activity in and around Ski Bowl Park
• Provide technical support as a framework for the Town to redesign Ski Bowl Park Project Area
The project study area encompasses NY 28 between Peaceful Valley Road to the south and Ski Bowl Road to the north, and includes the section of NY 28N between NY 28 and Main Street.
2 Existing Conditions
Within the study area, NY 28 and 28N carry the majority of vehicular traffic. Although NY 28 provides critical north – south connectivity in the region, locally this highway acts as a by – pass of the hamlet, as well as a barrier between Ski Bowl Park and North Creek. As described in greater detail below, the roadway itself is typical of rural state highways in Warren County in terms of lane width and speed limit; roadway shoulders along NY 28 in the study area are somewhat wider than found in the region at large. Both sides of NY 28 are undeveloped or sparsely developed, with topography and vegetation screening both the hamlet and the park.
Before any recommendations for future improvements can be made, a thorough analysis of existing
conditions must be undertaken. This includes the measurements of the roadway geometry, traffic counts, accident rates, sight distance, and pedestrian/bicycle amenities and constraints.
Roadway Geometry :
Measurements were taken for lane width, shoulder width and stopping sight distance within the study
area. The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Highway Inventory classifies NY 28 as a Rural Minor Arterial. Chapter 2 of NYSDOT Highway Design Manual (HDM) provides
standards for lane widths and shoulder widths along with other elements such as stopping sight distance.
For this roadway classification, the standard for lane width is 11 feet (minimum) and shoulder width is four feet. Table 1 includes a summary of the field measurements for the roadway widths.
3 Traffic Data Collection
Automatic Traffic Recorders (ATRs) are tubes installed across the roadway connected to a data collection device used to collect data related to traffic volume , vehicle classification or type and speed. ATRs were installed at six (6) locations between August 6 and 14, 2019 within the study area as indicated on Figure 3.
See Table 2 for a breakdown of Average Daily Traffic volumes ; detailed ATR count data is included in
A review of the available data from NYSDOT for this section of NY 28 revealed the peak travel commuter
periods to be from 7:00am to 9:00am and 3:00 pm to 5:00pm. Turning movement volumes were collected on Tuesday, August 6, 2019 during the peak travel commuter periods at the following three (3) intersections
with NY 28:
• Ski Bowl Road North ( Intersection A )
• NY 28N ( Intersection B )
• Ski Bowl Road South ( Intersection C )
Turning movements were also collected for Manor Road near Ski Bowl Road North which provides access to the Senior Center and senior housing. The tabulations of the turning movement counts for each intersection are located in Appendix 1 .
ADT Volumes (vehicles/day)
ATR Location No. | Southbound | Northbound | Two – Way Total
1 | 1,704 | 1,691 | 3,395
2 | 1,795 | 1,657 | 3,452
3 | 2,597 | 1,975 | 4,572
4 | 2,349 | 2,238 | 4,587
5 | 2,447 | 2,162 | 4,609
6 | 1,147 | 993 | 2,140
Figure 3 — Traffic Count/Intersection Count Locations
5 Accident Analysis
Accident data was requested from the NYSDOT and A/GFTC for the study area along NY 28 between the
intersection with Main Street to the north and the intersection of County Route 29 (Peaceful Valley Road) to the south. The accident data was provided for the five – year period from May 2014 to January 2019 and is summarized in Appendix 2.
Accident rates are calculated according to the NYSDOT Highway Design Manual Chapter 5 and compared to the statewide average accident rate for similar facilities. Accident rates are measured in Accidents per Million Vehicle Miles (MVM) for linear segments of roadways and Million Entering Vehicles (MEV) for intersections and are summarized in Table 3.
Segment | Accident Rate (acc/MVM) | Statewide Avg. Rate (acc/MVM)
NY 28 | 1.84 | 2.11
Intersection | Accident Rate (acc/MEV) | Statewide Avg. Rate (acc/MEV)
NY 28 & Ski Bowl Road N | 2.42 | 0.4
NY 28 & NY 28N | 0.21 | 0.17
NY 28 & Ski Bowl Road S | 0.35 | 0.17
NY 28 & Peaceful Valley Rd. | 1.04 | 0.17
NY 28 & Manor Rd. | 0.35 | 0.12
NY 28N & Main St. | 0.34 | 0.4
While the segment accident rate is below the statewide average accident rate for similar facilities, the
intersections are higher than the statewide average accident rate . For the NY 28 & 28N, NY 28 & Ski Bowl Road South, NY 28 & Manor Road, and NY 28N & Main Street intersections , there was only a single accident in each of the five (5) years examined. Additionally, at the intersection of NY 28 with Peaceful Valley Road, two (2) of the three (3) accidents were collisions with deer. Since NY 28 has a comparatively low ADT, even a small number of identified accidents will result in an accident rate higher than the statewide average. Three intersections have accident rates more than two times the statewide average for similar facilities. The intersections of NY 28 with Ski Bowl Road North and Peaceful Valley Road have rates approximately six (6) times the statewide average while the intersection with Manor Road has a rate three (3) times the statewide average.
A severity distribution was also performed for the study area. There were no fatal accidents and only two (2) of the 30 accidents resulted in a personal injury. The severity distribution for the study area was determined to be not significant.
6 Intersection Sight Distance (ISD)
Adequate intersection sight distances are required at each intersection to allow drivers to identify potential conflicts. Intersection sight distances are measured using sight triangles, which are defined by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) as “specified areas along intersection approach legs and across their included corners that should be clear of obstructions that might block a driver’s view of potentially conflicted vehicles.” Table 4 summarizes the intersection sight distances.
Intersection Sight Distances (ft)
Location Left Turn Right Turn Crossing
Standard Looking Standard Looking Standard Looking
North South North South North South
Ski Bowl Rd North 665 >750 >1 000 575 >750 >1000 575 750 >1000
NY 28N (Bridge St) 665 750 >1000 575 NA >1000 575 NA NA
Ski Bowl Rd South 665 >1000 500 575 >1000 NA 575 NA NA
The only location that does not meet the minimum required intersection sight distances is at Ski Bowl Road South looking south , where the sight lines are obscured by the Adopt – A – Highway sign as seen in Figure 4 . This non – standard feature can be resolved by relocating the existing sign a minimum of 165 ft
away from the intersection; relocation will allow for all minimum sight distance qualifications to be met in both the north and south directions for the Ski Bowl Road South intersection.
Stopping Sight Distance (SSD) :
Sufficient stopping sight distance allows drivers enough time to perceive, react, and stop for an obstruction in the roadway; it is measured based on an eye height of 3.5 feet and object height of 2.0 feet. Stopping sight distances are evaluated when intersection sight distances requirements are not satisfied, or a potential pedestrian crossing is being investigated. AASHTO recommends a minimum stopping Sight distance of 570 feet for a 60 – mph design speed.
All uncontrolled approaches to the study area intersections satisfy the stopping sight distance requirements ; NY 28N (Bridge Street) and Ski Bowl Road South having a continuous line of sight lines between the intersections. Table 5 summarizes the stopping sight distances along NY 28.
Figure 4 — Intersection C Looking South, Sight Distance blocked by sign
Stopping Sight Distances (ft)
ID | Location | Traveling North Standard vs Available | Traveling South Standard vs Available
A | NY 28 & Ski Bowl Rd North | 570 > 750 | 570 >1000
B | NY 28 & Bridge St (NY 28N) | 570 >1000 | 570 > 750
C | NY 28 & Ski Bowl Rd South | 570 > 750 | 570 >1000
There are currently minimal pedestrian accommodations within the project corridor. There is one existing crosswalk, also known as a high visibility crosswalk, located at the south side of the intersection of NY 28 with Ski Bowl Road North. This crosswalk is currently heavily worn and faded to the point where striping is only visible in the northbound lane as shown in Figure 5 . This crossing does not connect to any dedicated pedestrian facilities. The wide shoulders along NY 28 provide access to the Senior Citizen Center via Manor Road and to Ski Bowl Road North which leads to the North Creek Health Center. However, the crosswalk connects from pavement edge to pavement edge with
no dedicated pedestrian facilities accessible beyond the shoulders on NY 28. This results in the crosswalk connecting a large front lawn on the west side to a drainage ditch on the east. Ski Bowl Road North on the east side of NY 28 does not have delineated shoulders and the pavement width is not sufficient to safely support two vehicles in addition to pedestrians.
Although the crosswalk is demarcated with signs placed according to the guidance of the MUTCD (six total, with three in each direction), two of these signs lack a retroreflective strip on the pole. To upgrade the signs to current standards, the proper reflective markings on the posts should be installed on the signs where they are missing. This is a cost – effective upgrade to bring more attention to the presence of pedestrians in the study area.
The shoulders along NY 28 and 28N exceed the minimum 4 ’ width to accommodate pedestrians. However, the high vehicle speeds and unprotected nature of the road shoulder act as deterrents for pedestrian activity. While there were some pedestrians observed in the study area during data collection, for pedestrian users, a small number or lack of use does not necessarily indicate a low demand. There are no dedicated pedestrian facilities on Ski Bowl Road North or South; with the narrow pavement widths of 21 ’ , there is minimal room for a pedestrian if two vehicles are using the roadway at the same time.
Figure 5 – Faded crosswalk marking at Intersection A
One additional pedestrian accommodation to note is the underpass located south of Ski Bowl Road South. Located on the Carol Thomas Trail, this underpass has the potential to connect Ski Bowl Park to Town Hall and Main Street. It currently terminates just north of the Dr. Jacques Grunblatt Memorial Beach, but does not currently provide direct access to the center of Ski Bowl Park.
There are no dedicated bicycle facilities within the study area. Cyclists on NY 28 and 28N can use the wide shoulders. Ski Bowl Road and Peaceful Valley Road, in contrast, do not feature wide shoulders, so cyclists must use the travel lane. Within the park itself, the narrow roadway is low speed and does not currently receive heavy traffic; the roadside is also relatively flat, unobstructed lawn, which some cyclists may also utilize when seasonal conditions permit. Peaceful Valley Road, however, has higher traffic speeds and volumes. In addition, the roadsides are heavily vegetated, steeply sloped, and feature extensive guiderails. This can reduce the comfort and confidence of casual cyclists, though those more experienced with on – road cycling may be willing to utilize this route.
9 Proposed Developments
Future development of Ski Bowl Park is comprised of both private and public projects . Table 6 below
contains the proposed developments and anticipated year for completion of construction.
Ski Bowl Park Future Developments
Development | Location | Estimated Year of Completion
Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) | Existing Ski Mountain and Adjacent Land |2024
Town Park Expansion | Town Highway Garage & Surrounding Area | 2024
Museum of Skiing and Ski Hall of Fame | Town Park Expansion | 2027
Front Street Development | Hotel Parcel B | 2029
Front Street Seasonal Housing Mountain Development | 2029
Retail | Parcel B | 2029
See Figure 6 for a map of the proposed areas and the following paragraphs for description of the
• The ORDA site will include new lighting for night operation, replacement of two ski lifts, and
establish new ski trails and multi – season activities including a zip coaster, miniature golf and a
summer/winter tubing hill.
• The Town Park expansion will occur on the existing Town Highway Garage property once it is
vacated. Preliminary plans include a skating rink, expanded fields, relocated tennis courts and
• The Museum of Skiing and Ski Hall of Fame is proposed to be located within the Town Park
Expansion with the exact location yet to be determined.
• The Front Street Development i s proposed to include a new hotel, new ski hut, and retail at the base
of the Ski Bowl mountain area, with additional seasonal housing which will expand the existing
housing that exists to the north.
10 Figure 6 – Proposed Development Location Plan
11 Impacts of Future Development An analysis of the future conditions was performed that included the projected increase in traffic volumes from the proposed future developments planned for Ski Bowl Park and the surrounding properties. The types and quantities of development were based on the most recent available information regarding the proposed development projects. The Institute of Transportation Engineers, Trip Generation Manual, 10th Edition (ITE Manual) was utilized for guidance while developing the proposed trips. The Land Use Codes (LUC) selected for this site are as follows:
• LUC 466 – Snow Ski Area (Visitors: Winter Season 215,000; Summer Season 40,000)
• LUC 411 – Town Park Expansion (Additional 14 Acres)
• LUC 580 – Museum of Skiing and Ski Hall of Fame (25,000 visitors per year)
• LUC 310 – Hotel (300 R ooms)
• LUC 260 – Recreational Homes (150 Units)
• LUC 861 – Retail (94,000 GSF)
A summary of the proposed trips generated by the proposed development is presented in Table 7 .
Use Description | LUC | AM Peak Hour Trips Enter Exit Total | PM Peak Hour Trips Enter Exit Total
Snow Ski Area | 466 | 62 3 65 | 3 83 86
Public Park | 411 | 0 0 0 | 1 1 2
Museum | 580 | 7 1 8 | 1 4 5
Hotel | 310 | 86 59 154 | 101 98 199
Recreational Homes | 260 | 22 11 33 | 18 24 42
Retail | 861 | 26 6 32 | 96 105 201
Totals | NA | 202 81 283 | 221 313 535
With the Ski Bowl Park redevelopment, this area will be transformed into a resort area with multiple land uses and will experience some internal trip capture between the retail, recreational, and residential land uses. The anticipated adjustment during the AM peak is minimal at 1% while the PM is higher at 11%. Internal trips are trips with origins and destinations within the same site and do not use the external roadway network. The internal trip capture rates provided in the ITE Manual were utilized. This analysis does not include these reductions to provide a conservative analysis.
Existing and Future Capacity Analysis
One way to measure the functionality of an intersection is by quantifying Level of Service (LOS), which
measures the average vehicle delay in seconds . Levels of Service are graded from LOS A (less than 10
seconds of delay per vehicle) to F (more than 80 seconds of delay per vehicle). LOS E and F are usually considered failing conditions.
LOS analysis was performed using traffic analysis software Synchro 10© to examine the collected turning movements at the study intersections for Existing, No – Build 2029, and N o – Build 2039 conditions. The results of this analysis are presented in Table 8 below. For the overall intersection LOS, all intersections currently operate at LOS A and will continue under the No – Build conditions , with the largest delay being 3.1 seconds for the PM 2039 peak. This indicates there are no LOS concerns for the future No – Build conditions. Examining the LOS of the individual legs, the only movements with a LOS lower than A are the eastbound and westbound approaches to Intersection 1, westbound approach to Intersection 2, and the eastbound to Intersection 3 with the largest delay in this group of 12 seconds corresponding to LOS B.
To model the intersection capacity for future 2039 Buildout conditions, the results of the trip generation
analysis were distributed on the adjacent roadway network considering existing travel patterns, volumes, as well as population centers and origins. These trips were then added to the no – build volumes and resulted in the 2039 Buildout volumes. Most of the intersections will continue to operate at LOS A in the future Buildout condition. However, the intersection with Ski Bowl Road South is anticipated to operate at LOS E in the PM peak due to the large number of exiting vehicles and associated increase in delay.
Summary of Anticipated Traffic Impacts
• Future development is projected to increase trips in/out of Ski Bowl Park by 283 trips in the AM peak
hour and 535 trips in the PM peak hour in 2039 .
• All intersections are projected to continue to operate at LOS A in future No – build and Build
conditions, with the exception of Ski Bowl Road South, which will operate at LOS E in the 2039 Build
condition for the PM peak hour.
Overall Intersection LOS Table (Delay in Seconds)
Location | Existing AM PM | No-Build 2029 AM PM | No-Build 2039 AM PM | Buildout, 2039 AM PM
1 NY 28 & Ski Bowl Rd North | A (1.6) A (2.0) | A (2.7) A (2.3) | A (2.6) A (2.3) | A (3.1) A (6.0)
2 NY 28 & Bridge St (NY 28N) | A (2.9) A (2.9) | A (2.9) A (3.0) | A (3.0) A (3.1) | A (4.6) A (6.8)
3 NY 28 & Ski Bowl Rd South | A (1.6) A (1.0) | A (1.7) A ( 1.1) | A (1.7) A (1.1) | A (5.7) E (46.4)
13 Access Alternatives
In addition to the goals of the community of Johnsburg, the analysis of existing and future conditions
revealed a number of opportunities, constraints, and impacts which will affect the development and design of Ski Bowl Park, including:
• The need to connect Ski Bowl Park more directly with the hamlet
• Level – of – service impacts at Ski Bowl Road South during future 2039 buildout conditions
• Inadequate pedestrian accommodations , as well as high operational/posted speed limit on NY 28
• The need to create a gateway from NY 28
• The potential for private development to further limit access/through traffic to the park from Ski
Bowl Road North
Many of these concerns could be partially addressed by creating a 4 – way intersection at the junction of NY 28 & 28N, thereby opening a new access into Ski Bowl Par k. This would create a direct connection from the center of the hamlet, bring an entrance to the Park within reasonable walking distance, create the opportunity for a gateway, and potentially provide traffic calming.
However, adding a new access point may not solve future congestion issues at existing intersections . There are agreements between the Town and FrontStreet Development which may restrict through traffic access along the west side of the park, thereby limiting the potential for a connection between the Health Center and the Park in the future . As such, three alternatives were developed that modify the access to Ski Bowl Park:
1. Access Alternative 1 – Access to Ski Bowl Park is granted from all three intersections
2. Access Alternative 2 – Access to Ski Bowl Park is restricted from Ski Bowl Road North (entrance to
North Cr eek Health Center would remain); Ski Bowl Road South remains open
3. Access Alternative 3 – Access to Ski Bowl Park is limited to NY 28 & 28N only
These alternatives were analyzed for the 2039 Future Buildout condition, outlined in Table 10. For Access Alter natives 2 and 3, the anticipated trips distributed to Ski Bowl Road North and South were redistributed to the proposed 4 – way intersection at NY 28 & 28N. The figures depicting the trip distribution, assignment, and build volumes are presented in Appendix 5.
In the Access Alternative 1 and 2 scenarios , a significant LOS impact would be experienced during the PM Peak hour at the intersection of Ski Bowl Road South/ NY 28. This intersection is anticipated to operate at LOS E in the PM peak due to the large number of exiting vehicles and associated increase in delay. Although it may be possible to mitigate this impact by adding turn lanes to this intersection, this intervention would not meet the other goals of the community, such as fostering a gateway to the hamlet, and may further degrade access for pedestrians.
If Ski Bowl Road South is closed, as proposed in Alternative 3, the burden of access would shift northward to the intersection of NY 28 & 28N, which would operate at LOS D in the PM peak hour. This is due to the concentration of entering and exiting traffic from Ski Bowl Park to only one access point where previously, the trips were distributed among three access points. However, it is likely that the p.m. peak hour LOS could be improved further by adding turning lanes, a traffic signal, or a roundabout, as discussed further below.
Signal Warrant Analysis
A signal warrant analysis is the study of traffic volumes, pedestrian characteristics, and physical
characteristics of an intersection to determine if consideration of a traffic signal is justified. The investigation of the need for a traffic signal includes analysis of factors related to the existing operation and safety at the study intersection and the potential to improve these conditions. Signal warrant thresholds and analysis requirements are set forth in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, 2009 Edition as published by the Federal Highway Administration. The warrant analysis worksheets are included in Appendix 3.
A signal warrant analysis was performed for Access Alternative 3 at the intersection of NY 28 & 28N. Since the Town is seeking to be proactive with the design of Ski Bowl Park, the analysis was performed using existing traffic volumes with the access modifications described in Alternative 3 . This scenario includes restricting access to and from Ski Bowl Park to the proposed 4 – way intersection at NY 28 & 28N. The existing trips associated with the park were estimated using the 24 – hour distribution of other roadways within the study area and redistributed to the proposed fourth leg . In effect, this would indicate whether a signal is called for if the Town chooses to enact Alternative 3 as part of the park redesign, regardless of whether other development occurs. In addition, the signal warrant analysis was conducted using the future build volumes discussed in the previous section. If access to the park is limited to the intersection of NY 28 & 28N, as called for in Alternative 3, two warrants relating to traffic volume are satisfied with 2019 traffic volumes. With regards to future increases in traffic in 2029 and 2039 (due to development and/or background growth), the number of hours satisfying the volume
thresholds increase as the volumes increase, but all the design years satisfy the same warrants. There is no threshold that modified the results of the warrant analysis.
Access Alternatives – Overall Intersection LOS , 2039 Buildout ( Delay in Seconds)
Location Access Alt 1 AM PM Access Alt 2 AM PM Access Alt 3 AM PM
NY 28 & Ski Bowl Rd North* | 3.1 (A) 6.0 (A) | 2.4 (A) 2.9 (A) | 2.3 (A) 2.9 (A)
NY 28 & Bridge St (NY 28N) | 4.6 (A) 6.8 (A) | 4.7 (A) 7.6 (A) | 7.8 (A) 34.2 (D)
NY 28 & Ski Bowl Rd South | 5.7 (A) 46.4 (E) | 5.1 (A) 45.7 (E) | NA
*Note: Values for Ski Bowl Road North intersection in Alternatives 2 & 3 assume that vehicles are
restricted to accessing the Health Center only.
Signal Warrant Summary, Access Alternative 3 (2019 volumes w/ single access to Ski Bowl Park at NY 28 & 28N)
Eight – Hour Vehicular Volume YES
Four – Hour Vehicular Volume YES
Peak Hour Vehicular Volume NO
Pedestrian Volume NO
School Crossing N/A
Coordinated Signal System N/A
Crash Experience NO
Roadway Network N/A
Intersection Near a Grade Crossing N/A
It is important to note that although the signal warrant thresholds are satisfied under Access Alternative 3, it does not mean that a signal must be installed. In this case, the intersection in question, NY 28 & 28N, currently operates at LOS A, and is anticipated to continue to operate satisfactorily in the No – Build Condition. Conversely, installing a signal at NY 28 & 28N will not alleviate future congestion at Ski Bowl Road South if that entrance remains open to traffic.
Intersection Design Concepts
Since the intersection of NY 28 & 28N would meet signal warrants under Access Alternative 3, three concept designs were developed to address future LOS impacts which might result from increased development. As noted previously in Table 10, in the 2039 Buildout condition, the proposed 4 – way intersection at NY 28 & 28N would experience LOS D during the p.m. peak hour. To potentially improve this condition, three options were modeled for this intersection:
Access Alternative 3 – Intersection Concepts
a. Turn Lanes added at NY 28 & 28N
b. Traffic Signal installed at NY 28 & 28N
c. Roundabout installed at NY 28 & 28N
For each concept, the 2039 Build out traffic volumes were assigned and evaluated to determine LOS, as
shown in Table 11. A table that includes the LOS for all approach lanes are included in Appendix 5 with all the Synchro© output files included in Appendix 6.
Intersection Alternatives – Overall Intersection LOS , 2039 Build out (Delay in Seconds)
Location | Alt 3a Turn Lanes PM | Alt 3b Signal PM | Alt 3c Roundabout**AM PM
NY 28 & Ski Bowl Rd North* | 2.9 (A) | 2.9 (A) | 2.3 (A) 2.9 (A)
NY 28 & Bridge St (NY 28N) | 17.1 (B) .2 (A) 5.5 A) 7.1 (A)
NY 28 & Ski Bowl Rd South NA
*Note: Values for Ski Bowl Road North intersection in Alternatives 2 & 3 assume that vehicles are
restricted to accessing the Health Center only.
** Note: Roundabout LOS was modeled using Synchro 10 © , which may result in a more optimistic result than other traffic modeling software such as Vissum. If a roundabout is selected as the preferred option, the LOS should be confirmed according to NYSDOT protocols during the detailed design phase.
The results of the analysis indicate that all three options would improve the LOS at the intersection, with the traffic signal and roundabout providing LOS A. As such, these two intersection concepts were further
developed with the project goals of improving vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle access between North
Creek and the Park. The two intersection concepts are as follows:
A. Traffic Signal at intersection
of NY 28 & 28N , featuring the new access to Ski Bowl Park
• 100 feet long curbed islands on intersection approaches on NY 28 & 28N for traffic calming and pedestrian refuge at crossing locations
• Sidewalk/multi – use path connection to Main Street on north side of NY 28N with pedestrian signals and count – down timers
Figure 7 — Traffic Signal Concept
B. Single Lane Roundabout at intersection of NY 28 & 28N , featuring the new access to Ski Bowl Park
• Curbed islands along NY 28 & a portion of NY 28N for traffic calming and pedestrian refuge at crossing locations
• Sidewalk/multi – use path connection to Main Street on north side of NY 28N
Figure 8 – Single – Lane Roundabout
Both intersection concepts include a connection to the sidewalks at the intersection of NY 28N / Main Street. This would allow for a dedicated pedestrian and/or bicycle facility to access Ski Bowl Park. For more detail concerning bicycle and pedestrian facilities, see the “Re commendations” section of this report.
The typical cross section of NY 28 within the study area is largely the same for both the traffic signal and
roundabout options . Lane widths are 11 ’ with 8’ shoulders. The raised medians with curb must be a minimum of 6’ wide; when use d on intersection approaches, these are required to be a minimum of 100’ long. The shoulders adjacent to the raised median would be 4’ wide. The circulatory roadway inside the roundabout is 21 ’ wide with varying shoulder widths, a truck apron , and center island. See Appendix 4 for typical sections and corresponding concept plan drawings.
The traffic analysis contained in this study is intended to guide the Town of Johnsburg in future efforts to redevelop Ski Bowl Park. As such, it presents a menu of options to select from at such time as the Town reclaims the gravel mining operation and moves forward with park design. Given the analysis that has been completed, creating a 4 – way intersection at NY 28 & 28N could improve traffic operations related to future development while also providing tangible co – benefits by strengthening connections to the hamlet and increasing opportunities for pedestrian access. An overview of recommendations has been mapped on Figure 9.
In terms of vehicle circulation, creating a new access to Ski Bowl Park at NY 28 & 28N will provide the most benefit if it is combined with closing off access from Ski Bowl Park South. Introducing a traffic signal or roundabout at this location would allow for the best Level – of – Service by reducing the impact of increased traffic volumes from the additional development , as well as providing a safe and comfortable pedestrian crossing and opportunity for an attractive gateway to the hamlet. If the new intersection is created while Ski Bowl Road South remains open, the traffic signal may not be warranted and the southern intersection will likely still face degraded operations in future buildout conditions.
Table 12 outlines the Pros and Cons of adding a traffic signal or roundabout at the intersection of NY 28 & 28N.
TABLE 1 2
Intersection Alternatives, Pros and Cons
NY 2 8 & 28N — Proposed Access to Ski Bowl Park Concept Pros Cons
Traffic Signal Pros
• Includes pedestrian signals and countdown timers
• Can be implemented in a phased approach (i. e., install turning lanes first, then introduce signal when Ski Bowl Road South is closed)
Traffic Signal Cons
Signal maintenance time and cost
• Increased emissions from stopped vehicles
• Less potential to create a gateway feature
• Traffic calming
• Less perceived delay, vehicles in motion
• Through vehicles don’t need to stop if there are no vehicles or pedestrians in the roundabout
• Slower speeds and less severe accidents
• Gateway feature for Hamlet and Ski Bowl
• Improved landscape features
• No pedestrian signals
• Increased construction costs compared to traffic signal
Figure 9 — Recommended Improvements
As revealed in the analysis in the previous section, both options have the potential to handle increased traffic due to future development. The roundabout offers a greater number of benefits but comes with a higher potential construction cost. However, if a traffic signal is installed, this may require more landscaping, signage, pedestrian amenities (as discussed in the following section) and design features in order to accomplish the goal of creating a gateway into the hamlet ; these additional features may increase construction cost.
Ultimately, the evaluation of a traffic signal or a roundabout should be included in the comprehensive
redesign of Ski Bowl Park. This will allow for the final design to be fully integrated into the Park, taking into consideration all of the goals of the community. In addition, this will allow for a true estimate of costs to be developed, which will give the Town a concrete goal to solicit funding. (See Implementation for more information.)
Pedestrian /Bicycle Recommendations
Improving pedestrian access to Ski Bowl Park is one of the primary goals of this project. The downtown
hamlet core is within a 5 – minute walk of the proposed entrance to the Park at NY 28 & 28N. North Creek itself has an extensive pedestrian network along Main Street, which could allow visitors to park in the hamlet and walk to Ski Bowl, and vice versa. The following recommendations are intended to guide the development of pedestrian facilities which link to Ski Bowl Park.
There are many factors which influence the design and location of crosswalks: traffic volume and speed,
roadway width, number of travel lanes, sight distances, traffic signal timing (if applicable) and pedestrian volume. The 2016 NYSDOT Pedestrian Safety Action Plan (PSAP) recommends that pedestrian crossings are best accommodated across roadways with a maximum speed of 45 mph; the posted speed limit on NY 28 is 55 mph. Within New York State, changes to posted speed limits are enacted by NYSDOT. Historically, such changes are not undertaken often, and very rarely without a material change to the context of the roadway itself, such as a significant increase in development density or vehicle crashes. Ultimately, given enough redevelopment in Ski Bowl Park, it may be feasible to request a reduction in the speed limit on NY 28 within the study area upon full buildout.
However, in the meantime, the Town should make every effort to improve pedestrian crossing facilities on NY 28. For roadway corridors with posted speeds of 50mph and above, the NYSDOT recommendation is to implement measures to reduce operational speeds and then to consider enhanced treatments. Lowering operational speeds without changing the posted speed limit can be a challenge. Even if the posted speed limit was reduced, the current roadway configuration – wide shoulders, relatively low traffic, and unobstructed views — does not encourage drivers to slow down. One method to provide traffic calming would be to install raised medians along NY 28 as shown in the concepts in Appendix 4. This would emulate a boulevard, which would not only provide the visual friction to signal to drivers to slow down, but would also add to the sense of arriving at a gateway. With careful design it may be possible to establish landscaping features within the medians, to create further visual interest. If continuous medians are not feasible, it is recommended to install shorter sections in conjunction with the crosswalk treatments, described further below.
Additional traffic calming treatments to consider during next phase of design could be to install speed limit markings in the roadway per the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD) and the New York State Supplement; however, this treatment has never been used within NYSDOT Region 1. Another option would be to install speed feedback signs, which are a more common intervention within the region. Typically the maintenance of speed feedback signs would be the responsibility of the local municipality.
With appropriate traffic calming measures in place, the use of enhanced crosswalk treatments is also
recommended. These include:
• Pedestrian crossing signs installed in advance of and at the high – visibility crosswalk (Figure 10 )
• Rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs) (Figure 10 )
• Raised median refuge island s (Figure 1 1 )
• High – intensity activated crosswalk (HAWK) beacon. (not shown)
In combination with enforcement efforts, these enhanced treatments would also contribute to traffic calming, which may lower speeds without a change in posted speed limit. In particular, the raised median islands also offer co – benefits relating to the goal of establishing a gateway between Ski
Bowl Park and the hamlet. The location of roadway crossings is as important as their design. As stated in the Existing Conditions section of this report, there is only one designated crosswalk located at NY 28 & Ski Bowl Road North. It i s recommended that this crossing be improved to foster a safe, accessible connection between the Health Center and the Senior Center. It is also recommended that an additional crossing should be created at the intersection of NY 28 & 28N.
Both of these locations would be appropriate for the installation of a raised median/pedestrian refuge island. The installation of a pedestrian refuge median island is recommended in the guidelines provided by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Guide for Pedestrian Facilities, 1st Edition 2004 (or most current version) and the NYSDOT PSAP. The design must meet all NYSDOT standards including the installation of detectable warnings on each side of the island. Additional enhancements such as signage and beacons may also be beneficial. The exact configuration should be determined in the design phase.
Figure 10 – Signage and RRFB
Figure 11 — Pedestrian Refuge Island
If a roundabout is selected as the preferred intersection treatment at NY 28 & 2 8N, the pedestrian refuge islands would be integrated directly into the design. A single – lane roundabout reduces vehicle/pedestrian exposure to one lane at a time, similar to a refuge island. However, unlike traffic signals which stop vehicle movement, in a roundabout motorists must yield to pedestrians in the crosswalks. This can create challenges for visually – impaired pedestrians who may be less able to judge the movement of approaching vehicles. This should be taken into consideration during the design phase.
In addition, the town should take advantage of the existing pedestrian underpass, which is accessed via
the Carol Thomas Memorial Trail (figure 12). This provides a way for pedestrians to cross NY 28
completely separate from traffic. This facility could be improved with features such as lighting, improved
handicap accessibility, and resurfacing, which could make it a more attractive way to access the park on
foot in the short term.
Sidewalks/Multi – use Paths
In addition to providing safe and accessible facilities to cross NY 28 on foot, pedestrian amenities such as sidewalks and multi – use paths should also be constructed. These will ideally link to the existing pedestrian network within North Creek.
A sidewalk /multi – use trail should be considered along the eastern leg of Ski Bowl Road North and NY 28N, both of which connect to Main Street. These could tie into the recommended crosswalk locations, providing direct access to the Park from the hamlet.
Dedicated pedestrian accommodations should also be created on the west side of NY 28 between Ski Bowl Road North and South. This facility, which could be comprised of a sidewalk or multi – use path with pedestrian level lighting , should be incorporated into the proposed redesign of the park and be located outside the highway boundary. Similarly, the redesign effort should foster a more direct connection between the proposed pedestrian accommodations west of NY 28, the Park itself, and the Carol Thomas Memorial Trail. Currently, this trail head connects to a larger network of trails within Ski Bowl Park but does not provide direct access to the main area of the lodge, tennis courts and pavilion.
Peaceful Valley Road, which provides access to Gore Mountain, is located approximately 0.5 miles to the
south of Ski Bowl Road South. Due to the proximity of the creek on the west side of NY 28 between these
two roads and the steep side slopes, the best option for a connection to the park from Peaceful Valley Road would be a dedicated trail connecting to The Loop, south of the Dr. Jacques Grunblatt Memorial Beach near the camp sites.
Figure 12 — Pedestrian underpass, Carol Thomas Memorial Trail
Although this study has focused on improving connections for pedestrians, cyclists must be accommodated as well. Along NY 28, this can be accomplished by adhering to the proposed cross – section concepts, which call for an 8’ shoulder, well above the 4’ minimum required for bicycle use. The aforementioned traffic calming will also benefit cyclists as well. In addition, the Town should strongly consider using multi – use pathways (as opposed to sidewalks) to connect Main Street to Ski Bowl Park along NY 28N. This would allow cyclists to use the facility separate from vehicle traffic, which is preferable to many casual cyclists. To cross NY 28, these cyclists could dismount and walk their bicycles across the roadway. More experienced cyclists could use the vehicle lanes as allowed under NYS law. Within the park, multi – use paths should also be integrated to encourage bicycle use.
Summary of Recommended Pedestrian /Bicycle Improvements:
• Install raised median/pedestrian refuge islands at the intersections of NY 28 & Ski Bowl Road North
and NY 28 & 28N. Consider other enhancements, such as RRFBs, during the design phase.
• Install sidewalk/multi – use trail connections to Main Street on NY 28N and Ski Bowl Road North.
• Create multi – use trail west of NY 28 as part of the park redevelopment effort. This should connect to
the proposed crossings as well as to the established trail system and Peaceful Valley Road.
• Work with NYSDOT to promote traffic calming measures such as speed feedback signs, and with NYS
Police for increased enforcement efforts, to lower operational speeds on NY 28 within the study
• Continue to improve Carol Thomas Trail and consider promoting this as a primary pedestrian access
point as an interim solution until the crosswalks on NY 28 can be improved.
Implementation & Next Steps
As stated previously, the purpose of this study is to provide a framework for the town to pursue efforts to
reclaim/redevelop Ski Bowl Park. The intention was to provide a solid background of transportation
engineering data for future use by design professionals when the Town moves forward with the reclamation of the gravel pit and DPW facility. The analysis contained in this document is contingent on the best available information concerning development in and around the Park. Should conditions change significantly, the recommendations may no longer be valid and should be reassessed.
From a planning perspective, undertaking the design of the Park and improvements to associated pedestrian infrastructure at the same time would theoretically create efficiencies which might result in reduced design costs and a shorter approval process. However, any improvements to the roadway on State – owned roadways, or which receive Federal Highway (FHWA) funds, must adhere to NYSDOT design standards and process for locally – administered projects. This includes intersection improvements as well as any pedestrian features within the highway boundary.
Historically, it has been possible to include the design of recreation park amenities within the
scope of Federally – funded alternative transportation projects; the Charles R Wood park
in Lake George is a regional example. However, recent changes to funding mechanisms make it
unlikely that a project with extensive recreation facilities would be likely to receive Federal transportation dollars. Similarly, it is unlikely that the Town would be able to find sufficient funding to allow for construction of both the Park and the transportation facilities from another source.
As such, the Town should consider pursuing a conceptual design for the Park and related transportation
improvements, which will be used to guide the implementation of the project as a whole. As stated in the
previous section, the decision to select either a traffic signal or a roundabout for the proposed 4 – way
intersection at NY 28 & 28N should be heavily influenced by the potential design for the Park. For example, if the existing DPW structure is to remain in place, the traffic signal option may allow more room for the entrance road. Other non – transportation amenities like gateway treatments could also be folded into the design, even if the construction is later conducted in phases. It would also be crucial to gain the input from stakeholders, especially FrontStreet Development and ORDA. A single concept would also allow for comprehensive public outreach and could help create a feasible phasing plan for construction, including realistic cost estimates. The Town could then pursue appropriate funding channels for the Park and the transportation facilities.
TABLE 13 : POTENTIAL FUNDING SOURCES
Intersection /Roadway Improvements
• Transportation Improvement Program (A/GFTC)
• USDOT BUILD grants
• Office of Parks, Recreation, & Historic Preservation (OPRHP): Environmental Protection Fund Program for Parks, Preservation, and Heritage
• Environmental Facilities Corporation Green Innovation Grant Program
• OPRHP : Recreational T rails Program
• NYSDOT Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP)
• NYSDOT Pedestrian Safety Action Plan (PSAP)
• A/GFTC Make the Connection Program
The drawback to this approach is that there may be some replication of steps or inefficiencies during
detailed design. As stated above, the NYSDOT design procedure would be required for improvements to NY 28. This process also mandates public input and consideration of environmental impacts as well as an analysis of feasible alternatives. This may lead to confusion or frustration for community members.
However, a pragmatic and transparent public information campaign can go a long way towards engendering continuing support for the project.