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What are Complete Streets?

Complete Streets are designed to balance safety and efficiency for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists of varying ages and abilities. There is no singular design prescription for a Complete Street, but rather each design is unique and responds to its community context. Design elements may include sidewalks, medians, curb extensions, bicycle lanes (or wide shoulders), marked crosswalks, turn lanes, pedestrian beacon systems, accessible pedestrian signals, narrower travel lanes, and shorter signal cycles.

Broadway Street Project

In 2016 the City of Lubbock Traffic Engineering Department took up a project to improve pedestrian safety and convenience downtown. In an effort to improve motorist yielding to pedestrians at non-signalized crosswalks, the entire street use was considered in context. Traffic volumes, signal timing, bicycle use, parking, and pedestrian access were looked at, and a design incorporating safe and efficient use for each was implemented. Early schematics were presented to business leaders, city planners and engineers, and bicycle groups for input during the final design process.

Crosswalks

The project aimed to increase crosswalk usability by pedestrians. Unmarked crosswalks were already present at most intersections down Broadway. The design marked these crosswalks to help pedestrians and motorists identify them more easily. A two way left turn lane was designed for the full length of the project to give crossing pedestrians a refuge when crossing the street.

Bicycle Lanes

The Metropolitan Planning Organization bicycle master plan approved by the City Council proposed bicycle lanes for Broadway some time ago. A reduction in travel lanes to make way for the two way left turn lane left extra space in the roadway to implement bicycle lanes. The most recent recommendations for bicycle lane markings in the Texas Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices were implemented in the design including dotted lines approaching intersections where motorists are required to merge into the bicycle lane before turning. Click HERE for more information on bicycle lanes.

Motorist Travel Lanes

Vehicle volumes and travel times were carefully considered in the design, and it was decided that a travel lane reduction would not significantly increase motorist travel times. The continuous two way left turn moves left turning vehicles out of the stream of traffic and eliminates visibility constraints created by offsets.