1. What is the purpose of tonight’s workshop?
To inform the public of the three concept design options being considered along the corridor and to solicit feedback from the workshop attendees to help guide the project as it moves forward.
2. What is the project?
The project is implementation of the Arlington Downtown Master Plan recommendations to make Abram Street a more attractive and pedestrian friendly main street in the heart of Downtown Arlington. The project goal is to create a street and community with multi-modal mobility that serves both pedestrians and motorists, while establishing an identity for downtown Arlington.
3. What are the project limits?
The limits are from Cooper Street to Collins Street.
4. Why is the City doing this project?
In approving the 2004 Downtown Arlington Master Plan, the City embarked on the journey to revitalize its downtown area to make it a more vibrant destination for residents, visitors and students. This project was also in the 2011 Thoroughfare Development Plan. Also, the 2008 Bond Program voted on by the voters approved the funding of the project.
5. What are the design concept options being considered?
Three alternatives have been developed. Option A has 2 thru lanes and a center turn lane for the length of the project, with parking, widened sidewalks and additional streetscaping features. Option B has 3 thru lanes (alternating from 2 westbound vs. 2 eastbound), with turn lanes at all intersections, parking, widened sidewalks and added streetscaping features. Option C has 4 thru lanes (2 in each direction) with no turn lanes, improved sidewalks, and no parking, except during off peak hours when the two curb lanes will be available for parallel on-street parking.
6. What are the possible traffic impacts of the different concept design options?
Traffic impacts will occur with any of the options and will generally be greater for the options with less thru lanes. However, the impacts are not projected to be significant outside of the morning and afternoon peak periods although the travel time between Cooper and Collins will increase depending on the chosen design option and travel day and time. Detailed traffic analyses indicate that travel times could increase from 4 minutes to travel the corridor today to 5.7 minutes in 2030 under Option A. The increases vary based on Option and Time of Day.
7. What bicycle improvements are planned in the project?
There are no bicycle improvements planned. The City’s Hike and Bike Plan calls for bicycle lanes on UTA Blvd, Center and Mesquite.
8. Will there be any new right-of-way required for the project?
Yes, however, the exact amount of right-of-way required is not yet determined and will be finalized during design, once an option has been selected.
9. Will there be compensation for any property needed in order to construct this project?
Yes, once an Option has been selected and design has begun, you will be contacted and begin right-of-way acquisition negotiations, at which time you will be compensated at fair market value for your property.
10. Will there be any buildings impacted with the project?
It is anticipated that there will be no buildings removed or altered with any of the concept design options.
11. How much is the project expected to cost and how will it be paid for?
Exact costs have not been determined, however, the project will be paid for using funds from the 2008 Bond Election, which are $4,905,000.
12. What is the schedule for the project?
The current schedule is to proceed to final design later this year with construction beginning after right-of-way acquisitions and utility relocations are completed. Likely 2016/2017.
13. Do you anticipate any changes to driveway access with the project?
No. All existing driveways will remain in all options, during right-of-way acquisition discussions will occur to combine driveways if possible.
14. Do you anticipate any changes to parking along Abram Street with this project?
For Options A and B, the parking impacts are minor, however, Option C will not allow for parking during the peak hours of traffic in the weekday morning and evening peak hours. On- street parallel parking will be allowed during off-peak hours.
15. What is “reverse-angle back-in” parking and why is it being recommended for some options?
Back-in angle parking provides motorists with better vision of pedestrians, bicycles, cars and trucks as they exit a parking space and enter moving traffic. Back-in angle parking also removes the difficulty that drivers have when backing into moving traffic. For more information:
16. What pedestrian improvements are planned in the project?
In all options, sidewalks are being improved and connected from Cooper to Collins to ensure ADA Accessibility throughout the project corridor. In Options A and B, there are also wider sidewalks with room for benches and trees along the project, to help create a more walkable corridor.
17. Does the project include accommodations for current or future transit?
The project does not directly include accommodations for current or future transit, however, Options A and B have areas with wider streetscaping width that could allow for future bus shelters and other amenities.
18. What landscape/streetscape improvements are planned in the project?
In Options A and B where there is additional width besides the sidewalk improvement, there will be trees and plants (of native species) installed as well as benches and other potential street furnishings (trash receptacles, bike racks, etc.).
19. Will there be new street lighting in the project?
Yes, in all options street lighting for pedestrian and vehicle safety will be provided.
20. Will there be any center medians in the project?
The only location along the project corridor where “raised” center medians will be added is at the beginning of the project, from Cooper to Lampe Streets. All other medians included in the project will be decorative brick and installed “flush” with the pavement and therefore able to be driven over for parades and special events.
21. What are the possible impacts to emergency response vehicles with this project?
It is not anticipated that there will be a negative impact to emergency response vehicles for Options A or B. This is due to the fact that those options are multi-lane options and there should never be a complete blockage of lanes. It is possible, during off-peak hours when the outside travel lanes of Option C are being used for parking, that if the parking lanes are full, emergency vehicles may have to maneuver around the parked cars.
22. How does this project impact the City Center Development and the New Central Library project that is being discussed?
The City has been coordinating with that potential project while developing these concepts and the two projects should not impact each other.
23. How will my feedback be used?
The City will tabulate all input received and will make every effort to address comments in the selection of the design alternative moving forward with the project.
24. How will the City decide on a preferred design concept?
By utilizing the feedback provided from this public meeting, along with the recommendations contained in the 2004 Downtown Master Plan and 2011 Thoroughfare Development Plan, a design will be chosen that is considered to best balance the interests of all who use and have interests in this corridor.
25. Will there be future opportunities to provide further feedback?
Yes. Comment cards need to be mailed to the City no later than May 30th. In addition, you may email or call the City following this public meeting.