Lochmueller Group prepared a traffic study of Lindberg Boulevard between Watson Road and I-44 in Sunset Hills. The impetus for this evaluation was a proposal by Western Oil to redevelop the former Bob Evans Restaurant in the northeast quadrant of Lindbergh and Monica/ Sunset Office Drive with a gas station and convenience store. This project was tasked with developing a broad solution for improving traffic conditions and making access to commercial properties safer throughout the study area. This required close collaboration between the developer, landowner, the city of Sunset Hills, and Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).
The study evaluated the feasibility of enhanced access management measures that would include the potential signalization of Lindbergh at Monica/Sunset Office Drive as well as additional treatments such as a raised median. The end result was the development of an access management plan for Lindbergh.
It was confirmed that Lindbergh does not satisfy MoDOT’s Access Management Guidelines with respect to signal spacing, at-grade intersection spacing, or driveway spacing. Safety was evaluated using the Highway Safety Manual. Observed crashes exceeded predicted crashes by several orders of magnitude, indicating an underlying safety problem in the corridor. A traffic simulation model was developed in VISSIM to replicate existing traffic flows in the study area and serve as the basis for evaluating alternatives.
Several alternatives were investigated to develop an improvement plan that would most effectively enhance access management and improve traffic flows and safety. A raised median was recommended to restrict left-turns except at one opening at Monica/Sunset Office Drive. A traffic signal was recommended at that location to accommodate left-turning traffic. To increase capacity and reduce queues on northbound Lindbergh, a third northbound through lane was prescribed at I-44. In addition, consolidating and eliminating various commercial driveways along Lindbergh was advocated.
The effectiveness of the recommended improvement plan was evaluated using VISSIM. The simulation model demonstrated that the recommended traffic signal would operate favorably at LOS A/B. Moreover, the signal would fit comfortably within the existing traffic progression bandwidths, such that northbound and southbound approach delays would not exceed 10 seconds and arterial levels of service would remain unchanged. Hence, the signal’s impact upon through traffic on Lindbergh would be minor.