UNION — Results of a traffic study conducted around the area of Dayton International Airport was discussed Monday at the Union City Council meeting. The traffic study results will also be presented to Butler Twp. trustees at the April 11 meeting at 7 p.m.
Leading the discussion was Steve Stanley, executive director of Montgomery County Transportation Improvement District and Jeff Koehn, a civil engineer with IBI Group. IBI provides comprehensive management and engineering design services to assist clients with planning, design, and implementation of public and private infrastructure and building projects and specializes in transportation planning & design, water/wastewater planning and design, survey and site design, and construction administration.
Some of the results of the traffic study showed overall traffic had decreased in the study area from peak years ranging from 2007 to 2011 for some intersections, to much lower figures in 2015-16.
However, one finding revealed that National Road needs to be widened to five lanes from the Airport Access Road to Union Airpark Boulevard/N. Dog Leg Road. In addition, the exit ramp from Interstate 70 at National Road needs to be widened to include two dedicated left turn lanes for truck traffic headed for the Proctor and Gamble Distribution Center on Union Airpark Boulevard.
Stanley noted that while the P&G facility has been a tremendous success, it has created issues with some of the surrounding neighbors regarding traffic complaints.
“We are now designing, with some money from ODOT’s Transportation Review Advisory Committee (TRAC), improvements to U.S 40 that we had always planned to implement and we have some money allocated to us for that purpose,” Stanley said.
Union, along with the city of Dayton and Montgomery County are providing matching funds for the design.
“The first step we have to take in that is to determine what the traffic volumes are projected to be,” Stanley noted. “There is a process that you have to go through and that will determine how wide we can make the road; how many lanes we can have.”
Stanley pointed out that the first step in that process is traffic modeling by counting the number of vehicles currently using the roads as a base versus what is projected for the future. IBI Group is the firm working for the Transportation Improvement District (TID) to determine those figures. The City of Vandalia also asked IBI to study traffic patterns in certain areas in conjunction with the study to assist Vandalia with future planning.
Some intersections further north of the airport were also included to address concerns Butler Township had about increased traffic. TID and the City of Union agreed to pay for that additional study area to develop a better picture of what traffic patterns looked like on two separate study dates around the airport area.
A presentation about these findings have already been presented to the City of Vandalia about two weeks ago and another presentation will be made to Butler Township officials in addition to the presentation made to Union officials on Monday.
“You will see that we have a much clearer and accurate picture of what traffic patterns are like out here,” Stanley said.
Traffic counts in October and December 2015 were performed on Lightner Road at North Dixie Drive and Peters Pike, on Old Springfield Road at Union Airpark Boulevard and both ends of Dog Leg Road, on Jackson Road at Frederick Pike and Union Airpark, on Northwoods Boulevard at Dixie, the entrance to the Flying J Truck Stop and Exit 64 from Interstate 75, on National Road at Union Airpark, Dog Leg Road south, the onramp and exit ramp of the Airport Access Road, at Peters Pike south, and at N. Dixie Drive, and on Airport Access Road on Terminal Road at Boeing Drive (on the airport grounds), on Airport Access Road just west of Fieldstone Way, at the onramp to Interstate 70 East and West and Exit 32 from Interstate 70 to Airport Access and from State Route 48 to the Airport Access Road.
The study also showed roadways with less traffic and more traffic versus pre-recession (2007). The study compared regular vehicle and truck traffic at each traffic count location and whether or not there was an increase or decrease. The study also revealed the percentage of truck traffic on all of the roadways.
“The trucks related to Vandalia’s industrial park and to Proctor & Gamble’s facility are by and large going where we want them to,” Stanley noted. “They are coming up the Airport Access Road; they are on the National Road east and west in and out. Are there trucks coming off I-75 at Northwoods and I-75 at U.S. 40 and coming across to either service Vandalia’s park and the businesses there or over to P&G? Yes there are. But it is not a very significant number compared to the much larger volume going in and out the Airport Access Road.”
Stanley added that there is truck traffic at the smaller intersections north of the airport, but that amount is very small.
“From the perspective of the local governments involved in saying, what can we do in the long run to help manage keeping the semi-tractor trailer in particular to the preferred routes and off some of the smaller roadways, whether it be township or municipal roadways,” Stanley said. “Well, we know have a finite number there to deal with and it is probably going to be a management issue we all have to deal with in the long run. But, it is not a huge volume and I think everybody can see from a practical standpoint that it is a much more manageable circumstance heading into the future.”