Some of Tolland's intersections on Route 195 may need some work in order to handle projected increasing traffic loads, according to a preliminary report courtesy of the Capitol Region Council of Governments.
A number of projects that will increase traffic volumes on the route are slated to begin in Tolland and Storrs in the near future, such as the UConn Technology Park, Storrs Center, Tolland Village Area and the Tolland Technology Zone. The CRCOG report, using existing traffic data, examines the traffic volume on Route 195 south of I-84 and how much a proposed state project to widen Route 195 could help the town's intersections.
The state project's current momentum, which has been stop and go since it was first approved in 2002, is convenient, given that many of the projects are slated to begin in the near future.
According to the report, which encompasses the 3.25 miles spanning from the I-84 exit 68 offramps to the Tolland/Coventry town line, the area's maximum traffic volume reached 17,600 just south of I-84 and fell to 9,500 near the Coventry town line, according to the 2011 data.
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That information, collected by the Connecticut Department of Transportation, is considered to be conservatively high, since traffic levels have dropped in the following years due to the economic downturn, CRCOG said.
Using the 2011 data and projecting the future increase in traffic volume, CRCOG rated the efficiencies of five different intersections:
- Route 195/I-84 Westbound Ramps
- Route 195/I-84 Eastbound Ramps
- Route 195/Fieldstone Commons Drive
- Route 195/Rhodes Road, Goose Lane
- Route 195/Baxter Street, Anthony Road
The Data and How to Read It
Using the CT DOT 2011 traffic volume information and 2007 turning statistics, CRCOG compiled tables rating how well each of the intersections is performing currently, as well as how they would perform in the future, if the Route 195 widening project is completed as proposed.
Short range projections include increased traffic within 5 years; 2040 projections assume that two of the devlopments are complete; and "full build" assumes that all four projects would be completed and operational.
A rating under .85 means the intersection is below capacity, .85 to .95 signifies near capacity, .95 to 1.00 is at capacity, and over 1.00 shows that the intersection is over capacity, according to the report.
For Baxter and Anthony Road, which is the only intersection without a traffic signal, a different analysis system was used. Ratings of "A" and "B" means it is operating well, "C" is "acceptable," "D" is "tolerable" and "E" and "F" are poor and failing ratings, according to the report.
Intersection Performance WITHOUT Improvements
Weekday Peak HoursMorning Traffic Existing Volumes Short Range Projections 2040 Projections 2040 Full Build Route 195/ Westbound I-84 Ramps .81 .81 .96 1.04 Route 195/Eastbound I-84 Ramps .71 .71 .83 .91 Route 195/Fieldstone Commons .64 .64 .72 .80 Route 195/Rhodes Road/Goose Lane .73 .74 .84 .92 Route 195/Baxter Street/Anthony Road C C D E Evening Traffic Route 195/ Westbound I-84 Ramps .66 .66 .77 .84 Route 195/ Eastbound I-84 Ramps 1.05 1.06 1.23 1.34 Route 195/ Fieldstone Commons .89 .90 1.02 1.12 Route 195/ Rhodes Road/Goose Lane .85 .85 .97 1.06 Route 195/Baxter Street/Anthony Road E E F F
Intersection Performance with Proposed DOT Improvements
Weekday Peak Hours
A Closer Look at Anthony Road and Baxter Street
While the Route 195 widening project makes four out of the five intersections almost completely operational when all of the developments are completed, Baxter Street and Anthony Road are projected to fail to meet capacity.
Therefore, CRCOG suggested that additional improvements could be made to the intersection, including the addition of a traffic signal and left turn lanes on Route 195.
However, those improvements are not a part of the state's current Route 195 project, which stops just after the Rhodes Road and Goose Lane intersection.
Tolland Town Planner Linda Farmer said that separate grants or funds would need to be acquired before making any improvements. She added that if a development were to be built in the area that warranted a traffic study or permit, then a developer could end up improving the intersection or funding a traffic signal as part of the construction process.
The developers of Fieldstone Commons put in the intersection's turning lanes and signal when the project was built, she said.
Intersection Performace with Additional Recommended Improvements
Weekday Peak HoursMorning Traffic Existing Volumes Short Range Projections 2040 Projections 2040 Full Build Projections Route 195 Anthony Road/Baxter Street .53 .54 .63 .66 Evening Traffic Route 195 Anthony Road/Baxter Street .61 .62 .72 .77