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Lake Morton Traffic Calming Survey


[UPDATE: 10/20/2018] Survey results and decisions added below.
[UPDATE: 9/28/2018] New 20 MPH with "NEW sunburst" signs were installed around Lake Morton Drive.

A number of incidents have happened on Lake Morton Drive over the past several weeks involving distracted drivers.  Most recently a pedestrian was severely injured when they were struck by a motorist while in a crosswalk.  Seven swans have been hit by motorist and five of those swans have died due to injuries. 

We want your thoughts on what we can do to enhance the safety and mobility for all roadway users on Lake Morton Drive. 


Lake Morton Traffic Calming Options


Background

  • Objective

    To enhance the safety, accessibility and mobility for all roadway users including the wildlife on Lake Morton Drive in a sustainable (long-lasting) and cost-effective manner that compliments the aesthetics of the surrounding neighborhood.

    This objective can be met by managing operating speeds, managing accessibility to the lake and moderating motorist behavior. The City of Lakeland’s Public Works Department has outlined five possible solutions that meet the objective.

    Coupled with these top five solutions that most closely meet the objective, it would be appropriate to organize a public safety campaign similar to the Polk County’s TPO’s “Pledge to Slow Down” campaign.

  • Question

    Pre-survey:

    We are looking for the community to assist with input, so we want to hear from you.

    What are your thoughts on how we can better educate drivers to pay attention? 

    What are some safety enhancements that you think should be done to helps us meet our objective?

    In addition to the ideas and feedback we receive, the City of Lakeland is also considering the list of options below.  Please check all options you feel would be effective.

    • Marked Parking
    • Raised Crosswalks
    • Rectangular Reflective Flashing Beacon
    • Bulb Out
    • Landscaped Medians

    Your opinions are valuable, and we thank you for your feedback. We look to our citizens to be informed and engaged in the process as we work together to build a vibrant, world-class community.

  • Background

    There are 5,128 drivers who use Lake Morton Drive on a daily basis with 518 vehicles using the road during the peak hour at 5 p.m. The posted speed limit on Lake Morton Drive is 25 mph.  A recently completed traffic study indicates the operating speed is 23 mph with drivers averaging 18 mph while traveling around the lake. Based on recent traffic data, speeding is not the primary issue. All factors indicate these incidents were caused by distracted drivers and those not paying attention to their immediate surrounding. According to the Lakeland Police Department accidents are up 10-15% because drivers are using their mobile phones and other devices while driving. 

    *Most of the swans have been hit on the west side of the lake between Success Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue during all hours of the day.

    Lake Morton is home to over 60 swans that are cared for by the City of Lakeland.  There is also a very large population of ducks, geese and other water fowl that call the lake home.  The area is also a very popular destination for families, walkers, joggers and cyclists.  Solutions being explored need to enhance the safety, accessibility, and mobility for all of our users and wildlife.

    There are some initiatives that have already been ruled out because they do not meet any or most of the objectives such as traffic management, speed acceleration and accessibility issues with over 18 side streets merging onto Lake Morton Drive.  These suggestions include: speed humps, formalized bicycle paths, converting the road to one-way traffic, and lake side parking.

Results

  • Question 1: What are some safety enhancements that you think should be done to help us meet our objective?

    Question 1 Responses

    Click the links below to open a PDF with the responses received.


    • Address the Swan Population:
      21 respondents mentioned this solution. 52.38% were for relocating/reducing the swan population, 28.57% were for limiting the feeding of swans, and 19.05% mentioned some other solution regarding the swans.
    • Bike Lanes:
      10 respondents mentioned this solution. 100% were for installing bike lanes, and 0% were against this solution.

    • Brick Streets:
      28 respondents mentioned this solution. 100% were for bricked streets, and 0% were against this solution.

    • Bulb Outs:
      13 respondents mentioned this solution. 92.31% were for installing bulb outs, and 7.69% were against this solution.

    • Cameras:
      19 respondents mentioned this solution. 100.00% were for using cameras, and 0.00% were against this solution.

    • Close Road to Traffic:
      27 respondents mentioned this solution. 92.59% were for closing the road to traffic, and 7.41% were against this solution.

    • Fencing or Barriers:
      25 respondents mentioned this solution. 96.00% were for using fencing or barriers, and 4.00% were against this solution.

    • Flashing Beacons:
      34 respondents mentioned this solution. 70.59% were for flashing beacons, and 29.41% were against this solution.

    • Landscaped Medians:
      33 respondents mentioned this solution. 45.45% were for landscaped medians, and 54.55% were against this solution

    • Laws & Law Enforcement:
      89 respondents mentioned this solution. 100.00% were for stronger laws and/or stricter law enforcement, and 0.00% were against this solution

    • Lower Speed Limit:
      52 respondents mentioned this solution. 75.00% were for lowering the speed limit, and 25.00% were against this solution

    • Marked Parking:
      60 respondents mentioned this solution. 73.33% were for marked parking, 25.00% were against this solution, and 1.67% had a neutral comment.

    • One-Way Traffic:
      72 respondents mentioned this solution. 100.00% were for having one-way traffic, and 0.00% were against this solution.

    • Other - Narrow the Street:
      9 respondents mentioned this solution. 88.89% were for narrowing the street, and 11.11% were against this solution.

    • ***Fencing or Barriers:
      25 respondents mentioned this solution. 96.00% were for using fencing or barriers, and 4.00% were against this solution.

    • Sidewalks:
      17 respondents mentioned this solution. 94.12% were for installing sidewalks, 0.00% were against this solution, and 5.88% had a neutral comment.

    • Signs:
      37 respondents mentioned this solution. 97.30% were for installing signs, and 2.70% were against this solution.

    • Paint:
      18 respondents mentioned this solution. 94.44% were for using paint, and 5.56% were against this solution.

    • Raised Crosswalks:
      76 respondents mentioned this solution. 88.16% were for installing raised crosswalks, 10.53% were against this solution, and 1.32% had a neutral comment.

    • Speed Bumps:
      109 respondents mentioned this solution. 97.25% were for speed bumps, and 2.75% were against this solution.

    • Traffic Circles & Turtles:
      12 respondents mentioned this solution. 100.00% were for installing traffic circles or traffic turtles, and 0.00% were against this solution.
  • Question 2: What are your thoughts on how we can better educate drivers to pay attention?

    Question 2 Responses

    Click the links below to open a PDF with the responses received.


    • Cameras:
      14 respondents mentioned this solution. 100.00% were for using cameras, and 0.00% were against this solution.

    • Communication Campaign:
      76 respondents mentioned this solution. 97.37% were for using a communication campaign, and 2.63% were against this solution.

    • Flashing Beacons:
      32 respondents mentioned this solution. 100.00% were for flashing beacons, and 0.00% were against this solution.

    • Laws & Law Enforcement:
      170 respondents mentioned this solution. 97.65% were for stronger laws and/or stricter law enforcement, 0.00% were against this solution, and 2.35% had a neutral comment.

    • Lower Speed Limit:
      18 respondents mentioned this solution. 100.00% were for lowering the speed limit, and 0.00% were against this solution.

    • Other - Raised Sidewalks:
      8 respondents mentioned this solution. 100.00% were for installing raised crosswalks, and 0.00% were against this solution.

    • Paint:
      12 respondents mentioned this solution. 100.00% were for using paint, and 0.00% were against this solution.

    • Signs:
      115 respondents mentioned this solution. 94.78% were for installing signs, 4.35% were against this solution, and 0.87% had neutral comments.

    • Speed Bumps:
      22 respondents mentioned this solution. 95.45% were for speed bumps, and 4.55% were against this solution.
  • Question 3: What traffic calming options do you feel would be effective?

    Responses

    This is a bar graph depicting traffic calming options under considderation: marked parking, bulb outs, landscaped medians, raised crosswalks and RRFB's. Results are posted in text under this graphic.

    Traffic Calming Options:

    Answers Count Percentage
    Marked Parking 267 43.20%
    Bulb Outs 102 16.50%
    Landscaped Medians 210 33.98%
    Raised Crosswalks 453 73.30%
    RRFB - Rectangular Reflective Flashing Beacons 265 42.88%

    Answered: 618, Skipped: 0

Decisions

  • Lake Morton Drive Decisions

    Here is a list of the most popular solutions mentioned in the survey responses, and an explanation of decisions regarding each one.

    Thank you again for your participation, and your thoughtful input on this issue!


    Speed Bumps The addition of speed bumps was the most frequently mentioned solution. Many people feel the addition of these physical impediments will force drivers to slow down and be more vigilant. However, speed bumps were ruled out because they do not meet any or most of the objectives such as traffic management, speed acceleration and accessibility issues with over 18 side streets merging onto Lake Morton Drive. Other suggestions that were ruled out for the same reasons are: formalized bicycle paths, and converting the road to one-way traffic.
    Laws & Law Enforcement Many survey respondents feel Florida laws need to be changed to be more stringent on distracted drivers. It will be interesting to see if, in the future, the Florida State Legislature adopts stronger laws, such as the State of Georgia did recently. Survey takers also suggested that, at the very least, an increased police presence and stronger enforcement of the speed limit would do much to alleviate the Lake Morton issue. The Lakeland Police Department has committed to increasing patrols in the Lake Morton area with an emphasis on speed limit enforcement.
    Raised Crosswalks Many survey respondents liked the idea of raised crosswalks as a method of drawing attention to pedestrians, and to keep drivers from being distracted in general. The City of Lakeland has decided to add raised crosswalks at critical intersections.
    Lower Speed Limit Although the recently conducted traffic study indicated that speed is not a primary issue around Lake Morton, many survey respondents feel that lowering the speed limit would force people to pay closer attention while driving. The City of Lakeland believes that we should introduce as many countermeasures as is feasible to help meet the goal of attaining motorists’ full attention. A change in speed limit to 20 MPH, along with the temporary “NEW Starburst” sign (see right), should help reach this goal.
    Signs Many survey takers feel that adding signs will help catch the attention of distracted drivers. The City of Lakeland is considering add some signs in the area, but wants to ensure that they do not detract from the beauty of Lake Morton.
    Flashing Beacons Survey respondents also mentioned that adding flashing beacons could call attention to pedestrians in crosswalks, or could be used to alert drivers to the wildlife in the area, or certain intersections. Again, the City of Lakeland is considering this option, but wants to ensure that the beacons do not detract from the beauty of the area.
    Cameras Survey respondents commented that cameras could be used to identify and ticket distracted drivers, as well as serve as a deterrent in preventing it. The City of Lakeland feels that increased patrols by LPD should accomplish these objectives, without going to the expense of installing and maintaining cameras. We will continue to monitor the results of LPD patrolling before investing in additional monitoring devices.
    Paint Many survey takers feel that adding paint could be used in a variety of ways to catch the attention of distracted drivers. Some suggested that painting lines on the road would do much to help drivers stay focused, while others suggested that marked parking, or the used of creative artwork on the road could also help. The City of Lakeland is considering all of these suggestions, and since paint is an easy and affordable solution, it meets our objective of being cost effective and sustainable. Again, the City would consider the aesthetic effect of using paint, and would make every effort to use it so that it does not detract from the natural beauty of Lake Morton.

    Note: After reducing the posted speed limit, from 25 to 20 MPH around Lake Morton Drive, the highest speeds dropped from 36.0% to 25.2% of the total vehicles travelled.  We will conduct additional traffic studies after the holidays to test the effects on operating speed of the painted parking boxes.

    View List of Solutions (PDF)