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News > Solutions planned to alleviate traffic
The intersection of Spruce and Chidlaw is now a four-way stop to facilitate flow out Gate 12A.
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Solutions planned to alleviate traffic

Posted 1/4/2013   Updated 1/4/2013 Email story   Print story


by Amy Rollins
Skywrighter Staff

1/4/2013 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio -- The 88th Security Forces Squadron and the 88th Civil Engineer Directorate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base have developed a new, possibly permanent solution to alleviate congestion at the four-way stop at Chidlaw Road and Spruce Way that seems to be creating some backup issues at Gate 12A. More traffic is funneling through Gate 12A due to the closure of the portion of State Route 444 that is on the base's federal land and bisects Area A.

"We are working through different courses of action with the base traffic engineer to see what we can do to help the flow of traffic," said Capt. Brian R. Mack, 88 SFS operations officer.

SFS personnel have been directing traffic through the intersection at peak times -- usually from about 7 to a little after 8 a.m., and 4:30 to a bit after 5 p.m.

"The posted times still may change a little depending on the ebb and flow of traffic," Captain Mack said.

Starting on Jan. 7, through the use of traffic cones, signage and additional personnel, the four-way stop will be modified, during the peak morning drive time, to offer a continuous right-hand turn for drivers coming through Gate 12A, onto the new Spruce Way, said Fred Tito, a CE design manager who was responsible for managing the SR 444 project.
Drivers will continue east along the new Spruce Way and then may enter internal Gate 9A for the Wright-Patterson Medical Center or internal Gate 8A, on Schuster Road, to reach the rest of Area A. Of course, they may also continue to use internal Gate 38A into Kittyhawk Center or proceed north on Spruce Way past Gate 38A to the new Gate 1A, situated at the back of the base commissary.

"Predominantly, the people coming in and then going through at that time of day are heading to the hospital. They'll turn right and then turn left at old Gate 9A, so it shouldn't be too much of an inconvenience for them," Mr. Tito said.

To accommodate the continuous right turn, two movements at the intersection will be restricted. First, traffic southbound on Chid-law Road will be restricted from turning left onto Spruce Way. Also, eastbound traffic on Spruce Way will be prohibited from continuing through on Spruce Way and will be forced to turn right or left onto Chidlaw Road.

"Our traffic counts show that few drivers are making those movements that will be restricted during the morning peak, so the impact should be low," Mr. Tito said. Other movements at the intersection will proceed as they normally do.

Traffic counts of the four-way-stop intersection during the morning commute time were conducted by CE and discovered that about 40 percent of the traffic at the intersection could be diverted right onto Spruce Way.

"If we can divert incoming traffic to the right, while not extending people's commute too far, and take that traffic out of the four-way stop, the delay at the intersection and the backup toward Gate 12A are going to be reduced," he said.

Such temporary morning modifications already are being utilized at other gates, Mr. Tito noted. "We do it at Gate 15A, 22B -- we make these adjustments at most of our gates; this isn't something we haven't done during these short-term, heavy-volume times."
This solution offers the advantages of being quick to implement, cheap and possibly permanent if it's effective, he said.

"We'll see how this works out. If it solves a lot of our issues, we may not be required to do a signal. It gives us another option in the future -- even if we do put in a signal for other reasons."

More directional and warning signage will be added to the fenceline that crosses where SR 444 curves by the gas station at Dayton-Yellow Springs Road.

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