Nearly eight months after its initial hearing on updates to the county’s public road standards, cplanning commissioners voted to adopt the changes.
The adoption followed three county commission continuances and three subcommittee workshops.
“We didn’t satisfy everybody a hundred percent,” said Commissioner Leon Brooks. “But we’ve come a long way in providing standards for the county.”
Assuming that the county supervisors ratify the recommendations, 19 new road classifications will be created in the county. The updates also cover pathway, engineering and driveway spacing standards, and they provide flexibility to balance community character with emergency service needs. The update does not supersede community road standards.
“They have equal weight as the public road standards,” said Bob Goralka, Department of Public Works traffic engineer.
Existing road classifications are expressway, prime arterial, major road, collector, town collector, light collector, rural collector, rural light collector, rural mountain and recreational parkway. The 17 additional categories would be major road with intermittent turn lanes, boulevard with raised median, boulevard with intermittent turn lanes, community collector with raised median, community collector with continuous left-turn lane, community collector with intermittent turn lanes, community collector with passing lane, community collector with no median, light collector with raised median, light collector with continuous left turn lane, light collector with intermittent turn lanes, light collector with passing lane, light collector with no median, light collector with reduced shoulder, minor collector with raised median, minor collector with intermittent turn lanes, and minor collector with no median.
Existing road classifications within communities are residential collector, residential, residential cul-de-sac, residential loop, industrial/commercial collector, industrial/commercial, industrial/commercial cul-de-sac, frontage, alley, and hillside residential. The revisions would add the rural residential collector and rural residential road classifications.
A rural residential collector would be designed to accommodate an average daily traffic volume of between 1,500 and 4,500 vehicles while a rural residential road would service an average volume of less than 1,500 vehicles. Both are intended to serve areas with lot sizes of at least two acres, and on-street parking would be prohibited. Standards for both include a total right-of-way width of 48 feet, a pavement width of 28 feet between the curb faces, and a minimum pavement thickness of three inches of asphalt concrete pavement and six inches of Portland cement concrete pavement.
All road classifications have a minimum lane width of 12 feet, with the exception of hillside residential, which does not have a specific minimum width. The proposed rural residential road and rural residential collector classifications also require 12-foot lanes.
The changes would revise pathway standards to provide consistency with the county’s Community Trails Master Plan and update provisions to address current engineering practices. The pathway updates incorporate existing Community Trails Master Plan design and construction guidelines, eliminate the requirement that the pathway be contiguous with the curb, and provide clarification that additional right-of-way may be necessary where pathways are required to exceed 10 feet in width.
The revisions to address current engineering standards refer to industry standards and guidelines regarding the evaluation and installation of roundabouts and signalized intersections.