Three Rivers Park District Comprehensive Trail Crossing Assessment

Minnesota

Three Rivers Park District retained SRF to provide a host of services focused on the improvement of their trail crossings. These services include:

  • A comprehensive assessment of trail crossing conditions within the entire Three Rivers system, including identification of crossings with known or potential safety issues.
  • A post-construction review of trail crossing treatments in the City of Mound where there were crossings with persistent and challenging safety concerns.
  • The development of a trail crossing guidance document, which addresses safety issues and design decisions that are specific to trail crossings within Three Rivers.

The comprehensive assessment of trail crossing conditions involved an intensive review of trail crossing facilities, which exist in 38 cities and townships in four counties in the Twin Cities. The purpose was to examine crossings for safety issues, consistency in trail crossing treatments, and opportunities to reduce operations and maintenance costs by eliminating unnecessary signage and pavement markings.

The post-construction review of trail crossing treatments in the City of Mound on the Dakota Rail Regional Trail crossing at County Road (CR) 15 had a number of safety issues, including problematic sight lines along CR 15, high vehicle volumes, and high trail volumes, all resulting in complaints from both motorists and trail users. Several trail crossing treatments were constructed to improve safety and clarify right of way, and SRF used video surveillance of the trail crossing to observe for unsafe and inconsistent trail crossing behavior. In addition, SRF also conducted intercept surveys at the trail crossing to capture whether trail users view the trail crossing treatments favorably, and whether trail users felt additional treatments were needed.

SRF’s final task is the development of a trail crossing guidance document to ensure safety for trail users and conform to state and national best practices in trail crossing treatments. SRF has reviewed trail crossing facility design and best practices documents, has compiled and synthesized relevant findings, and will develop additional design process charts and trail crossing treatment decision-making tools. SRF will also review the Three Rivers trail crossing database to identify general issues that may be present within the park system. Once completed, SRF will deliver the document to the Three Rivers.

 

CLIENT: Three Rivers Park District