LOS, VMT and Protected Intersections and Policy 5-3 Explained

Doug Moody of the City of San Jose Department of Transportation discusses and answers questions at the WNAC May 18th, 2016 General Meeting regarding terms such as LOS, VMT, Policy 5-3 and protected intersections. A few highlights from the above video:

  • It is clear that safety is the number one priority of SJ DOT and is how the SJ DOT looks at any policy. Moody points out that San Jose’s Vision 0 program is about ensuring zero traffic fatalities, regardless of where a person is (car, bike, sidewalk, etc.).
  • Much of the WNAC falls into a Community Improvement Zone, because of the “Protected” status of the Stevens Creek/Winchester and Stevens Creek/Monroe intersection. The Protected Intersections create *value* that may be used to improve system capacity and/or enhance non-auto travel modes — the distinction between *fees* and *value* is important because, for a number of reasons, it is preferable for the developer to construct the improvements during construction of their project.
  • Moody talks about the challenges of traffic measurement and, in the ideal world, the DOT would know origin, destination, route, mode, time-of-day, travel time, traveler characteristic for traffic. The city isn’t there yet, although he did suggest that there are some available technologies. Further, the state of California has a voluntary program where they are looking at how to measure Vehicle Miles Traveled. To volunteer, go to http://www.californiaroadchargepilot.com/

One of the questions asked is why San Jose doesn’t utilize flashing red lights at off-peak times, as is done in other cities. As seen above, Doug didn’t have the answer readily available, but he responded via email with the following reply:

“The City of San Jose currently does not have any flashing red left-turn arrows, and for consistency throughout the City, DOT is not currently considering adding flashing red left-turn arrows. However, DOT is exploring implementing flashing yellow left-turn arrows where appropriate — Stevens Creek and Henry is currently under consideration for flashing yellow left-turn arrows, especially because it is an offset intersection.”

Note, in a follow-up email, Doug said he had misspoke when he said that San Tomas and Moorpark were a Level F intersection. He meant San Tomas and Stevens Creek.

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