Traffic-related general plan amendment proposed for Grass Valley

This is on the agenda for the Grass Valley Planning Commission on Tuesday, May 21:

Subject: A proposed amendment to the General Plan Circulation Element, to add a policy that specifies that Level of Service (LOS) E is acceptable for six intersections in the historic downtown area

Location: 1) Mill and Neal Streets; 2) West Main and Mill Streets; 3) West Main and Church Streets; 4) West Main and School Streets; 5) Bank and South Auburn Streets; 6) State Route 20/49 Southbound ramp and Bennett Street
Applicant: City of Grass Valley
Zoning/General Plan: Various
Environmental Status: Reliance of two previously certified Environmental Impact

The proposed project is an amendment to the General Plan Circulation Element. The
specific amendment is the addition of one new policy which implements Circulation Element Implementation Program 7-CI (IP7-CI). IP7-CI allows the City Council to adjust the level of service standard at certain intersections after the City performs an analysis of the factors listed in the program. As part of this project, the City performed the analysis with respect to Implementation Program 7-CI and found it is necessary to relax the LOS standard at the six intersections listed in the following proposed policy:

The staff report is here.

Level of service (LOS) is a measure used by traffic engineers to determine the effectiveness of elements of transportation infrastructure.

Level-of-Service E describes operations at capacity. Flow becomes irregular and speed varies rapidly because there are virtually no usable gaps to maneuver in the traffic stream and speeds rarely reach the posted limit. Vehicle spacing is about 6 car lengths, however speeds are still at or above 50 mi/h(80 km/h). Any disruption to traffic flow, such as merging ramp traffic or lane changes, will create a shock wave affecting traffic upstream. Any incident will create serious delays. Driver’s level of comfort become poor.[1] LOS E is a common standard in larger urban areas, where some roadway congestion is inevitable.

More information is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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