Sawmill Creek Road Transportation Corridor Assessment [2018]
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Sawmill Creek Road Transportation Corridor Assessment [2018]

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      The National Park Service (NPS) and City and Borough of Sitka (CBS) requested a review of potential actions to improve the safety performance of Sawmill Creek (SMC) Road. The request is in response to concerns for the safety of visitors and residents who frequently cross SMC Road to access tourist sites and residences. SMC Road is a heavily trafficked corridor with pedestrian, bicycle, motorist, bus and industrial truck traffic competing for space and often coming into close conflict with one another. The safety components of SMC Road have been under discussion for many years, with city and Park officials seeking the implementation of additional safety measures. SMC Road is a state-owned and maintained roadway located within the municipal jurisdiction of the CBS and bordering Sitka National Historical Park (Sitka NHP). It is the only road connection between downtown Sitka and the Jarvis Street/Price Street Industrial area, Allen Marine Ways, and the Sawmill Creek Business Complex, as well as the Blue and Green Lake Hydroelectric dams and power stations. A substantial percentage of Sitka residents live along this portion of Sawmill Creek Road. As a state-owned roadway, the state must approve modifications to the roadway, and current crash data may not support pedestrian improvements in the corridor. Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD) has performed a planning corridor study, analogous to a Road Safety Audit (RSA), to evaluate the safety performance of SMC Road. The RSA will provide important information regarding existing infrastructure, safety concerns, operational conditions and suggest short-term, low-cost and long-term, higher cost improvements. The overall focus is to review existing traffic and safety information, identify improvements and suggest additions to incorporate into a future project. This RSA complements the Sitka National Historical Park Transportation Study, completed by WFLHD and Volpe staff in partnership with the NPS.
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