Traffic - Corridor State Highway 6 Performance
Great Place To Live
Status Indicators: Proceeding as Anticipated | Monitoring Progress | Reviewing for Improvement | Information Unavailable
Proceeding as Anticipated
Reviewing for Improvement
For years, the City has taken corridor performance measurements using the ‘floating’ car method which is done by driving the corridor and manually recording travel times within each peak. The data was collected for a typical weekday (Tuesday –Thursday) and would represent the quarterly performance. This method has its shortfalls as it fails to capture how traffic may fluctuate during different times of the year, quarter, or even day of week but provided representation of performance on a typical day within the quarter.
The traffic division is currently finalizing an evaluation of an automated travel time data collection system along SH 6. The system, which uses Bluetooth technology, continuously (24/7/365) gathers travel time measurements from Dulles to Brooks. This method of using Bluetooth readers to measure travel times greatly increases the data points used to measure corridor performance over the entire quarter versus the previous ‘floating’ car methodology. The numbers reported this quarter for SH 6 represent the average travel times of every recorded weekday (Mon – Fri) for the entire quarter (January 1 – March 31) for each peak period. Moving forward, the City plans report values using the Bluetooth data and expand this technology to US 90 and University Blvd.
Due to change in methodology, the City saw increases in travel times in the noon and PM peaks but still met the level of service C. The increase is primarily due to fact that the previously reported data did not describe the fluctuation of travel times within the quarter. However, the data also showed that the travel times for the southbound direction segment of Brooks to 59 had extremely low average speeds (Noon Peak: 15.2 mph, PM Peak: 12.6 mph). The traffic division will be looking to focus on this segment and investigate if there are any changes that can be made to improve speeds without trying to negatively affect the opposing direction or operation at the interchange of SH6/59.
Average travel times(metrics) for the 2nd quarter are summarized below with a target of C for all peak times:
- AM: 6 minutes 11 seconds (34.3 mph, LOS B)
- Noon: 7 minutes 54 seconds (26.8 mph, LOS C)
- PM: 9 minutes 18 seconds (22.8 mph, LOS C)
Per the 2010 Highway Capacity Manual, this metric is calculated as the average measured travel speed over the posted speed limit for the corresponding major corridor (avg. speed / posted speed limit). The calculated value is converted into a percentage and translated into a letter grade indicative of a level of service (A is the best, F is the worst). The slower the measured speed compared to the posted speed limit, the lower the level of service.
Measured major travel corridors include:
State Highway 6 (Dulles to Brooks St.) - 45 MPH
US Highway 90 (Dairy Ashford Blvd. to SH 6) - 50 MPH
Standard Levels of Service are classified by the 2010 Highway Capacity Manual.
A: ≥86% B: 68%-85% C: 51%-67% D: 41%-50%
E: 31%-40% F: ≤30%
A target of C means the City aims to have traffic flowing at a minimum of 51-67% of the speed limit. For Highway 6, this means the City aims to have traffic goal at least 23 - 30 MPH during the AM, noon, and PM peak travel times.
The City of Sugar Land's most vital vehicular travel corridors support commercial enterprise and quality of life. Shorter travel times help improve both commercial enterprise and quality of life.