DOTD releases traffic study results of La. 523, Ashley River Road in Shreveport, Caddo Parish
Friday, June 24, 2016 at 12:33:55 PM
BOSSIER CITY, La. -- At the request of local residents and elected officials, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development recently completed a thorough analysis of the intersection of LA 523 (Flournoy Lucas Road) and Ashley River Road in Shreveport to determine if criteria pertaining to installation of a traffic signal are met. The criteria include traffic signal warrants published in the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, (MUTCD), as well as minimum spacing requirements established by the Department.

Traffic signals are often considered a cure-all for all traffic problems at intersections. This belief has led to traffic control signals being installed at many locations where they are not needed, adversely affecting the safety and efficiency of vehicle and pedestrian traffic along the corridor. While certainly a valuable tool, traffic signals must be properly utilized in order for them to function as intended. There are other options available that may offer solutions to certain traffic problems, and these must also be utilized as intended. Each situation requires careful analysis to ensure that the proposed solution is appropriate and effective.

While traffic signals can decrease the frequency and severity of certain types of crashes (such as right-angle collisions), they frequently result in significant increases in the frequency of other crashes, such as rear-end collisions, especially if the traffic signal is unwarranted. In this case, the intersection does not have a pattern of crashes that would justify the installation of a new signal.
Since signalized intersections tend increase certain types of accidents (rear-end collisions), either Warrant 1A (Minimum Vehicular Volume) or Warrant 7 (Crash Experience) must be met. Additionally, no other traffic signals can be within one-half mile of the proposed signal location.

In the case of Warrant 1A, total traffic volumes didn’t meet the 8-hour volume thresholds required for any day. The most hours that met the requirement for any given day of the week were two.

With regard to Warrant 7, crash records from January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2014, show a total of eight crashes at this intersection in three years. The Department is mandated to look for patterns of crashes considered to be correctible. Of the four crashes (required: five minimum) in the most recent 12-month period, three (all five required to be correctable) were considered correctible by a traffic signal. Therefore, Warrant 7 was not met.

Department policy also requires that traffic signals be spaced a minimum of one-half mile (2600 feet) apart. The studied intersection is located only 800 feet (0.15 miles) to the east of the existing signal at LA 3132, which does not meet the spacing requirement.
Requests for traffic signals by local residents are very common throughout the state; safety is most frequently cited as the basis for such requests. While the study determined the intersection did not meet the criteria for installation of a traffic signal, we are sensitive to citizens’ concerns and are exploring other long term solutions, though options are limited.

The DOTD appreciates interest in, and is committed to, the safety and efficient operation of Louisiana’s transportation network.