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Background

Safety is at the core of WSDOT’s approach to this project. The Safe System Approach is a holistic approach to roadway safety. It is based on the following elements: safe roads, safe speeds, safe vehicles, safe road users, and post-crash care.

Graphic depicting the Safe System Approach’s five core elements; Safe Roads, Safe Speeds, 
Safe Vehicles, Safe Road Users, and Post-Crash Care.
Graphic depicting the Safe System Approach’s five core elements; Safe Roads, Safe Speeds,
Safe Vehicles, Safe Road Users, and Post-Crash Care.

WSDOT did an overview of the two segments of the paving project. This overview took into account several factors. This includes existing active transportation facilities, impacts to traffic flow, and community context. It assisted in deciding which segments needed improvements.

Safety Analysis

WSDOT did a safety analysis on the US 101 corridor to find areas where crashes occur.  The project team looked at serious and fatal crashes. It also looked for crashes involving a bicyclist or pedestrian. WSDOT also looked at segments where drivers often travel over the speed limit. WSDOT then prioritized these locations for safety improvements.

Complete Streets

Complete Streets is an approach to planning and designing streets that enables safer access for all people of all ages and abilities along and across our highways. It provides a way for WSDOT to make roads safer for all users. In 2022, a new law required the use of Complete Streets on WSDOT projects over $500,000.

Complete Streets looks at a roadway’s Level of Traffic Stress. It looks at the level of service of the intersections in the paving segments. It also takes into account the context of the project’s surroundings. Complete Streets is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach. It is tailored to the needs of the community. This section goes into a little more detail about each of those concepts.

WSDOT is a multimodal agency. Improvements must include people who walk, roll, cycle, or use transit. This project underwent a Complete Streets review to find areas along US 101 with high Levels of Traffic Stress (LTS) that can be lowered by building new facilities.

Level of Traffic Stress

The LTS determines how much space and separation to provide for bicyclists and pedestrians. An LTS 2 facility is suitable for most road users.

Graphics depict levels of traffic stress for bicyclists and pedestrians ranging from LTS 1-LTS 4. LTS 1 is for all users, LTS 2 is for most users, LTS 3 is for few users, and LTS 4 is only for one percent of all road users.
Graphics depict levels of traffic stress for bicyclists and pedestrians ranging from LTS 1-LTS 4. LTS 1 is for all users, LTS 2 is for most users, LTS 3 is for few users, and LTS 4 is only for one percent of all road users.
Graphics depict levels of traffic stress for bicyclists and pedestrians ranging from LTS 1-LTS 4. LTS 1 is for all users, LTS 2 is for most users, LTS 3 is for few users, and LTS 4 is only for one percent of all road users.

Level of Service

Level of Service is a measure of an intersection’s performance in handling traffic. It looks at performance markers such as vehicle speed, density and congestion. Based on these factors, LOS assigns the intersection a letter grade. The proposed projects will maintain and improve the level of service even as the population grows.

Community Context

Next, the project team took a closer look at the local context of the project. They studied the current connections to the local road network, current land use patterns, and future developments.

Planners also use census data to understand the needs of community members in Clallam County. The project team found that many residents are burdened by the cost of transportation, so we prioritized connecting homes, businesses, schools and other facilities with safe comfortable multimodal facilities. The Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT) is important for active transportation users in Clallam County. However, it does not provide crossings for US 101. This project prioritizes moving people across US 101 safely and comfortably. The ODT does not serve this purpose. This is why remaking the highway shoulders and crosswalk improvements are part of this project.