Joel Newman is a Senior Designer at Fat Pencil Studio
We recently had the opportunity to work with Alta Planning + Design on a project in Anacortes Washington. A portion of Commercial Ave. just south of downtown is being studied for upgrades to pedestrian and cyclist access, as well as traffic flow. We joined the project midway through– So far, the original four options have been whittled down to two: A roundabout and a protected intersection. Both feature wide sidewalks and bike lanes, and narrower, well-marked crosswalks.
The traffic pattern is complicated somewhat by traffic on State Route 20, which follows Commercial Ave. north, then turns at 12th St. and heads east to the ferry terminal. The ferry schedule makes for occasional surges of traffic, including large trucks turning here.
We modeled the project in SketchUp, then worked with TSI Transportation Studies Inc, who modeled the traffic patterns in VISSIM and rendered the video seen on the City of Anacortes website. Watch the red cars navigate the intersection at 12th and Commercial, and see which proposed design handles a "ferry surge" more smoothly!