SPECIAL STUDIES

Pages from Weverton Rail Crossing Feasib

The Weverton Railroad Crossing Feasbility Study identified potential solutions for the safe crossing of the CSX railroad at the Weverton, MD crossing site that links the C&O Canal National Historical Park and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail along the Potomac River.  Working with partners National Park Service, CSX, Maryland State Highway Administration, Maryland Division of Natural Resources and Washington County, alternatives and preliminary designs were developed. for at-grade and grade-separated options.  Environmental screening, GIS analysis, cost estimates, trail and train counts were part of this effort, as well as a public input and comments.

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Pages from HEPMPO Safety Study_Final 6-2

HEPMPO's Regional Traffic Safety and Improvement Study built upon the Maryland and the West Virginia Strategic Highway Safety Plans.  HEPMPO's Long Range Plan provided a preliminary evaluation of crash rates and crash severity and identified high need corridors and intersections.  Further study evaluated the causes of crashes at these locations and recommend safety improvements.  Development of this study included mapping, stakeholder coordination, analysis of historical crash data to identify recurring trends and contributing factors, public meetings and input.  As part of this study Road Safety Audits (RSAs) evaluated existing conditions on three separate high crash corridors and provided short- and long-term solutions.

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The Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) train serves West Virginia weekdays at three stations.  Concerns over continued funding sources for existing services led HEPMPO to work with their consultants to develop a comparative evaluation in terms of organization, ridership, structure and agreements of peer regional rail commuter systems that cross state lines.  Six peer systems were reviewed and perceived advantages and disadvantages of the multi-jurisdictional arrangements were documented.  The results include general observations and considerations specific to MARC's system.

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HEPMPO, in conjunction with WVDOH and their consultants, evaluated the need for a new access road between WV9 and Novak Drive in Berkeley County.  The study's objective was to identify planning considerations and environmental features prior to entering a preliminary design and National Environmental Policy Act phase.  This Connector Study discusses project need, identifies potential alternative corridors, performs traffic analysis, reviews possible environmental concerns and includes public input.  

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WVDOH and their consultants developed the WV 45 (Apple Harvest Drive) Traffic Operations & Safety Study to evaluate current and future traffic conditions, identify potential deficiencies, and develop alternative improvements to enhance traffic flow and safety along the corridor.  The corridor study area extended from Blue Ridge Community & Technical College and east to New York Avenue in Martinsburg.  HEPMPO assisted WVDOH in securing local input at review meetings with City of Martinsburg and Berkeley County staff, as well coordinating an informational public meeting on the study's preliminary analysis and findings.

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Concerns over several operational issues and public transit ridership growth identified in EPTA’s Transit Development Plan lead to this study’s development and its aim to identify a new site for a bus transfer station in the City of Martinsburg.  Partnering with the Eastern Panhandle Transit Authority, City of Martinsburg, Berkeley County Council, and the West Virginia Division of Transit this study examined nine potential sites providing detailed site analysis, evaluated traffic flow and impacts, assessed proposed bus routes adjustments, estimated project costs and laid out an implementation strategy.  In addition, a conceptual site layout and rendering was borne from the analysis addressing current and future public transit needs.

HEPMPO, along with partner organizations, state and local governments, community members and consultants, developed the regional bicycle plan to outline bicycle needs and priorities for the region, which includes a regional network map.  The planning document identifies mobility and safety needs, evaluated existing conditions, recommends specific improvements for key linkages, and highlights anticipated costs and potential implementation funding sources.

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Hagerstown is recognized as a “Bicycle Friendly Community” in Maryland and this updated plan seeks to build on the momentum generated by their 2010 Bicycle Master Plan. This was a collaborative effort between the City of Hagerstown and the Hagerstown/Eastern Panhandle Metropolitan Planning Organization (HEPMPO) that seeks to introduce new ways in which to evaluate the City’s existing and proposed bicycle infrastructure and amenities, specifically looking at bicycling comfort and potential demand, as well as identifying implementation strategies for priority projects.

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A pedestrian road safety audit (PRSA) is a formal procedure for assessing accident potential and safety performance for an existing roadway section.  Following a number of pedestrian fatalities along the Dual Highway in Hagerstown Maryland, a PRSA review process was undertaken.  The PRSA review process consisted of a multidisciplinary audit team of professionals representing City and County engineers and planners, SHA representatives from highway, planning and pedestrian sections, as well as City, County and State law enforcement, the Hagerstown/Eastern Panhandle MPO and its consultants.  The PRSA Team developed recommendations including both short-term improvements (i.e., low cost, quickly implementable) and long-term improvements (i.e., capital improvements, requiring engineering design) for implementation.

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Working with multiple private, state and local partners and landowners (the Northport Task Force), the Hagerstown/Eastern MPO and its consultants developed and presented this study to the City of Ranson.  Northport Station is the proposed center-piece of a future smart growth transit-oriented development that will also replace the obsolete Duffields Stop on the MARC commuter rail system.  This study performed site selection analysis on the Jefferson Orchards property, performed preliminary environmental screening, determined station design layouts and costs, ridership and traffic impacts and provided an implementation plan.

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As part of their Comprehensive Plan Update process, the City of Charles Town partnered with the Hagerstown/Eastern Panhandle MPO and their consultants to develop a municipal transportation study. This study looked at the impact of future household and employment growth on traffic conditions. Conclusions covered project recommendations and strategies to address forecasted congestion and transportation needs within the City’s urban growth boundary.

The Hagerstown/Eastern Panhandle MPO’s Direction 2035 Long Range Plan and Jefferson County’s 2004 Comprehensive Plan identified US340 as an important planning priority.  In conjunction with the West Virginia Department of Transportation, a corridor plan for US340 between Charles Town and Harpers Ferry examining land use and transportation was developed.  The MPO’s involvement focused on the Plan’s transportation component.  The study utilized innovative online outreach to engage the public, and examined different hypothetical land use scenarios looking 25 years ahead and their impact on the current and future transportation system.

Partnering with the Berkeley County Development Authority, Berkeley County Council and the City of Martinsburg, the Hagerstown/Eastern Panhandle MPO assisted in the development of this pedestrian plan.  The plan examines the opportunities to enhance the existing pedestrian network in the study area by inventorying existing land uses, pedestrian infrastructure, pedestrian barriers and pedestrian destinations. Opportunities were identified to help determine locations which would benefit from increased pedestrian infrastructure. 

This study was developed with the Cities of Ranson and Charles Town, West Virginia Department of Transportation and the Hagerstown/Eastern Panhandle MPO. The transportation development fee study included estimating a “build-out” growth scenario, analyzing roadway congestion needs, identifying potential transportation projects to address those needs, allocating project costs to new development, and estimating the fee structure for different land use types.

HEPMPO, 33 West Washington Street, Suite 402 - 4th Floor, Hagerstown MD 21740   |  (240) 313-2080   |   info@hepmpo.net