Transportation and Connections

Yellow Springs has a robust transportation network that largely supports all forms and provides mobility options for all ages.  However, the Village has identified weaknesses, particularly with respect to non-motorized modes, such as gaps in the sidewalk network and improvements needed in the bicycle infrastructure.  To that end, the Village has been progressive in addressing these needs.  In 2017, the Village adopted a Complete Streets Policy, and in 2019 completed an Active Transportation Plan.   The Complete Streets and Active Transportation Plan have been integrated into the Village thoroughfare plan, and within the recommendations outlined in this Comprehensive Land Use Plan. 

Mobility is a key factor when planning for an aging population.  Ensuring senior residents have options beyond the automobile will greatly enhance their quality of life and ability to remain in the Village as they age. The Village needs to plan for an aging population when making decisions about its surface infrastructure.  Historically, sidewalks were 48” and designed for two adults to walk side-by-side.  When planning for an aging population a 72” (6 feet) walkway may be more appropriate, to provide more maneuvering room and adequate space for personal mobility devices such as wheelchairs, walkers and scooters.

Yellow Springs will support and implement its Active Transportation Plan.

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Click above to launch the Active Transportation Map

Yellow Springs adopted an Active Transportation Plan in 2019 to help facilitate the improvement of its non-motorized transportation infrastructure.  This multi-year plan outlines various investments and improvements to its bike ways, multi-use trails and sidewalks. 

“Active Transportation” is an umbrella term for all the ways people can get around without using a motorized vehicle. The most common forms of active transportation are walking and bicycling.  In communities like Yellow Springs, that have a larger proportion of older residents, people using wheelchairs or other assistive devices, merits special consideration. The term does not limit these activities to their recreational function, but instead considers them as healthy, sustainable and practical ways to commute, run errands, connect to transit and carry out daily tasks.  Thus, reducing the need for private car ownership and improving the environment. 

 

The vision of the Village of Yellow Springs Active Transportation Plan is to develop a high-quality, integrated surface transportation infrastructure system that contributes to improved quality of life.  It does so by promoting safety, recreation, environmental sustainability, health, equity/inclusion and economic development in the pursuit of maintaining and enhancing the Village’s vibrant and connected community for people of all ages and abilities. The Active Transportation Plan will strengthen the transportation bonds, connecting Village residents to each other and bridging active transportation gaps that divide the Village from its neighbors.

 

The Active Transportation Plan provides the Village with an actionable road map for improving community mobility, with a focus on health and sustainable travel modes. The Active Transportation Plan components – policy, program and capital project recommendations – work in tandem to create a more complete and equitable transportation system for all users.

 

The complete Active Transportation Plan can be found here.

To better align land use with the Active Transportation Plan recommendations, the Village should undertake the following:

  • Adopt an updated thoroughfare map that incorporates the Active Transportation Plan infrastructure improvements.

  • Evaluate the zoning and subdivision regulations to determine where best to strengthen those design and land use requirements, encouraging biking and walking.

  • Continue to seek outside funding to implement the Active Transportation Plan, sidewalk improvements and ADA accessible curb ramps.

Yellow Springs will support and implement its Complete Streets Policy.

In 2017, The Village of Yellow Springs adopted a Complete Streets Policy which envisions:

 

“The transportation network in the Village of Yellow Springs will become measurably better connected, safer and more accessible for all users of the public right-of-way, regardless of their mode of transportation, age or abilities, as transportation projects throughout the Village are designed and constructed using Complete Streets principles. This effort to make our transportation system more complete will take advantage of opportunities presented by necessary reconstruction and expansion of the system whenever practicable.”

 

This policy defines Complete Streets by this outcome:

 

“All current and projected users of the public right-of-way should be able to safely and conveniently reach their destinations along and across a street, road or trail, regardless of their physical ability or chosen mode of transportation, in order for that street or road to be considered complete.”

 

All users include pedestrians, cyclists, transit and school bus riders, individuals with disabilities, motorists, freight haulers, service personnel and emergency responders, as well as a wide range of ages from young children to seniors. Specific attention should be paid to vulnerable populations in contexts where they may need to travel. Studies show, for example, that a large majority of cyclists feel safe only if traveling on a “protected” bike lane, or a trail separated from traffic. This is especially true for younger riders and families.

 

While some streets and roads may require changes to the right-of-way to better accommodate non-motorized users, many low volume streets and roads will require minor changes, such as signage or restriping, or no changes at all, especially if speed limits are low and enforced (see “Context Sensitive”).

 

The purpose of this policy is to encourage improvements to the transportation network, allowing more transportation corridors in the Village of Yellow Springs to meet this definition and to encourage future designs to accommodate all users.  As a result, the Complete Streets Policy creates an increasingly safe, well-connected and accessible transportation network for all modes and users.

Recommendations:

 

  • Ensure all new subdivision streets are designed with “Complete Streets” principles in mind. Including bike and pedestrian connections between the new development and adjacent neighborhoods.

Yellow Springs Street Network

The majority of streets in Yellow Springs serve local traffic and have a 50-foot right-of-way; although some have only a 40-foot right-of-way.  Many streets have a pavement width of 20 feet or less and walkways on only one side of the street.

 

Historically, street network hierarchies focused on the movement of vehicles, and all other modes (pedestrians, bicycles, scooters, etc.) were secondary.  A complete and effective street network must recognize not only the functions of various streets, but ensure that all users are accommodated in design and construction.  Yellow Springs is a compact Village whose traffic is mostly local; thus a complex hierarchy of streets is unnecessary.

Local Streets

Local streets carry local traffic, mainly residential uses, and provide frontage for service and access to lots. These streets should be designed to carry the least amount of traffic at the lowest speed. The geometric design should be such that safety and connectivity is promoted, contributing to an overall desirable residential neighborhood design. To promote connectivity, cul-de-sacs and dead-end streets should be avoided. Residential developments should be designed so that all, or most, housing units front on this type of street.

 

Design standards should include:

  1. Local streets are designed for average daily traffic volumes of less than 500 vehicles at a design speed of 25 mph.

  2. A minimum 50-foot right-of-way.

  3. Two moving lanes with minimum width of 10 feet each.

  4. Parking lane with width of 8 feet is optional.

  5. Curbing is required with a parking lane, optional otherwise.

  6. Sidewalks (min. 5 feet) and tree lawns should also be required for all new subdivisions.  Sidewalks should be provided on both sides of the street, unless a larger shared use path is developed on one side.

Collector Streets

Collector streets serve as conduits between local and arterial streets. These streets typically carry higher volumes of residential traffic at higher speeds than local roads. Residential collectors expected to carry considerable volume should be designed so that they are not used as short cuts between neighborhoods. Not all developments will require residential collectors, but, as a general rule, developments over 150 dwellings will typically contain collectors. Design standards include:

  1. Average daily traffic volume up to 3000 vehicles at a design speed of 30-35 mph.

  2. Usually in a 50 to 60-foot right-of-way.

  3. Two moving lanes with a width of 12 feet each.

  4. One or two parking lanes.

  5. Curbing is required.

  6. Two 5-foot sidewalks or one multi-use path.

  7. Tree lawns with minimum width of 6 feet on each side of street.

Arterial

Arterial streets convey traffic into and out of the community, and to and from major activity centers within the community such as commercial, industrial and retail areas. Design standards include:

  1. Average daily traffic volume above 3000 vehicles at a design speed of 35 to 45 mph.

  2. Usually in a 60 to 65-foot right-of-way.

  3. Two moving lanes with a width of 12 feet each.

  4. Two 8-foot parking lanes with curbing.

  5. One separated bike lane or shared use path. 

  6. Two 5-foot sidewalks (only one sidewalk is required if a shared use path is constructed).

  7. Tree lawns with minimum width of 6 feet on each side of street.

Special Purpose Streets

Alley: This is a service road providing secondary access to lots. It is considered the same functional level as a residential access street, but with different standards. The amount of activity on alleys should be minimized.  These should be designed to discourage through traffic and no parking should be permitted. The pavement must be a minimum of 12 feet wide, but 15 feet is preferred.  The minimum distance between structures on either side should be 20 feet.

 

Cul-de-Sac: This is a street with single access for ingress and egress with a circular turn-around at its terminus.  To improve connectivity, cul-de-sacs should be avoided. Cul-de-sacs can have different design standards, depending on the uses they serve.

 

Stub Street: This is a portion of a street that is intended to connect to the future development of adjacent. A stub street should be designed to the same standards as a completed street, with temporary design elements as needed, such as a temporary turn-around.