Multimodal Analysis of Orange Grove Boulevard

KAI provided an assessment of the multimodal level of service (LOS) changes when implementing a road diet on Orange Grove Boulevard (between Hill Avenue on the west and Sierra Madre Boulevard on the east, about 1.6 miles) in Pasadena, California. A road diet is a reduction in the number of vehicular travel lanes along a roadway to better accommodate other modes, such as bicycles and pedestrians. When implementing a road diet, many concerns related to traffic arise, including:

  • Would the road diet negatively affect automobile delays and LOS?
  • How would transit operations be affected?
  • How much better would travel be for bicyclists?
  • To what extent would pedestrians benefit?

To help answer these questions, the LOS of pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and motorists were evaluated using the CompleteStreetsLOS multimodal analysis software, and documented in a technical memorandum for the City of Pasadena. The CompleteStreetsLOS software implements the analysis procedures documented in the NCHRP Report 616: Multimodal Level of Service for Urban Streets , the precursor for the multimodal analysis procedures in the 2010 Highway Capacity Manual (2010 HCM).

Issues related to the cross section of Orange Grove Boulevard included: 1) there are no facilities for bicyclists; 2) there are relatively light traffic volumes for the large, right-of-way roadway; and 3) the higher speeds and wider crossing width detract from a neighborhood feel for this corridor.

KAI’s analysis results for Orange Grove Boulevard with the road diet concluded: 1) auto and transit LOS grades would remain the same at LOS B and LOS C, respectively, in both the AM and PM peaks; 2) bicycle LOS grade would be improved from LOS C to LOS B in both the AM and PM peaks; and 3) pedestrian LOS grade would remain the same at LOS B in the AM Peak, but would improve from LOS C to LOS B in the PM peak.

CompleteStreetsLOS implements multimodal level-of-service procedures for evaluating complete streets, context-sensitive design alternatives and smart growth, from the perspective of all users of the street. This type of multimodal analysis is a great way to determine the impacts of road diets, and to convey that information to stakeholders, including the general public. The analysis of the Orange Grove Boulevard road diet project demonstrated quantitatively that automobile and transit LOS would remain the same, while bicycle and pedestrian LOS would improve.