Roger L. Stancil, Town Manager


J.B. Culpepper, Planning Director

David Bonk, Long Range Planning and Transportation Coordinator


Final 2005 Chapel Hill Mobility Report Card


May 21, 2007


The purpose of this memorandum is to deliver the Final 2005 Chapel Hill Mobility Report Card (Attachment 1) and to respond to comments made by staff and by Council members at the January 22, 2007, meeting.  The attached resolution receives the Report Card and directs staff to coordinate with the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization regarding future Mobility Report Cards and Congestion Management Plans.


One of the action items of the 2000 Chapel Hill Comprehensive Plan was to prepare a mobility report card to ensure that progress was being made to enhance the mobility of the citizens of Chapel Hill. Previous Mobility Report Cards were completed in 2001 and 2003. This 2005 Mobility Report Card represents a snapshot of mobility in Chapel Hill during the fall of 2005, and is a follow-up to the 2001 and 2003 Mobility Report Cards.  This and future updates to the Report Card are a means to monitor and evaluate progress towards Town-wide mobility goals.  This Report Card has been delayed for a variety of factors, including: delays obtaining 24-hour traffic counts and other data, the busy Council calendar, and coordination with the Town of Carrboro. 

The original report card focused on ten indicators to best balance the cost of data collection with the value of the resulting data in order to describe the current state of mobility within the Town, and to provide a meaningful baseline for future comparison. In 2003, a Multimodal Mobility indicator was added, which combines the other indicators into one overview of all modes. This Report Card adds a Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety indicator. The indicators analyzed in the Report include:

  1. Vehicular Activity and Arterial Level of Service
  2. Peak Hour Intersection Operations
  3. Vehicular Travel Time
  4. Pedestrian Facilities
  5. Pedestrian Activity
  6. Bicycle Facilities
  7. Bicycle Activity
  8. Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety
  9. Transit Service
  10. Transit Ridership
  11. Multimodal Mobility
  12. Office Parking

The 2005 Report Card allows for trend comparisons among these indicators with the two previous Report Cards. 


The following comments were provided at the January 22, 2007 Council meeting.  Responses and, in some cases, corrective actions are described below.

  1. Some of the Average Daily Traffic counts do not match published data provided by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), particularly the location on Sage Road south of Erwin Road.

Response: While most of the daily counts were obtained from preliminary NCDOT data through the town, many locations utilize data collected from the University or a consultant traffic count. The count at the Sage Road location was performed by an independent traffic consultant, and at the time of the data analysis effort, no NCDOT count was available at this location.

Corrective Action: All daily counts were reviewed and where independent or University counts differed from recently published final NCDOT counts, NCDOT counts were used. Table 1.1 and Figure 1.3 have been updated with the best available NCDOT counts. Table 1.1 has further been revised to indicate if the count originated from NCDOT or the University.

  1. Some of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Counts do not appear to be correct, particularly those locations with both a weekday and Saturday count.

Response: All pedestrian and bicycle counts in the document were verified against the original data collected by an independent consultant. Discrepancies at four locations were identified and corrected. The locations that were revised are:

Corrective Action: Tables 5.1 and 7.1 and Figures 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, and 7.4 have been revised. The accompanying text has been reviewed to ensure that it is still appropriate.

  1. Bicycle Facilities do not exist along Erwin Road or US 15/501 South.

Response: A variety of bicycle facilities are provided on roadways in the Town, both marked and unmarked.  These include marked bicycle lanes, wide paved shoulders, and wide outside lanes.  The bicycle facility data provided by the Town and a field survey indicate that bicycle facilities do indeed exist along Erwin Road and US 15/501 South. A field survey indicates that there is a wide outside lane along Erwin Road north of Weaver Dairy Road, as indicated in Figure 6.1. This area is also signed with “Share the Road” signs.

A field survey also confirms that there is a bicycle facility along US 15/501 South, south of Fordham Boulevard. There is a separate striped lane between Fordham Boulevard and Main Street, though there is no signage or pavement markings to indicate it as such. Along US 15/501 south of Main Street, there is a wide outside shoulder, not a bicycle lane as indicated by Figure 6.1.

Corrective Action: Figure 6.1 has been revised to show the wide outside lane south of Main Street, and Table 6.1 and appropriate text has been updated. The text has also been updated to indicate that there is no signage or pavement markings identifying this area as a bicycle facility.

  1. The number of pedestrians utilizing Fordham Boulevard, as found in Section 11 – Multimodal Mobility, appears excessive.

Response: The number of pedestrians by corridor in the multimodal mobility section is based on pedestrian counts reported in Section 5. The counts are only used in the multimodal mobility analysis if they were taken at a point on the road, and the pedestrians were parallel to the road/corridor. The corridor segment from Manning Drive to NC 54/Raleigh Road has two pedestrian count locations in it, Fordham/Kings Mill and Fordham/Cleland. Approximately 430 of the 600 pedestrians counted at Fordham/Kings Mill were parallel to Fordham and are included in Table 11.1. At Fordham/Cleland, 630 of 838 pedestrians counted were parallel to Fordham.

While there are a variety of factors that can affect pedestrian activity, it appears that these two locations appear to have a much higher number of pedestrians than one would expect to see, given these locations.  However, we understand that some University sports teams and physical education classes use this corridor to access the golf course and facilities off Old Mason Farm Road. There are also some groups that may use this corridor to access the Botanical Garden.  Future analyses will be able to confirm these counts.

Action: The text in Section 5 has been revised to include comments on the high number of pedestrians at the Fordham Boulevard locations.

next steps

Until now, the Chapel Hill Mobility Report Card project has been produced using funds allocated from the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization.  Due to changes in the requirements for metropolitan congestion management planning, it will not be possible for Chapel Hill to continue to produce its own Mobility Report Card.  In future years, there will be a combined Mobility Report Card and Congestion Management Plan for the entire metropolitan area.  While the exact timing and scope of the project is unknown at this time, we anticipate that data for the next Mobility Report Card would be collected in 2008.  While we expect that the regional nature of the new report might lead to fewer data collection points in Chapel Hill, we also expect to be able to collect richer and more meaningful data.  We will continue to provide updates to the Council as the new process is defined.


We recommend that the Council receive the Final 2005 Chapel Hill Mobility Report Card and direct staff to coordinate with the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization regarding future Mobility Report Cards and Congestion Management Plans.


  1. Final 2005 Mobility Report Card (begin new page 1).