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29 In 1999, a comprehensive assessment study of the corridor NEW JERSEY TRANSIT was performed. The study included a review of the existing HudsonBergen Light Rail traffic control devices, pedestrian crossings, risky behavior patterns, and analysis of accident data for a 5-year period from The New Jersey Transit's HudsonBergen Line opened in 1994 to 1998. April 2000 with approximately 6 miles of track. New Jersey Transit has added track in increments since the April 2000 The findings of the assessment indicated that all crossings opening. As of February 2006, the line has a total of 20 miles had signs that met just the minimum requirements of the of track. Eight of the 20 miles operate in an exclusive right- MUTCD. Other findings included of-way, and 12 miles operate in a non-exclusive right-of-way Inconsistencies in the selection and placement of advi- (Figure 32). sory and warning signs, Confusing advanced W10 series signs, In the street-running, mixed right-of-way in downtown Jer- Turn restriction signs not incorporating the track sym- sey City and other neighboring areas, the northbound track and bol into the sign, the southbound track are separated by a median, and the south- Lack of "Do Not Stop on Tracks" (R8-8) or "Do Not bound track shares the one-way, one-lane travelway with auto- Drive on Tracks" (R15-6a) regulatory signs despite a mobile traffic. The signals are pre-empted by the train, and the continuous problem with such illegal movements, and signal cycle starts as the train approaches and the cross-street Worn pavement markings throughout the corridor. traffic receives a red light. Motorists approaching intersections from the west can make only a right turn onto the one-way As a result of the assessment, MTA added many new signs street. This movement is controlled with the traffic signal and and new pavement markings. No major enhancements were a "No Turn on Red" sign. Motorists approaching intersections made to any of the left-turn signal phasing nor were barriers from the east can make only a left turn onto the one-way street, installed at that time. However, from 1999 to 2001, following and must cross the northbound tracks to do so. This left turn is the improvements, MTA experienced a reduction in the num- a protected-permitted movement. ber and rate of accidents as well as a reduction in the claims costs. Traffic and pedestrian volumes during this same time For the past several years, the HudsonBergen Line has period did not change by more than 1%. experienced between six and nine collisions yearly at signal- ized intersections (including nine in 2007). About 90% of In 2002, the MTA initiated several enhancement projects at these collisions were right-angle collisions caused by motorists the most accident prone locations. To overcome the problem (including automobiles, buses, and tractor-trailers) running red of left-turn vehicles violating the left-turn signal indication, a lights on the cross streets. recommendation was made to change the left-turn signal phase from a leading left to a lagging left, thus reducing the poten- Only a few intersections have the LRV-activated train- tial for left-turning traffic to conflict with the LRVs. Other approaching warning signs that flash and display the words enhancements included replacing all green ball lenses with "Light Rail." The icon shows the profile of an LRV. A few of arrow lenses where applicable, replacing left-turn (R3-1) and the intersections have a painted "block" with "crosshatch" right-turn (R3-2) prohibition signs with the R3-1 and R3-2 marks. These pavement markings were created when the light signs with track symbols, renewing all dynamic envelope and rail was constructed to make the motorists aware that they are lane markings throughout the corridor with paint markings, in the vicinity of the light rail line, and not in response to the installing new regulatory signs at unsignalized intersections, right-angle collisions. Personnel from the HudsonBergen and adding treatments for pedestrians. At the time of study completion, MTA was planning to add R3-1a (no right turn across tracks) and R3-2a (no left turn across tracks) activated blank-out signs at five locations that had recurring right-turn and left-turn accidents. One noted finding of the study was the need for uniformity and consistency in the application of signs and pavement markings for controlling certain types of accidents. Specifi- cally, the delineation of the dynamic envelope proved to be a very cost-effective measure to reduce sideswipe accidents in travel sections where the travel lanes were less than 12 ft wide. In addition, the concept of a flexible barrier separation between LRVs and other vehicle traffic, although expensive, proved to be one of the most positive treatments to prohibit illegal turn- ing movements, minimize sideswipe accidents, and reduce accident severity. FIGURE 32 HudsonBergen alignment (Courtesy: Jon Bell).