The Missouri Department of Transportation [MoDOT] recently changed the structure of the permitted turning movements from northbound Taylor Road onto Route 100. The change was spurred, in part, by an increase in traffic on southbound Taylor Road.
Drivers can no longer turn left onto westbound State Route 100 from the center lane of Taylor Road, which moves directly through the middle of the Town Center’s downtown area. [The road serves as the primary access to the location from intersections at both Route 100 and Manchester Road.] Instead, the center lane now will be used only for vehicles wishing to remain on Taylor Road by driving straight through the Route 100 intersection.
Other lanes on Taylor will remain unchanged. The left-turn lane will continue to allow drivers to enter westbound Route 100 and the right-turn lane will allow drivers to enter eastbound Route 100. The current north leg of the intersection continues to be part of an ongoing improvement process to serve the new Villages at Brightleaf neighborhood, which is located to the north of Route 100, between Route 109 and Taylor Road.
“People are getting used to it already, which is good,” Rick Brown, the city’s director of public works, said. “That center lane is now going to be devoted to Brightleaf traffic, which continues to grow as it develops.”
The official Wildwood Traffic Engineering Study released in February 2018 from consulting firm HRGreen noted that previous traffic engineering studies completed for the Main Street Crossing and Villages at Brightleaf subdivisions had suggested rising average annual growth rates of 0.5 percent to 1.0 percent along the Route 100 and Route 109 corridors. The rise is attributed to the increase in residential neighborhoods and retail in the area. However, new residences and business in Wildwood aren’t the only causes of a rise in local traffic. According to the 2018 traffic study, newer communities in surrounding areas, such as Eureka and Ellisville, also have contributed to increased traffic along Hwy, 109, Route 100 and other popular streets in the Wildwood area.
The traffic study indicated that future build-out for the area at Route 100 and Taylor Road is expected and the city will need to address significant increases in traffic volume to serve ongoing Town Center development, including heavy westbound left-turn movement, which is expected to continue operating at full capacity into the future.
The study also predicts that the area’s afternoon peak traffic period likely will experience average vehicle delays at about 300 percent greater volumes than those currently experienced.The traffic study also recommends the installation of dual northbound left-turn lanes, a dedicated northbound thru-lane and the removal of the split-phase signal operation.
However, according to Brown, there are no plans so far by the city to widen Taylor Road in the near future.
“We believe the current size of the road is sufficient enough for the level of traffic,” Brown said.
In addition to the lane renovations, MoDOT also has agreed to increase the length of the green-light cycle for northbound traffic from Taylor Road and will continue to monitor the operations of the intersection for an upcoming two- to three-week period.
Currently, an electronic message board has been placed onsite warning drivers of the change. The city still is working with MoDOT to have additional signage installed to give drivers more warning before approaching the intersection.
According to Brown, additional signage also is planned for the Villages of Brightleaf neighborhood and the Taylor Road median.