A rare and necessary link for our pedestrian and bike trails, mid-block crossings (which may include treatments such as refuge islands, flashing beacons or grade-separated crossings) provide safer crossings for pedestrians and bicyclists between road intersections.
Pedestrian and bicycle trails are essential to provide multi-modal access and mobility within the transportation system. We are providing our residents travel options that are less expensive than operating a car, reducing congestion on our roads, and promoting an active lifestyle for children and adults. The county, cities and THPRD expect to construct more sidewalks and trails, particularly in urban areas. Ideally, trail crossings should connect up with county roads at intersections with traffic signals. However, many trails follow utility easements and greenways, which intersect county roads at mid-block locations. These mid-block locations present a safety issue as people look for breaks in the traffic to scurry across the road. Washington County has adopted a policy to allow our local partners to build marked and often signalized mid-block crossings, in certain circumstances, to encourage safer crossings.
Who Can Build a Mid-Block Crossing on a County Road?
Anyone can apply for one. Park and trail providers and city road departments are typical applicants for mid-block crossing requests.
What Is the Process to Build One?
There are 4 Steps:
- Contact the county to determine if there is, or will be, a safety issue and reach consensus that a mid-block crossing may be appropriate at this location.
- Prepare the analysis described in the recently adopted policy and get the County Engineer's approval.
- At the cost of the applicant, prepare the final design and obtain the necessary permits from the County.
- Obtain the necessary funds and build the crossing. If a road project is planned for the road being reviewed, the County may include the crossing treatment in its construction project. If no improvements are planned, the applicant is responsible for building the crossing.
Existing examples of approved mid-block crossings in Washington County are:
- Bethany Boulevard at St. Andrews Drive
- 185th Avenue at Rock Creek Trail
- West Union Road at Rock Creek Trail
- Cornell Road at Sunset High School
Bethany Boulevard at St. Andrews Drive - Before Construction
Bethany Boulevard at St. Andrews Drive - After Construction