Duck is a “Pedestrian First” Community
Whether you’re strolling along the boardwalk, shopping or dining in the village, or enjoying an event at the Town Park, the Town of Duck offers wonderful opportunities for pedestrians. No other mode of travel offers such a convenient and stress free way to experience the activity of Duck Village, connect with local neighborhoods, and enjoy the natural beauty of the town’s beach, sound, and coastal landscapes.
The Town of Duck has a long history of pedestrian travel, focused around its compact village center. When the shared use path was built to the north and south of Duck Village, it became obvious there was a pent-up demand for pedestrian facilities. Through the years, the use of this path by bicyclists and pedestrians has continued to increase and the Town is facing challenges to keep up with the demand.
Duck Comprehensive Pedestrian Plan
Duck’s Comprehensive Pedestrian Plan (CPP) outlines recommended infrastructure improvements, project costs, safety policies, and education programs. The CPP’s recommendations include:
- Add sidewalks along both sides of Duck Road throughout the village.
- Make improvements and add lighting to crosswalks in the village.
- Establish dedicated bike lanes within the shoulders along Duck Road.
- Extend the existing shared use path north and south of Duck Village to connect with the planned improvements in the village.
- Improve safety at intersections through signs, pavement marking, and removing obstructions.
- Correct stormwater ponding issues that impede pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
- Provide a variety of education programs and materials regarding pedestrian and bicycle safety.
Please click here to review the final document. (It is a large file; therefore, you will need to download the PDF.)Comprehensive Pedestrian Plan
Implementation of Pedestrian Improvements In Duck Village
Following the adoption of the Comprehensive Pedestrian Plan, the Town of Duck retained VHB to complete the surveys, designs, and engineering to implement the recommended pedestrian and bicycle improvements throughout Duck Village. Following meetings with potentially affected businesses and property owners, VHB completed a set of preliminary plans that include the addition of sidewalks along both sides of Duck Road, dedicated bike lanes in the shoulders along both sides of Duck Road, and crosswalk safety improvements (including crosswalk lighting). Due to the significant expense of the improvements and the Town’s desire to limit construction during the summer tourist season, the project will likely be constructed in phases over a period of 3-4 years.
VHB presented the preliminary plans to the Duck Town Council and general public at the Town’s Annual Retreat on March 8, 2016. Please click here for a copy of VHB’s presentation, which includes details about the proposed improvements and potential phasing of the project.
The Town hopes to begin construction on the first phase of the project during the fall of 2017. At this time, VHB is coordinating review of the plans with the N.C. Department of Transportation and Dominion Power. The Town of Duck is seeking grants and other opportunities to assist with funding the pedestrian improvements. Although a vast majority of the sidewalk/bike lane improvements will take place within the existing right-of-way for Duck Road, the Town of Duck will also need to obtain temporary (during construction) or permanent easements from property owners in certain areas of the project.
Duck Trail Side Street Crossing Safety Plan
Following the Town of Duck’s adoption of the Comprehensive Pedestrian Plan, VHB conducted a review of the Duck Trail crossings of side streets intersecting with Duck Road north and south of the village. Field observations and crash data were collected to identify potential safety issues affecting road users and to gain a more detailed understanding of the intersection operations. The study took a hybrid approach in evaluating the corridor using traditional site-specific crash analysis in combination with a systemic review to comprehensively assess the operation of each crossing. Historical crash data from the last five (5) years was incorporated into the evaluation to determine factors which contribute to the crashes. The crossings were carefully reviewed in the field and evaluated for potential treatments using pavement markings, signing, and other traffic control devices which could reduce the potential for motor vehicle/bicycle crashes. This method provides a proactive approach for identifying improvements in locations which do not have documented crashes, yet have some level of safety concern associated with the current field conditions and operations.
At a Town Council meeting on November 18th, 2015, representatives from VHB presented their designs for improvements at all side street crosswalks throughout the Town of Duck. Click here to view slides from the presentation, or view a video of the presentation below.
Typical improvements include the installation of high-visibility crosswalks and stop lines, new signs and sign locations, and trimming or removing vegetation blocking sight lines. A drawing showing the typical improvements around every intersection is available by clicking here.
More complex improvements are recommended at the intersection with Plover Drive and the entrance to Four Seasons. At Plover Drive, the design proposes to enlarge the landscaped area on the north side and add a striped “bump-out” on the south side of the intersection to narrow the width of the intersection and provide safer crossing for bicycles and pedestrians. At Four Seasons, the design proposes to move the existing shared use path either back a few feet or forward toward the intersection to eliminate conflicts with vehicles stopped at the intersection. Plans showing these suggested improvements are also available by clicking here.
Implementation of Side Street Crossing Safety Plan
The Town of Duck has completed several initial projects and continues to fund improvements at side street intersections with Duck Road throughout the town. In FY 2015-16, the Town added reflective striping to nearly all crosswalks south of the village, Ships Watch, and the Sound-Sea Village neighborhood. In FY 2016-17, the Town Council has budgeted to restripe all of the crosswalks in the remaining intersections north of the village.
The Town of Duck continues to work with a landscape contractor and property owners to remove visual obstructions and improve safety for vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians at intersections of concern throughout the town.
You are welcome to contact Director of Community Development, Joe Heard, at 252.255.1234 or at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about the Town of Duck Comprehensive Pedestrian Plan.
View a video of the November 18th presentation from VHB’s Chris DeWitt and Margaret Kubilins: