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Thread: Traffic Calming

  1. #1
    Member Nemesis's avatar
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    Traffic Calming

    I recieved a notice on my door stating a public meeting will occur discussing traffic calming to be implemented into my street.

    I have some basic knowledge but will open it up to any comments?
    The design puts bumpouts into the street 9 feet to slow traffic as well as incorporated at each bumpout island is the existing electical poles that are in the middle of the sidewalk currently.

    Therefore,the city is addressing the poles in the middle of the sidewalk, traffic calming and all I can think of is great, more sidewalk to remove snow in the winter for me.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Re: Traffic Calming

    Originally posted by Nemesis
    I recieved a notice on my door stating a public meeting will occur discussing traffic calming to be implemented into my street.

    I have some basic knowledge but will open it up to any comments?
    The design puts bumpouts into the street 9 feet to slow traffic as well as incorporated at each bumpout island is the existing electical poles that are in the middle of the sidewalk currently.

    Therefore,the city is addressing the poles in the middle of the sidewalk, traffic calming and all I can think of is great, more sidewalk to remove snow in the winter for me.
    If they plan to relocate the power poles, why not bury the cables instead? New sidewalks should not be much larger than those already in place. We use the AASHTO standard of five feet wide.

  3. #3
    Member Nemesis's avatar
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    The city does not want the expense to relocate the poles and bury the wire. I am told the city engineers thought creating islands around poles that pushed into the street nine feet ,it would assist in the calming design. Two birds with one stone mentality. I go to the hearing tomorrow. Just what I need.....a hearing room full of grouchy neighbors. I am trying to get up to speed on calming designs and material used to be better informed.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Bumpouts are an effective and inexpensive traffic calming device. They are nice to use because they also reduce the amount of street peds need to cross. Kind of defeating the purpose if your sticking utility poles in there though.

  5. #5
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    I'll have to get some pictures, but the City where I live is implementing 2 bumpouts on a nearby street. It's already doing wonders to the speeds on the street, and I feel much better about biking there with my 5 year old.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Our DPW is experimenting with portable speed bumps. The police have been monitoring their effect on speed, and have documented a 15 mph drop in decile speeds.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Two years ago we completed a collector road that goes through campus. The design in the campus area includes bike lanes, bumpouts at intersections, landscaped center islands, raised and patterned crosswalks, and flourescent signage. The one problem I have noticed is people will cut into the bike lane instead of having to make the slight turn through the neck of the intersections. There are 3-foot high flexible orange stakes that are set into the pavement on the bike lane stripe (not in this picture) that are supposed to force people over, but they often get run over. I would say that the speed has slowed down as a result of the calming devices.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    With the bike lanes that really isn't much of a bumpout at all, also quite dangerous if someone is riding in the bike lanes.

    Oh and um Mike, is that a gutter I see in your bike lane? Shame on you.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Originally posted by Mike D.
    With the bike lanes that really isn't much of a bumpout at all, also quite dangerous if someone is riding in the bike lanes.

    Oh and um Mike, is that a gutter I see in your bike lane? Shame on you.
    Yeah, it's a gutter, but it is also a five-foot bike lane (one both sides of the street). The orange stakes, or posts (somebody help with the technical lingo) are supposed to force cars to stay in their lane at the crossings. They mostly do, but of course, some people will run them over.

  10. #10
    Mike, I think it looks great! And as an avid bike rider, I see no problems with the design. Good Job!

  11. #11
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    around Miami and Coral Gables traffic circles are used. They seem to work and are attractive as well.

    Edit: They range from small neighbor streets to large “features” at major intersections.
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Originally posted by Planificador Urbano
    Mike, I think it looks great! And as an avid bike rider, I see no problems with the design. Good Job!
    Can't take any credit... I had almost nothing to do with the project and no role in its design. My only involvement was writing a grant for half a million bucks for the storm sewer / flood mitigation project that triggered the street reconstruction.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    I am in no way affiliated, but this is a nice brochure on the topic:

    http://www.citybeautiful.net/pdf/pub...lmingBro07.pdf
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

  14. #14
    Member Nemesis's avatar
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    Well, I went to the meeting last week. God, it was awful and I deal with development issues on a daily basis. I have decided something must be in the water. I have never been a participant in such a negative, uninformed crowd. For example: one neighbor kept ranting "law suit" over and over interupting speakers. I felt bad and another neighbor asked me why I had my head in my hands? I responded 'I could be home watching a reality TV show and feel better about life"
    Last edited by Nemesis; 05 Aug 2003 at 2:24 PM.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    The neighbors were pro or against?

  16. #16
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Originally posted by Nemesis
    Well, I went to the meeting last week. God, it was awful and I deal with development issues on a daily basis. I have decided something must be in the water. I have never been a participated in such a negative, uninformed crowd. For example: one neighbor kept ranting "law suit" over and over interupting speakers. I felt bad and another neighbor asked me why I had my head in my hands? I responded 'I could be home watch a realty TV show and feel better about life"
    Unfortunately, I see this happen (with similar chants) at many meetings all over south florida. When people wont at least listen, nothing can be accomplished, for better or worse.
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

  17. #17
    Member Nemesis's avatar
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    The majority were against. I think the presenters lost control from the first sentence. I have a very pasionate neighborhood, but some don/t like to research or understand how budget, design and public meetings work. I can take getting hounded and threatend at work,but I tried to explain about calming and design to my table and they were openly hostile towards me.

    Yeah, some of the design and materials proposed were crap, but they only have 300K, and a neighbohood architect stating they engineers problably sucked 50k in fees didn/t help the warm feelings. The presentation hurt the program; could not see slides, people didn/t understand what calming is, how it works, and the intent never explained. The presenting Engineers gave up and let people vent off topic.

    Hell, the community asked for calming 3 years ago, the city budgeted it and it finally hit this year, now it's bitch and moan.
    It dosen/t help we have a new post office with awful parking design located in the design area - the city let big gov. slide . Than walking out of the meeting I noticed the school was installing a temporary classroom unit on the first base line of the ball diamond. In a conservation overalay district, now I am venting. Can/t planning and zoning get a freaking backbone in my town. It seems to be run by the neighborhood assosciations. I feel like I am Gladys Gravitz.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian
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    Traffic calming is a great idea when people understand it. It should come with an instruction manual, though. Here in the land of the 500, we've got a couple of roundabouts that are pretty new. They confused people at first--the general Hoosier attitude towards driving is to emulate your favorite 400/500/F1 driver at all times, so they were just orbiting at high speeds. Great way to test traction and centrifugal force, not a great way to calm traffic, until people got used to it. Has anyone tried publishing descriptions/instructions for traffic calming in their local paper? Ie, these orange posts are to protect cyclists, not an invitation to slalom, the roundabout is not for doing donuts, etc?
    By the way, the drivers eventually calmed down as planned and they seem to work pretty well now, only a few people going round and round looking confused.
    "Look, kids, Big Ben. Parliament."

  19. #19
    Member Nemesis's avatar
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    Great European vacation reference. We have three traffic circles, two of them were put in during horse and buggy days and one two years ago. I have had my Saab(see what do planners drive forum) run over physicaly by a BMW X5 (local Devleoper) over the front left hood and all. I just scratched his lug nuts. He didn/t see me in the lane to turn on the same street. The new traffic circle works but people need to get used to it. However now the locals have found a side street short cut to circumvent the new circle. Oh well. Just put it on the Underhills bill.

  20. #20
    I have seen some good and bad examples in the Milwaukee area. The City of Milwaukee has added a roundabout and has included bump-outs in several street reconstruction projects. We recently took out parking lanes on a main thoroughfare and replaced them wil heavily landscaped terrace areas and it has helped slow traffic down tremendously.

    Another inner-ring suburb did this traffic calming project that basically turned a large section of a major street into a slalom course for cars. Basically every center turn lane is only for left turns, forcing every car to kind of weave down the street block by block. I actually think it is a lot more fun to cruise through there faster (as do many motorists), thus ruining the traffic calming experience the City desired.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

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