The May 6 “In Our View” jeers to traffic congestion motivated me to write about a traffic issue close to home. As our traffic corridors grow congested, drivers increasingly find faster routes through our once-quiet neighborhoods.
On our short residential street, between two arterials in a neighborhood of 17 homes, the city measured well over 1,000 cut-through cars per day with speeds up to 70 mph (in a 25 mph zone). Their solution? Speed cushions. The result? Same traffic, just noisier as hurried drivers accelerate and brake from one cushion to the next. I’ve been involved through the entire process, and the city’s Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program doesn’t allow any better tools to “calm” traffic than speed cushions, murals and signs.
Let’s put “engineering” back into traffic engineering and give our city’s all-volunteer Neighborhood Traffic Safety Alliance real tools to solve cut-through traffic volume and speeding. If the only tool the NTSA is authorized to install is speed cushions, then they become the only solution to the issues.
Let’s take back ownership of our neighborhoods with proven solutions such as filtered-access bollards, which allow pedestrian, bicycle, and emergency access while preventing cut-through traffic. Give our city’s NTSA team the tools they need to restore the safety and livability of our neighborhoods. We’ll volunteer for the first installation.