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the coronado neighborhood connection

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Traffic


Wayne Murray
602.258.2605

A survey sent to residents in the fall of 2003 identified speeding as the #1 problem in the neighborhood. Cut-through traffic also rated high. Early months of discussion and brainstorming between neighbors resulted in a basic philosophy and approach to solving traffic issues.

The Traffic Committee presented a summary of specific problems areas to the Street Department in July 2004. The major areas of concern were: speeding, accidents and high traffic volume on 12th Street; traffic volume and speeding on Virginia and congestion, speeding, and loitering in the North High School area; and cut-through traffic and speeding on neighborhood streets near the McDowell and 7th Street intersection. From this, City engineers designed and conducted a comprehensive traffic study in late August 2004. studylocations.pdf

Traffic Studies
The City's Neighborhood Traffic Management Team (NTMT) presented traffic study results to the neighborhood at the October 2004 Fight Back meeting. The streets which exceeded normal volumes for neighborhood streets were:

  • Virginia near North High with 2,970 vehicles per day. The threshold for traffic mitigation is 1,000 per day or 100 per hour. Traffic volume exceeds this from 7a-7p; our #1 busiest local street throughout the day.
  • Dayton between Thomas and Virginia carries 1,057 vehicles per day (threshold of 1,000). The majority of traffic on Dayton is at school start (7-8am) and end times (2-4p), and otherwise is well below traffic thresholds, "a sleepy neighborhood street."
  • 10th Street just north of McDowell with 2,232 vehicles per day is well above thresholds for a local street, with excessive hourly volumes starting at 7am and continuing until 5pm on weekdays. Our second busiest traffic volume throughout the day.
  • Palm Lane slightly exceeds the threshold with 1,184 vehicles per day, with excessive traffic volume measured only between 7-8am and 3-6pm.
  • 12th Street is a collector street, designed to carry much higher traffic volumes. Even so, two solutions were proposed and supported to calm 12th Street down.
Other local streets were within reasonable thresholds. Study results for the three quarter-mile quadrants are included in this PowerPoint presentation prepared by NTMT.

The Plan
NTMT reviewed the ideas that emerged from neighborhood meetings and traffic workshops, then determined from traffic studies which of the resident solutions could be retained and presented for a vote of support by those in attendance at the October 21st Fight Back meeting. The proposed solutions (including revisions and additions made at the meeting) are included here. All the proposed solutions, additions and revisions received neighborhood support at the meeting.

Limited Fight Back funds were budgeted at the November 2004 meeting, based on the maximum impact that each solution had for the neighborhood as a whole. Budgeted funds can now be carried over to 2005 for implementation.

The majority of the funding was dedicated to calming traffic on Virginia, from 7th Street to 12th Street. The Virginia plan addresses resident concerns and incorporates resident suggestions in a creative and attractive way. Briefly, a small circle in the intersection of Virginia and 8th Street will add an attractive gateway to the neighborhood while visually making the street look less inviting to cut-through traffic. A series of landscaped bump-outs will define parking spaces and narrow the wide street from 8th Street to Dayton. And a center median island from Dayton to 12th will allow for a dedicated pick-up drop-off lane at North High on the north side while restricting stopping on the south side of Virginia near the school. The median will help to increase safety for students and drivers and will lessen the problems experienced by residents immediately south of the school that are created by school traffic.

$30,000 in Fight Back dollars will leverage $470,000 in other City funds to implement the Virginia project. Read the City's description of the Virginia plan, while bearing in mind that it is also designed to improve student safety plus address loitering, littering and parking problems for neighboring homeowners. For a more detailed description, which describes the vision for Virginia and the neighborhood, read The Long Walk Down Virginia.

Progress!
The first visible signs of the Fight Back West's Traffic Committee appeared in fall 2004 thanks to the hard work of neighbors. Stop signs went in on Coronado at 14th Street and on 9th Street at Sheridan to clearly mark right of way in November 2004. Yield signs were added to calm down drivers on Evergreen at Windsor. In February 2005, dedicated left-turn lanes went in on Virginia at 7th Street to end confusion. In May, permit parking signs were installed on the 2500 block of Mitchell and 11th Streets. All were installed at no cost.

And, after collecting 472 signatures of support in December and January 2004, the 90-day test installation of the Virginia traffic calming plan took place from March to June 2005. The temporaries were ugly things, but most people commented that they liked the way they functioned. The City's analysis of the 90-day test, comparing volumes and speeds with the pre-test studies, shows the success.

A second round of signature gathering was needed to install the plan permanently. 480 were collected in November and December 2005. Now, it will take another 18 months before Virginia becomes a beautiful and safe street.

Other funds were set aside for speed humps and speed tables which residents pursued on several neighborhood streets. As a result of their efforts, two speed humps were installed on Edgemont between 12th and 14th Streets in May 2005, and two each on Cambridge and Windsor (also between 12th and 14th streets) in September 2005. Speed tables should appear on 13th Street near Coronado Park one day soon.

The Fight Back program has given us a unique opportunity to make long-lasting improvements to our streets that will improve safety and add to the quality of life in our historic community. The Traffic Committee considers the Virginia plan and other scattered accomplishments in 2004-2005 to be Phase I. We hope that the Fight Back Southwest, which starts in 2006, will address southern 10th Street volume and 12th Street issues. Stay involved.

Related Traffic Links
If you didn't already read The Long Walk Down Virginia, maybe now's the time. Or if video is more your style, you can see a 15-minute overview of the neighborhood, the Fight Back West process, and some ideas for artistic enhancement of the traffic devices. Cable users, click here for a streaming video. DSL or dialup users, click here for a download.

Learn more about traffic issues, ideas and approaches in Traffic 101, an article that appeared in the October 2004 Coronado Dispatch.

Read about the future traffic circle at 12th and Oak.

Explore traffic solutions in depth at http://www.trafficcalming.org/ where you can find detailed descriptions of traffic mitigation devices and their effects. This site also includes links to other major cities and the approaches they have taken in dealing with traffic in residential areas.
 
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