Traffic Calming: Civilizing The Beasts
Another primer on Traffic Calming can’t hurt. One thing to point out, by far the cheapest and most ready to carry out traffic calming measure almost any city is ready for, even Traverse City, is narrower streets and narrower travel lanes. Travel lanes for the majority of our streets could be 9 ft. wide, so 24-27 ft wide streets that have parking on both sides should be a goal on any neighborhood street construction. Also, narrowing the travel lanes by adding real bicycle lanes that are 6 ft wide of usable space need to be considered on our major access routes.
Last night, the City Commission did pass the citizen initiated traffic calming policy, what’s being called the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program (PDF). This is an important program, but more importantly is that citizens still need to continually ask the City that any street project undertaken needs to use traffic calming tools. A lot of measures are simple common sense in an urban environment and the City has plenty of room to raise its performance in mitigating the negative impacts of the most aggressive drivers. The program passed last night is for neighborhoods who have noticed a problem, are not high on the reconstruction priority list and want action sooner than what otherwise take the City to address the problem.
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