Traffic circles, not crop circles
Markings on Broadway, 17th show where ‘calming’ structures are to go
Traffic calming projects at two Westside locations, originally planned for last spring, have been postponed to this fall because of the loss of a key materials supplier.
The stalemate finally ended a few weeks ago, according to Kristin Bennett, the head of City Planning Office's Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP), when new suppliers were found. In anticipation of temporary installations going in soon, she and her staff were out marking their locations last week along 17th Street and Broadway Street - the two project areas.
Traffic calming is a term for slowing speeds or discouraging “cut-through” traffic on neighborhood streets. The project plans were worked out during public meetings in the respective neighborhoods over a year ago.
In an e-mail last week to Karen Pierce (the contact person for the 17th Street project area), Bennett explained the delay: “We were in the process of purchasing some additional temporary curbing to construct the test traffic calming devices in your neighborhood (and the other neighborhoods also scheduled for tests), but got delayed because the company we purchased from before was in the process of being bought out. Product availability was in limbo until mid-August when we found out the new owner was no longer going to produce the curbing product we need.”
On the bright side, Bennett told Pierce, “We have since found a comparable temporary curbing product and should receive additional materials within the next two weeks.” She apologized for the delay and thanked Pierce for her patience.
The 17th Street study area is between Uintah Street and Colorado Avenue. The Broadway area is between 21st Street and Westend Avenue.
Broadway and 17th are similar because they are both through streets in residential areas. The idea is to install temporary traffic alterations and then to monitor their effectiveness at slowing (calming) traffic. Using reconfigurable materials allows the city to experiment with different installations to see what works best, Bennett has explained. If one layout doesn't work, such materials can be relocated or reshaped another way without having to tear out concrete.
According to plans, the work on Broadway will include traffic circles at Westend Avenue (instead of the current stop sign) and Market Street, plus corner “bump- outs” at Calvert and Market streets.
The work at 17th will include corner bump-outs at the intersections with Platte and with Bijou and there will be a traffic circle at Boulder Street.
Westside Pioneer article