Edmonds nearly doubled its budget for neighborhood traffic-calming projects spurred by residents’ requests last year.
The higher amount, around $33,000, again is available this year to respond to neighbors’ concerns about speed. Applications are due March 3.
The prior two years, the city marked around $15,000 for the program.
Last year, as it has for the past several years, the program funded radar speed feedback signs.
“We are seeing some pretty good reductions” in speeding, Edmonds transportation engineer Bertrand Hauss said.
Travel speed change after radar signs are installed varies depending on the location, but generally sees a drop in the first year, Hauss said.
There were 20 requests last year. Out of those, the city purchased three solar-powered radar signs set to be installed this year at:
■ 5th Avenue S. near Pine Street facing southbound traffic;
■ 9th Avenue N. between Caspers and Main streets facing northbound traffic;
■ and 76th Avenue W. between 228th Street SW and Highway 104 facing southbound traffic.
Speed feedback is not the only traffic calming option, and the city could fund other solutions this year depending on what requests arrive.
The Institute of Transportation Engineers lists 18 physical traffic-calming changes such as roundabouts and shrinking lanes. That kind of work tends to be more expensive and would take most of the city’s allotted $33,000.
The U.S. Department of Transportation cites Seattle’s traffic-calming program as an example where speed reduction efforts reduced crashes. The Seattle Department of Transportation lists on-street parking, radar speed signs, speed cushions, humps and tables, traffic circles and yard signs as options in its neighborhood program.
A lot of the requests in Edmonds last year didn’t meet the criteria, starting with a speed study to determine the miles per hour of at least 85% of drivers. If that metric is 8 mph or higher over the posted speed limit, the request can progress in the city’s traffic calming review.
The city gathers citizen action requests and petition forms from residents to consider where to spend money and staff time.
Any resident can fill out an action request that asks for name, contact information, traffic concern and the “root cause” of the problem.
Petition forms need eight neighbor signatures, one per household, and ask for the location of concern.
Some streets are excluded: dead-end streets, roads scheduled for resurfacing in two years, those where a device would “create unsafe conditions,” and those that don’t average daily traffic between 500 and 3,000 vehicles.
After staff evaluates the petitions, the city considers education and enforcement. Within a year of those efforts, they compare traffic data to previous conditions.
If not enough improvement occurred, the city considers changing the road.
Forms can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Edmonds City Hall, Attn: Engineering Division / Bertrand Hauss, 121 5th Ave. N, Edmonds, WA 98020.
Have a question? Call 425-339-3037 or email email@example.com. Please include your first and last name and city of residence.
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