Traffic circles proposed as way to deter speeding
Published Friday, November 16, 2012 4:36PM MST
Last Updated Friday, November 16, 2012 7:14PM MST
The city is considering modifying five neighbourhood roads, including adding traffic circles, as a way to discourage speeding and address safety concerns.
A report, which will be presented to the transportation and infrastructure committee next Wednesday, summarizes plans for managing speed in the neighbourhoods of the Hamptons, Woodvale, Brintnell and specifically Twin Brooks and Burnewood.
Plans include adding modified traffic circles, raised crosswalks, curb extension intersections, medians, speed tables and curb extension mid-blocks.
Currently traffic circles in Edmonton are considered arterial traffic circles, featuring two lanes and designed for large volumes of traffic. Modified residential traffic circles would be on a smaller scale, with one lane.
“They're actually are very good in terms of their performance, in terms of handling the traffic and naturally, the delays for all direction of traffic going through them,” said Craig Walbam, who works with the city and is author of the report.
“When they’re used properly and driven properly, they’re very good from the performance, even on the collision side, because everyone is yielding and only going to the right.”
The report says the cost for modifications in the Twin Brooks neighbourhood is estimated at $1.9 million while the cost for Burnewood is estimated at $975,000.
For Twin Brooks, areas identified as having the highest speeders were on the straight portions of 9 Avenue and 12 Avenue.
The report says “in light of the increased costs, an alternative that could be considered is a partial installation up to 113 Street west of 111 Street on 9 Avenue and 12 Avenue.”
That refined cost is estimated at $1.1 million.
Other estimated costs include:
- Brintnell Boulevard at $850,000
- 44 Avenue and 44 Street at $800,000
- Hemmingway Road at $650,000
- 38 Avenue at $250,000
Public meetings were held in Twin Brooks and Burnewood to discuss plans for modifying neighbourhood roads.
The report says while “little feedback has been received by Burnewood residents,” about 80 per cent of Twin Brooks residents who provided input said they were against the modifications.
“The majority of residents who provided input, have indicated they do not support these changes and feel they are expensive and not worth proceeding with,” the report says.
“Many of these residents indicated they did not feel there was a problem in the first place.”
However, some residents indicated they were in favour of measures to reduce speeds on 9 Avenue and 12 Avenue through Twin Brooks and say the roads were designed in a way that "invites speeding."
"It's a race course design," said Twin Brooks Community League President Ida Richards.
"We were told that speed, volume and traffic collision data that has been collected for Twin Brooks points to Twin Brooks as a community that needs speed safety."
A number of other measures to reduce speeding have already been attempted in the five communities including increased signage, photo radar, and Edmonton Police Service-manned enforcement.
Twin Brooks resident Gerry Yohemas believes there are simpler ways to reduce speeding and isn't sure the proposed measures will work.
"I think it's excessive. I think there could be cheaper ways of tackling the problem," Yohemas said.
Twin Brooks had been under the 40 km/h speed limit pilot project but that has since been removed.
Yohemas said he'd like that to be reinstated as a way to discourage speeders.
"I wish they would have kept it at the 40 km/h that they had implemented last year but unfortunately the residents felt that for whatever reason that it restricted their movement," he said.
"It was a narrow margin that they had to pull the plug on it. I think it was a good speed."
The report will be presented to the transportation and infrastructure committee on Nov. 21.
It would then be up to council to decide if the speeding concerns warrants the cost estimates and what priority should be given to the projects.
With files from Susan Amerongen