Lawrence City Commission to consider 5 traffic-calming projects, including bike boulevard

photo by: Mike Yoder

Lawrence City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St., Thursday, July 7, 2016

The city is recommending that speed bumps and other traffic calming devices be added to five Lawrence streets, one of which would be converted into a bicycle boulevard.

As part of its work session Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission will consider approving the 2018 traffic-calming project list. City staff used a ranking system to decide which projects to recommend for the $200,000 allocated for traffic calming, according to a staff memo to the commission.

The traffic-calming project list is part of the commission’s consent agenda. The projects and their rankings are as follows:

• Missouri Street, from Eighth Street to Ninth Street: speed humps (ranked No. 1)

• Arkansas Street, from Eighth Street to Ninth Street: speed humps (ranked No. 2)

• 13th Street, from Massachusetts Street to Haskell Avenue: traffic calming utilizing bicycle boulevard (ranked No. 4)

• Lincoln Street, from Third Street to Seventh Street: speed humps (ranked No. 5)

• West 24th Street, from Crossgate Drive to Kasold Drive: speed humps (ranked No. 7)

Bicycle boulevards are roadways that are low speed and low volume, and they are designed to be more comfortable for bicyclists and pedestrians, according to a description provided by city staff. Bicycle boulevards generally have the following design features:

• Speed management through vertical and horizontal deflections, such as speed humps, chicanes or islands;

• Volume management by restricting vehicular movement at intersections, which may include forced turns or diverters;

• Street crossing improvements, such as refuge islands and supplemental signs and markings.

Transportation Engineer Amanda Sahin said the specific traffic-calming components that would be used to create the boulevard of 13th Street wouldn’t be identified until the project is designed. If approved, the city will issue a request for qualifications for design services and construction will occur next year, according to the memo.

The city’s Pedestrian Bicycle Issues Task Force Report from 2016 identified 13th Street, from Massachusetts Street to Haskell Avenue, as a future bicycle boulevard.

“Addressing the desire for traffic calming on 13th Street, while also completing this important piece of the bicycle network allows us to implement the community vision for safer streets,” the recommendation reads.

Last month, the commission approved $350,000 for two other bicycle boulevards. Those boulevards will be on 21st Street, from Iowa Street to Massachusetts Street, and on Lawrence Avenue, from Harvard Road to Bob Billings Parkway.

Traffic-calming projects require that at least 70 percent of the residents within 300 feet of the proposed additions approve of them, and the memo notes that some top-ranked projects are not being recommended because they did not meet that threshold. Those projects include the addition of speed humps to Ninth Street, from Lawrence Avenue to Crestline Drive, and the addition of speed humps to Rockledge Road, from Sixth Street to Ninth Street.

The City Commission will convene at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St.


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