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Posts tagged with Traffic Calming

Pair of traffic calming projects — including a blue light at traffic signals — set for city

We’ll see if talk of traffic calming produces a calming feeling for you on a Monday. I’ve got word of two projects in the works at Lawrence City Hall.

• If you drive in the area behind the new Dillons store at 17th and Massachusetts streets, you may want to get a new set of shocks. Seven speed humps are coming to the neighborhood behind the store.

As part of the store’s City Hall approval last year, Dillons officials agreed to provide $40,000 for traffic calming devices in the neighborhood just east of the store. City officials are now set to begin that project.

Plans call for two speed humps on 17th Terrace between Barker and New Hampshire, and two more on 18th Street between Barker and New Hampshire. In addition, three speed humps are planned for New Hampshire Street, with all planned for the general area near 17th Terrace and 18th Street. Click here to see a map.

The city will accept bids for the project on July 16. Work is expected to begin in late July. Project is expected to be completed by the end of August.

• Red light, green light, yellow light. Blue light? I’m hearing talk around City Hall that Lawrence motorists may start seeing some blue lights at a couple of intersections in Lawrence.

No, I don’t think this is a sign that Kmart is now sponsoring traffic control in the city. (Remember the Blue Light specials in the old Kmarts?) Instead, my understanding is that this is part of a pilot project that involves KU’s engineering school.

I’m still waiting to get official details, but here’s what I’ve heard thus far: Crews, perhaps beginning today, will be installing a blue light on the top of traffic signal poles at 23rd and Iowa and 23rd and Louisiana. The blue light is meant to provide police officers another way to monitor whether motorists are a running a red light.

The idea is that the blue light will be able to be seen from a 360 degree radius. Currently, the best way for a police officer to know whether a motorist has run a red light is to be behind the motorist, where the officer can see both the light and the vehicle. The blue light will come on the moment the traffic signal turns red. Since the blue light can be seen from almost anywhere, an officer can be anywhere near an intersection and monitor it for red light runners.

I’m still a little short on details on the project, but when I hear more, I’ll let you know.

UPDATE: My colleague Ian Cummings is now looking into this story for us. He is reporting that the installation of the lights indeed was scheduled for today, but some technical difficulties have postponed it. No word yet on when the installation may occur, but it might be a few days now.

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City clears the way for traffic-calming devices to be installed on 27th Street between Iowa and Louisiana

Here’s a free tip for all those people looking for a new business venture in the future: An auto alignment shop — or maybe a muffler repair business — near the corner of 27th and Iowa streets.

It is beginning to look more likely that the busy stretch of 27th Street between Iowa and Louisiana streets may get a series of speed humps or other traffic-calming devices.

The city has agreed to add 27th Street to the list of areas in the city that are in need of traffic calming. Getting added to that list, however, doesn’t mean traffic-calming devices are going to be built on the street in the near future.

The city currently has 17 such areas on the list, and some have been on the list for years. The city basically says it will start building the projects as funding becomes available, and funding for traffic-calming projects has been a bit hit or miss in previous city budgets.

But David Woosley, the city’s traffic engineer, told city commissioners recently that the combination of traffic speed, volume and the number of pedestrians along 27th Street causes the stretch of road to rise to No. 1 on the city’s list of traffic-calming priorities.

So, it will be worth watching if funding develops. I would guess that the next time 27th Street gets repaved that the city strongly will consider adding speed humps as part of the repaving project. The city has found the traffic-calming work becomes cheaper if it can be incorporated with another project.

Traffic calming on 27th Street will be significant. The city is estimating that the one mile stretch of street will need about six traffic-calming devices in order to be effective. The city is estimating the cost of the project to be about $90,000.

City commissioners briefly discussed the traffic-calming request — which came from a leader of the Indian Hills Neighborhood Association — and approved the idea on a 5-0 vote.

I have a particular member of my household who uses that stretch of road to get to the shops on South Iowa Street from time to time to time to time. (You get the idea.) I’m sure speed humps would create some noise in my house. Perhaps not slower speeds, but noise — like the kind you hear when your muffler has been knocked off by a speed hump.

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