Monday, July 31, 2017

Traffic calming near Michaud Crescent & 201A Street. Borrowing ideas from New York.

Two of the key priorities for Langley City residents that I’ve heard are to slow down people who speed through our streets, and improve safety for all street users. The most visible project completed this year that addressed both priorities was 203 Street. Traffic calming was also approved along sections of 50 Avenue and 198 Street this year. You can read about some of the coming safety measures including speed tables, raised crosswalks, road narrowing, and curb extensions on a previous blog post.

There has also been a demand from residents along Michaud Crescent, near 201A Street, to implement traffic calming measures. There is a future plan to transform Michaud Crescent into a greenway, but traffic calming is needed today.

Former New York Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan transformed streets in her city by applying “paint and planters” for quick wins to improve safety. Based on the success of projects, they would be made permanent over time.

Sadik-Khan’s Department of Transportation also kept metrics on the success of these projects. For example, in the Making Safer Streets guide, it highlights how narrowing roads at crosswalks and intersections reduced crashes, injuries, and conflicts. You can view more resources on her website.

Sadik-Khan “paint and planters” style projects are showing up in cities throughout Canada and the US. Langley City is no exception. One of the risky intersections in our community is Michaud Crescent & 201A Street. Langley City is proposing to narrow the intersection with paint and bollards. This is an example from another community:

Example of interim curb narrowing design in Austin, Texas. Source: CityLab.

This is the proposed design for our community:

Proposed interim design for the Michaud Crescent and 201A Street intersection. Select image to enlarge.

This interim design will reduce the amount of time where there is walking/driving conflict. Because of the narrowing, it will make seeing a person crossing easier if you are driving, as the start of the crosswalk will now be in your field of vision.

The traffic calming proposal also includes installing speed tables as shown.

Proposed speed table locations around Linwood Park. Select image to enlarge.

If you would like to provide feedback on these proposed traffic calming measures, please visit the City’s website. Feedback is being accepted until August 10.

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