Friday, January 30, 2009

Speed reducing measures coming soon for Gregson & Duke Streets?

I found out this week after seeing some city surveying crews around Trinity Park that some traffic calming measures may soon be coming to Gregson Street and Duke Street. Drivers use those streets, right through pedestrian heavy neighborhoods, like freeways--at least in terms of speed. Several proposals have been made for slowing down the dangerous speeding, including returning the streets back into two-way traffic, which was met with mixed reviews from the neighborhoods.

What's going to be placed up and down Duke Street and Gregson Street is apparently like what's on Anderson Street, if you are familiar with that. If not, I took some pictures today of what Anderson Street has. It has traffic islands on the side of the road, marked with black/yellow signs (you can click the pictures to enlarge them):

What these traffic islands do is to make drivers feel a little squeezed, less wide-open like a freeway, and that has been shown to slow the traffic down. The more narrow a driver perceives a road to be, the less likely he is to accelerate.

The thing I liked on Anderson Street too is the permanent sign that gives drivers feedback on how fast they are going and what the speed limit actually is (seen in the first picture).

We've seen numerous close-misses, actual wrecks, and even fatalities, directly attributable to drivers speeding on Duke or Gregson Streets. Because there are slight hills on these two streets, drivers often top a hill traveling at speeds greater than their visibility allows. Thus, if someone is turning into their driveway, or a pedestrian is crossing the street, the speeding car doesn't have enough time to stop to allow for that and an accident occurs. While I don't think these medians will cure all speeding related accidents, I hope they help address the problem.

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