Traffic Calming Event
On Monday, I attended a meeting of a sub-group of the Longfellow Community Council's (LCC) Environment and Transportation committee (E&T) to discuss a traffic calming event now tentatively set for April 20th.
The event's purpose is to highlight some concerns that our office has heard about the behavior of commuters on West River Parkway, as well as on other neighborhood streets. The majority of drivers are violating the 25 MPH speed limit. Few drivers are stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks, which is required by law. West Rivers Parkway is fairly narrow, leading to some conflicts between bicyclists (who have the legal right to be on the road) and drivers. Some bicycle commuters are disregarding stop signs and other traffic control devices. Making matters worse, the bike path is fairly degraded, pushing even some recreational bicyclists (who tend to move somewhat more slowly) onto the street.
The neighborhood came together for a similar event back in 2000 - kids waved bright yellow signs, elected officials came out, mounted units traced the route of the parkway.
The discussion on Monday was enthusiastic and creative. Among the ideas thrown out: "Burma Shave" style signs alerting commuters to their responsibilities in a clever, catchy way; a week-long "foreshadowing" of the event featuring unfinished phrases that will make drivers wonder what's going on; "franchising" the signs to other areas with traffic control problems; tying in with the statewide Share the Road campaign, run by MNDOT; mobilizing the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts to participate; getting the mounted police and Speed Wagon (the radar sign that tells drivers how fast they're going) out for the event. It's clear that we want to have the event on a weekday, in order to hit our primary commuter audience.
Cam's planning on going, and we've also invited the other Council Members who represent Longfellow - Sandy Colvin Roy and Gary Schiff - and the Mayor. I'll provide updates as I have them.