Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here:

Thursday, January 11, 2007

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.


At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problems on the parkway go both ways. I commute it occasionally and get tired of cars playing bumper cars with me when I try to go 25. I also get tired of residents running the stop sign to get onto the parkway, pedestrians crossing NOT at crosswalks (just try and see them as you come around the curves, much less stop, dog walkers chatting and crossing without looking or paying attention to crosswalks, walkers starting to cross one way and then meandering another.

At 2:42 PM, Blogger Robin Garwood said...

You're absolutely right. Everyone using the roads - peds, bikes and cars - needs a refresher on what the rules are and why they're important to follow. That's the message we hope the event will convey: everyone needs to share our roads, no matter their mode, and following the rules will increase everyone's safety and enjoyment of our shared space. Hope to see you there...

At 9:33 AM, Anonymous robin garwood said...

Posted on behalf of Wendy Adamson:

"I commuted from Seward to downtown Mpls. for several years. I was constantly tailgated when I was going 30 mph. (I know that is over the speed limit!) I put a big sign across the lower part of my back window which said "River Road 25 MPH." Surprisingly, almost all cars which came barreling up behind me, would after a bit apparently see the sign, and then they would back off and slow down. It really worked in at least 90% of the cases. I think many people just forget what the speed limit is. (And of course there are a few chronic speeders as well.) I suggest we get some bumper stickers made (Northern Sun perhaps?) that have this message, and pass them out.

Wendy Adamson"

At 10:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Wendy,
A Longfellow resident has made bumper stickers that say "It's River PARKWAY not River Highway. 25 MPH" and are for sale at the Longfellow Community Council office for two bucks. Call us at 722-4529 to get one sent to you!
Jessica Hayssen


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