Kitchener invests in radar to help calm traffic

News Jun 19, 2017 by Bill Jackson Kitchener Post

Kitchener councillors will be getting new tools to help them address traffic calming in areas of their wards where formal reviews aren’t warranted.

The city is planning to purchase two radar speed display signs at a cost of $10,000 that will be placed in two locations per ward this year as part of a new, low-cost seasonal traffic-calming program.

Locations will be determined based on consultations between councillors and staff, and data collected will be used to determine whether or not the program should be expanded in 2018.

Transportation staff recommends purchasing three additional speed display signs next year and putting them in up to seven locations in each ward, on a rotating basis.

“I think there may be a lot of locations and maybe not enough money to do these things,” said Coun. Kelly Galloway-Sealock, who, along with many of her colleagues, thinks the program will be well received by the public.

Studies within the traffic-engineering field show that the use of radar signs can have an immediate impact, reducing vehicle speed between three and five kilometres per hour, on average.

“However, studies have shown that after initial speed reduction, drivers typically revert back to their previous habits,” a staff report says.

“I think it’s really important that residents understand that we sometimes can’t install permanent traffic calming because of the many issues around emergency vehicles and GRT (Grand River Transit), and maybe volumes don’t justify it,” said Coun. Yvonne Fernandes.

According to city’s transportation division, there are currently more than 175 streets that have requested a formal traffic-calming review, 18 of which are warranted based on policy parameters.

Typically only three reviews get approved through annual budget deliberations at a cost of about $60,000 each, said Barry Conkrite, interim manager of transportation services.

A resident-led program passed by council earlier this year allows citizens to implement their own traffic-calming measures, which can include projects such as painted crosswalks and roadside planters. The city will match funding up to $15,000 per project under its neighbourhood matching grant program.

The low-cost, seasonal program — from spring to fall — will let councillor address areas “where they’ve heard concerns, but where staff haven’t been able to address them in a manner that they’re happy with yet,” Cronkite said.

“It’s not always the kind of change that residents want, but I think it’s a great starting point,” said Fernandes, who stressed that police and stop signs can’t be placed at every street corner.

Fernandes envisions radar signs on Apple Ridge Drive in Doon South where many children cross the street to go to J.W. Gerth Public School.

“Also, Thomas Slee (Drive) near the park and just before you get to Netherwood (Road),” she said. “This one is especially important as many children run across to the park.”

Another traffic-calming measure being contemplated by city staff for next year is the installation of “flexi-pole delineators” that are often mounted in the centre of roadways and display messages to drivers.

The signs have been piloted in other jurisdictions and Coun. Dave Schnider has seen them used in Montreal, where they are “very effective,” he said.

According to city staff, the signs are 122 centimetres tall and 33 centimetres wide, and are typically placed "outside of the travelled portions of lanes." The messaging is customizable, but typically includes warning/regulatory language and images.

Studies have shown that the visual narrowing of the travelled lane along a roadway subconsciously causes drivers to slow down by approximately five kilometres per hour.

It is recommended that the application of flexi-pole delineators be limited to a maximum of four signs per ward to start and will be considered as part of next year’s budget.

Kitchener invests in radar to help calm traffic

News Jun 19, 2017 by Bill Jackson Kitchener Post

Kitchener councillors will be getting new tools to help them address traffic calming in areas of their wards where formal reviews aren’t warranted.

The city is planning to purchase two radar speed display signs at a cost of $10,000 that will be placed in two locations per ward this year as part of a new, low-cost seasonal traffic-calming program.

Locations will be determined based on consultations between councillors and staff, and data collected will be used to determine whether or not the program should be expanded in 2018.

Transportation staff recommends purchasing three additional speed display signs next year and putting them in up to seven locations in each ward, on a rotating basis.

“I think there may be a lot of locations and maybe not enough money to do these things,” said Coun. Kelly Galloway-Sealock, who, along with many of her colleagues, thinks the program will be well received by the public.

Studies within the traffic-engineering field show that the use of radar signs can have an immediate impact, reducing vehicle speed between three and five kilometres per hour, on average.

“However, studies have shown that after initial speed reduction, drivers typically revert back to their previous habits,” a staff report says.

“I think it’s really important that residents understand that we sometimes can’t install permanent traffic calming because of the many issues around emergency vehicles and GRT (Grand River Transit), and maybe volumes don’t justify it,” said Coun. Yvonne Fernandes.

According to city’s transportation division, there are currently more than 175 streets that have requested a formal traffic-calming review, 18 of which are warranted based on policy parameters.

Typically only three reviews get approved through annual budget deliberations at a cost of about $60,000 each, said Barry Conkrite, interim manager of transportation services.

A resident-led program passed by council earlier this year allows citizens to implement their own traffic-calming measures, which can include projects such as painted crosswalks and roadside planters. The city will match funding up to $15,000 per project under its neighbourhood matching grant program.

The low-cost, seasonal program — from spring to fall — will let councillor address areas “where they’ve heard concerns, but where staff haven’t been able to address them in a manner that they’re happy with yet,” Cronkite said.

“It’s not always the kind of change that residents want, but I think it’s a great starting point,” said Fernandes, who stressed that police and stop signs can’t be placed at every street corner.

Fernandes envisions radar signs on Apple Ridge Drive in Doon South where many children cross the street to go to J.W. Gerth Public School.

“Also, Thomas Slee (Drive) near the park and just before you get to Netherwood (Road),” she said. “This one is especially important as many children run across to the park.”

Another traffic-calming measure being contemplated by city staff for next year is the installation of “flexi-pole delineators” that are often mounted in the centre of roadways and display messages to drivers.

The signs have been piloted in other jurisdictions and Coun. Dave Schnider has seen them used in Montreal, where they are “very effective,” he said.

According to city staff, the signs are 122 centimetres tall and 33 centimetres wide, and are typically placed "outside of the travelled portions of lanes." The messaging is customizable, but typically includes warning/regulatory language and images.

Studies have shown that the visual narrowing of the travelled lane along a roadway subconsciously causes drivers to slow down by approximately five kilometres per hour.

It is recommended that the application of flexi-pole delineators be limited to a maximum of four signs per ward to start and will be considered as part of next year’s budget.

Kitchener invests in radar to help calm traffic

News Jun 19, 2017 by Bill Jackson Kitchener Post

Kitchener councillors will be getting new tools to help them address traffic calming in areas of their wards where formal reviews aren’t warranted.

The city is planning to purchase two radar speed display signs at a cost of $10,000 that will be placed in two locations per ward this year as part of a new, low-cost seasonal traffic-calming program.

Locations will be determined based on consultations between councillors and staff, and data collected will be used to determine whether or not the program should be expanded in 2018.

Transportation staff recommends purchasing three additional speed display signs next year and putting them in up to seven locations in each ward, on a rotating basis.

“I think there may be a lot of locations and maybe not enough money to do these things,” said Coun. Kelly Galloway-Sealock, who, along with many of her colleagues, thinks the program will be well received by the public.

Studies within the traffic-engineering field show that the use of radar signs can have an immediate impact, reducing vehicle speed between three and five kilometres per hour, on average.

“However, studies have shown that after initial speed reduction, drivers typically revert back to their previous habits,” a staff report says.

“I think it’s really important that residents understand that we sometimes can’t install permanent traffic calming because of the many issues around emergency vehicles and GRT (Grand River Transit), and maybe volumes don’t justify it,” said Coun. Yvonne Fernandes.

According to city’s transportation division, there are currently more than 175 streets that have requested a formal traffic-calming review, 18 of which are warranted based on policy parameters.

Typically only three reviews get approved through annual budget deliberations at a cost of about $60,000 each, said Barry Conkrite, interim manager of transportation services.

A resident-led program passed by council earlier this year allows citizens to implement their own traffic-calming measures, which can include projects such as painted crosswalks and roadside planters. The city will match funding up to $15,000 per project under its neighbourhood matching grant program.

The low-cost, seasonal program — from spring to fall — will let councillor address areas “where they’ve heard concerns, but where staff haven’t been able to address them in a manner that they’re happy with yet,” Cronkite said.

“It’s not always the kind of change that residents want, but I think it’s a great starting point,” said Fernandes, who stressed that police and stop signs can’t be placed at every street corner.

Fernandes envisions radar signs on Apple Ridge Drive in Doon South where many children cross the street to go to J.W. Gerth Public School.

“Also, Thomas Slee (Drive) near the park and just before you get to Netherwood (Road),” she said. “This one is especially important as many children run across to the park.”

Another traffic-calming measure being contemplated by city staff for next year is the installation of “flexi-pole delineators” that are often mounted in the centre of roadways and display messages to drivers.

The signs have been piloted in other jurisdictions and Coun. Dave Schnider has seen them used in Montreal, where they are “very effective,” he said.

According to city staff, the signs are 122 centimetres tall and 33 centimetres wide, and are typically placed "outside of the travelled portions of lanes." The messaging is customizable, but typically includes warning/regulatory language and images.

Studies have shown that the visual narrowing of the travelled lane along a roadway subconsciously causes drivers to slow down by approximately five kilometres per hour.

It is recommended that the application of flexi-pole delineators be limited to a maximum of four signs per ward to start and will be considered as part of next year’s budget.