Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Traffic calming: City invites public comments on proposed changes to 29th and Howard

Proposed traffic calming at Howard Street and W. 29th Street.
By Craig Bettenhausen

At the intersection of W. 29th street and Howard street, in response to pressure by GRIA, the City's Department of Transportation Traffic Division has designed a plan that they think will improve conditions for pedestrians in two ways.

- It will force motorists who make turns quickly today to turn much more slowly.
- It will shorten the crossing distance for pedestrians as they cross both streets.

In addition, reducing the effective width of the roadway usually causes traffic to slow down, which could be a safety improvement, especially in a location as prone to speeding as this intersection.

A drawing of the proposed changes is shown above; larger versions are available on GRIA's website. GRIA's board of directors and its Land Use Committee have endorsed the plan, which will be presented to the community at the community association's Sept. 20th general meeting (7 pm at Kromer Hall, 335 W. 27th Street). 

The biggest change would be narrowing the portion of the roadway used by cars by extending the curbs. This would be accomplished, similar to what is currently in place on Remington Avenue at W. 28th and W. 29th, using flexposts. In the drawing above, the dark lines with dots on them show where the flexposts would go. 

Emergency services vehicles are able to drive right over flexposts without even slowing down, but the barriers deter casual drivers from doing the same. 

Remington ave and W. 28th. A flexpost can withstand being run over roughly 50 times.
Roughly one parking spot, on the Southern end of Wyman Parkway, would be lost. The northbound side of Howard street would be constricted to one through lane, though the second lane would still be available north of the flexposts.

The plan would also re-stripe some of the pedestrian crosswalks and extend the eastern point of the island on the Northeast corner of the intersection. 

To provide feedback on the plan, please contact Kwame Rose or Jeffrey Fleming at 443-984-4095.