Village officials discuss traffic solutions

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By Dedra Cordle
Staff Writer

The influx of vehicles on its residential roads has the village of Urbancrest seeking solutions to traffic related concerns.

At its June 18 meeting, the health and safety committee discussed a variety of measures that could be used to calm the flow of traffic and lessen the issue of speeding. Among the measures discussed were additional stop signs, digital speed signs, traffic circles, speed tables and raised intersections.

In attendance was Brian Coghlan, the vice-president of the engineering and surveying firm Bird and Bull, who spoke of the pros and cons of each measure.

According to Coghlan, the problem that arises as it pertains to the village implementing some of these measures is the design of the roadways.

“Some of the intersections in the village are skewed,” he said.

Because of the skewed nature, he added, it makes it harder to construct something like a traffic circle of a curb bump out at intersections.

Limited time was consumed with the discussion over the traffic circle as the members of the committee, all of whom are village council members, did not have a favorable opinion about them.

“I’m not a fan,” said Shawn Moore.

Among the measures that were given considerable more time were the addition of more stop signs, digital speed signs and speed tables.

Committee chair Deborah Larkins –Jackson said she was in favor of additional stop signs at major intersections as they seemed to be the most efficient way to halt traffic. Members Moore and Alicia Wiggins said they were more inclined toward the digital speed signs or speed trailers as they specifically state how fast the motorist is travelling.

“Seeing your speed can be a deterrent,” said Wiggins.

She also added that she was in favor of the digital signs that collect data. She said the data could be used to see if additional measures, such as a speed table or raised intersection, might be needed in the future.

Coghlan said the village may be best served by using a multi-faceted approach to calm traffic and address speeding. He suggested partnering with local law enforcement agencies to raise awareness, adding stop signs at more intersections and investing in digital speed signs at problem thoroughfares.

In a 2-1 vote, the committee recommended bringing forth the proposal of investing in a digital speed sign to the council at its July 10 meeting. The committee members said they would also ask law enforcement agencies if one could be borrowed for a limited time.

The traffic calming discussion comes on the heels of a request from village mayor Joseph Barnes Sr. who wanted additional stop signs posted at Augustus Drive and First Avenue; First Avenue and Wallace Lane; Central Avenue and Wallace Lane; and Central Avenue and Augustus Drive. The additional stop signs at these intersections would turn them into either a two-way or three-way stop. The focus at the health and safety meeting were centered on these locations, but others were debated as well.

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