Imagine Glenwood proposes ‘thank you’ signage for drivers who don’t speed on Grand Ave.
City Council asks Transportation Commission for recommendations
The residents behind “Slow Down in Town” and “Take a Minute,” have a new idea for encouraging Grand Avenue travelers to slow down — killing them with kindness.
During the City Council’s Thursday meeting, Imagine Glenwood co-founder Diane Reynolds proposed Glenwood Springs invest up to $25,000 in portable radar signs to be placed along Grand Avenue, which could detect motorists’ speeds and respond with messages praising those who go the speed limit or slower.
“I think it would be great positive reinforcement if the signs said simply, ‘Thank you,’ when a driver is driving the speed limit,” Reynolds said.
The goal of the grassroots, civic-engagement organization is to help make Glenwood Springs a safer, better place to live by encouraging drivers to be considerate of the people who live, work and play along the city’s thoroughfares, she said.
“We started out with just some two-sided yard signs,” Reynolds said. “Tonight, we’re asking you to reaffirm the support you voiced for us in May 2020.”
Imagine Glenwood’s request ranges from $6,000 for a single radar sign on Grand Avenue to $25,000 for multiple double-sided signs to be installed on Grand throughout the downtown area.
City Engineer Terri Partch said the signs could be paid for with money from street tax funds allocated for traffic calming projects.
“Typically, with signage like this, we do see an impact to travel speeds at the beginning,” Partch said. “But these signs tend to have diminishing returns as time goes on and drivers get used to seeing them.”
Police Chief Joseph Deras echoed Partch’s comments, saying he supported the signage, but that the city could see better traffic management results if they invested the money into a law enforcement position dedicated solely to traffic enforcement.
Additionally, high rates of speed are not primary factors in collisions along Grand Avenue, but rather the opposite, Deras said.
Slower rates of speed on Grand Avenue are the likely largest contributors to traffic accidents, based on collision-site data, he added.
Responding to a question from the council, Reynolds said she has not yet presented the funding request to the city’s Transportation Commission.
Council member Ingrid Wussow made a motion, seconded by council member Tony Hershey, to allocate $25,000 for purchasing radar signage for Imagine Glenwood’s proposal, with a request of the Transportation Commission to weigh in on where the best locations on Grand Avenue would be.
Mayor Jonathan Godes said he couldn’t support the request because granting an organization funds after they skipped steps of the process, such as approaching the city’s appropriate advising boards and commissions, could set a harmful precedent, regardless of the organization’s beneficial mission.
The motion failed 1-6, with only Wussow voting in support.
Wussow responded with a second motion, also seconded by Hershey, asking the Transportation Commission to review Imagine Glenwood’s proposal and make a recommendation to council at a later date.
The motion passed 6-1, with Godes voting against.
Reporter Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at email@example.com.
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