Risky planters? Not if motorists go slow, city says
Post Independent Staff
City officials say new mid-road planters aimed at slowing traffic on Midland Avenue shouldn’t pose a safety concern ” as long as traffic goes slowly.
“Realistically, nobody should be going that fast or be that out of control, on a road that has a 25-mile-per-hour speed limit, that they should hit those things,” city manager Jeff Hecksel said.
The planters are being placed along the middle of Midland after a group of about 45 residents of that area decided they would be a good means of slowing down vehicles on the road.
“I think they’re an attempt on the part of the neighborhood and the city to attempt to improve the speed compliance on Midland Avenue,” Hecksel said.
Glenwood Springs resident Steve Damm recently criticized the planters in a letter to the editor in the Post Independent.
“These things do nothing to calm traffic, and when winter comes, they may be hit by snowplows or a skidding motorist,” he wrote.
City Council member Larry Beckwith, a Midland resident, said the safety of the planters was studied and supposedly they are “not all that hazardous.”
“I would anticipate someone reckless and unaware would think they are unsafe. But the speed limit’s 25 miles per hour. It shouldn’t be that hard to see them, especially once they’re all done,” he said.
The Midland residents came up with the proposal after the city earlier decided against placing speed humps on the road. Some residents had been concerned that the humps would slow down response times for emergency vehicles.
The planter plan was approved by a new city traffic-calming review board before being implemented.
Hecksel said an alternative might have been to put in a raised median, but there wasn’t the time or money available to do that before this fall’s opening of the Glenwood Meadows commercial development, which is expected to draw more traffic to Midland.
Hecksel noted that the planters aren’t done yet.
For them to be effective, “we’ve got to plant stuff. That’s part of what would cause people to slow down,” he said.
“I would say give it a chance, let’s see if it works.”
The planters should provide some motivation to motorists to make sure they go slowly enough to avoid them. For anyone who ran into one, “your car would have a very big dent in it,” Hecksel said.
Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. 516
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