Creating additional parking at Sayre Park
In simple terms, traffic calming addresses a common concern expressed by residents: “Too many vehicles, going too fast past my house.” Making physical changes to the roadway is intended to change the behavior of the motorist. Design and landscaping features improve the aesthetics and the livability of a neighborhood as it increases the effectiveness of a device. This is accomplished by creating visual breaks in the streetscape and reducing the “raceway” appearance of wide residential streets. Because many of the concerns addressed through traffic calming rest with residents’ perceptions, traffic-calming efforts are intended to change the look and feel of the street. It does not discourage vehicle travel, but it encourages automobile drivers to operate safely with consideration for others on the street. It works to improve the quality of neighborhood life by creating safe attractive streets and promoting pedestrian and cyclist activities.Residents on North Hyland Park Drive, the street north of Sayre Park, contacted the city of Glenwood Springs’ Traffic Calming Committee to help improve their quality of life after watching high volume, high speed, cut-through traffic from Grand Avenue increase on their neighborhood street. With great concern, the neighborhood made this request at the beginning of the summer to slow the traffic down around the park and protect the children at play. In September 2005, City Council created a Traffic Calming Committee when they adopted the City’s Traffic Calming Policy. This five-person committee is composed of the public works director, chief of police, fire chief, city engineer and transportation manager, who work with residents to identify problems and improve the livability of our streets. The city began by installing two stop signs at the intersection of Blake Avenue and North Hyland Park, making it a four-way stop intersection. However, as mentioned above, to reduce the raceway look of the wide street, the city decided to convert the parallel parking to back-in diagonal parking on the north side of Sayre Park. This would slow traffic down and created extra parking spaces for the park. Back-in diagonal parking was chosen because it provides a more pedestrian/bicycle-friendly design than parallel parking. Children are directed to the sidewalk and protected by the vehicle door, and it is safer and easier to load and unload picnic baskets and other belongings out of the vehicle from the sidewalk. The city has hired a contractor to restripe the street, and with weather permitting, the project will be completed by mid-November. For more information on the city’s Traffic Calming Policy and the Grand Avenue Traffic Calming Policy, visit the city of Glenwood Springs Traffic Calming Web page at http://www.ci.glenwood-springs.co. us/transpo/calming.htm, or call (970) 384-6427. Sabrina Harris is transportation manager for the city of Glenwood Springs.
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