On Wednesday, May 28, San Marco Preservation Society hosted a community meeting at Preservation Hall to address traffic calming procedures and alternatives. The meeting was the direct result of efforts by a group of residents on Marco Place, Belote, and nearby streets to slow and reduce cut-through traffic in the immediate area.
Since I had received inquiries from Granada, Colonial Manor, South Riverside, and River Road all voicing similar concerns, I suggested they attend the meeting as well to gain an understanding of available options. Over 55 residents attended and the meeting was educational and well received.
Bill Joyce, the City Engineer, and John Pappas, the Director of Operations for the City Public Works Department explained the process and presented several options. In order to qualify for traffic calming, it must first be demonstrated by a traffic count that there is a genuine issue with cut-through traffic. The count can be done by the Department in simple cases or as part of a traffic study by an independent engineer hired at the expense of the neighborhood in more complicated or questionable cases.
Once it has been determined that the magnitude of cut-through traffic exists to justify traffic calming measures, then the Department will work with residents on designing the best option. A petition signed by 75% of affected residents is required before the project can be implemented. All affected residents will be charged equally for a portion of the cost of the traffic calming measures with the residents bearing 50% of the total cost and the City bearing 50%. The portion payable by residents is collected prior to commencement of the project. In response to a question from the audience, Public Works agreed that as long as the 50% payable by residents was paid, it did not matter if some individuals or an organization paid the cost for others.
Various options discussed included stop signs, speed humps, reducing the speed limit, narrowing streets with temporary “bump-outs”, and one-way traffic on select streets. The group seemed to settle on a particular combination that Public Works was going to put on paper and I agreed to distribute to everyone by email for further review.