City Updates Traffic Calming Program
Changes Includes Bigger Role For City Council
Posted: November 17, 2012
HARRISONBURG — City officials have revised a plan for neighborhoods that want to solve issues of speeding and cut-through traffic.
The Harrisonburg City Council this week adopted an updated neighborhood traffic calming program guide, applauding it for being more user-friendly. The city started the program in 2001 to address problems of drivers speeding or cutting through residential areas.
Five neighborhoods, including Old Town, have enrolled in it, said Sgt. R.D. Knott of the Harrisonburg Police Department.
The police and public works departments run the program, while the Harrisonburg Transportation Safety and Advisory Commission recommends improvements.
Council appoints members to the commission.
Residents petition the city to enroll in the program, which can ultimately lead to solutions such as raised crosswalks, speed humps or sidewalk construction. In Old Town, for example, city crews raised the intersection at Franklin and Ott streets and added a speed hump on Bruce Street between Ott and Myers Avenue in 2011.
Seventy-five percent of residents within a neighborhood must agree that speed and traffic problems exist before enrollment.
Public Works Planner Thanh Dang said Wednesday that the revamped guide is easier to read, including a flow chart that walks residents through each step — more than 20 exist — of the process. One change mandates that a formal request for a traffic count and speed study must go to council before enrolling in the program.
Council members usually are involved in the beginning, Dang added, but the program has never required a formal appeal.
One addition is a “graduation” component. Neighborhoods that see decreases in speeders and traffic will now formally be recognized as finished with the process, Dang said.
“It’s an opportunity to celebrate,” she said.
Dang added that neighborhoods could always re-enroll if new problems surface.
Mayor Richard Baugh, among other council members, said the new guide will be a helpful tool for residents because it better explains the program’s purpose and how it works.It can be viewed through www.harrisonburgva.gov.
Contact Preston Knight at 574-6272 or email@example.com