By the Crestview Traffic-Calming Working Group
The name says it all. What does the word “calming” make you think about? It means “easing, relaxing, reducing tension.” It also means “not agitating, not aggravating, not upset.” Doesn’t calming sound nice? So let’s all work together to calm our traffic down.
The most recent traffic data gathered by the city shows that Crestview has a high per-trip traffic count, meaning the number of one-way trips into and through the neighborhood. Also, the average speed of all these cars is 5–8 miles over the posted speed limit. Sometimes the speed limit is 25 m.p.h. on narrow streets, and sometimes it’s 30 m.p.h. on wider streets like Woodrow and Grover. Five to eight miles over the speed limit might not be significant on a highway, but on our neighborhood streets it has become a major problem.
Currently, our most common traffic problems are not one- or two-car accidents, but pedestrian injury and property damage due to drivers running stop signs and not yielding to walkers and bicyclists. Some of these drivers are your neighbors, but a large number of them are “cut-through drivers.” This means they do not live in the neighborhood, but are simply driving through Crestview on their way to somewhere else. Cut-through traffic is not necessarily a bad thing; we are in the middle
of the city after all. But remember that we also have a problem with high speed.
In summary, traffic calming will address these two issues and result in an average 20% reduction in both volume and speed of traffic. To some people, 20% may not sound like much, but let’s remember what “calming” means. We will see an overall calming effect in traffic all over the neighborhood with fewer cars, and they will be traveling at slower speeds. As a result, our streets will be a safer and quieter.
Neighborhood residents will soon be presented with the opportunity to support the efforts of our Crestview Neighborhood Association and the City of Austin to calm our traffic. A working group is nearing completion on a proposed neighborhood plan and will be ironing out the details with the City of Austin traffic engineer over the next few weeks.
After the plan is completed, the City will mail a notification letter to neighborhood property owners with information on the plan along with a ballot, and residents will have an opportunity to attend an open house to obtain more information prior to voting. Prior to the balloting, the working group plans a program of education and outreach to our neighbors. In addition to newsletter and website articles, they will be going door-to-door and staffing information tables in the area.
If traffic calming is important to you, and you would like to help get the information out to our neighbors, please notify Kat Correa, secretary of the working group, with your preferred email and number. Her telephone number is 225-4732; her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
We appreciate any time and talent you have to offer.
Post by Kat Correa to the neighborhood listserv.
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