New “Speed Table” Pilot Project on Aldgate Road
River Park South is a thriving residential community that is growing rapidly – homes are continuing to be built and new families are moving in. Located in the south end of River Park South, Aldgate Road collects residential traffic and directs it to the regional roads network (St. Mary’s Road, St. Anne’s Road, and Dakota Street). Aldgate is designed to accommodate transit buses and emergency vehicles, and is the primary ‘East–West’ connection for vehicles in south Winnipeg.
TRAFFIC IN A GROWING COMMUNITY
As the community grows, so does the volume of traffic. Over the past two years, I’ve received multiple enquiries with concerns requesting:
- Reducing traffic speed on Aldgate
- Improving access for pedestrians crossing Aldgate (ie: students attending Highbury and Burland Schools as well as improving access to parks, playgrounds and trail networks north/south of Aldgate)
To address these concerns, I initiated the following:
- On a frequent basis, I request the Winnipeg Police Service to patrol Aldgate for speeding traffic – which they do when time allows. While traffic enforcement is effective, it is only periodic and does not represent a long-term, sustainable solution.
- In spring, 2015, I requested Public Works to conduct a traffic study of Aldgate to investigate if a stop sign met the necessary criteria for installation. City traffic engineers studied Aldgate and determined traffic volumes did not meet the criteria for a stop sign. For details, refer to the request and final report. Stop signs are designed to control traffic flow at intersections, and are not designed to control speed. Periodically in the past, the Standing Policy Committee of Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works has overridden recommendations of the Public Works Department, and requested stop signs to be installed as speed control devices. I’m sure you’ve been on streets where there is constant starting and stopping due to stop signs. Not only is this frustrating for the driver, it results in negative impacts to traffic flow and fuel use.
- Prior to being elected, I worked extensively with the Green Action Center’s Active and Safe Routes to School Program to improve safe walking/cycling for children. I secured two studies through the Public Works department and the University of Manitoba’s engineering department to investigate walking/cycling barriers for students attending Highbury and Burland Schools. Crossing Aldgate was identified as a major barrier.
CHANGING THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
Speed limit signs and traffic enforcement reduce speed and calm traffic to a limited extent. Traffic control and traffic calming devices are continually improving and in recent years, traffic engineers have been changing the ‘built environment’ to reduce speed and calm traffic. By changing the built environment, the physical changes alter vehicle/driver response to street conditions.
Working together with the City’s Public Works Department and Councillor Brian Mayes (St. Vital Ward), I’ve initiated and am supporting a PILOT PROJECT to install a series of traffic calming devices called “speed tables” along Aldgate Road to reduce speed, calm traffic and to improve conditions for pedestrian crossings. Please note:
- This is a 1.5 year pilot project where the City will be will assessing the traffic calming effectiveness of speed tables
Speed tables are constructed of asphalt, are painted and signed, and are alternated in opposite directions on the street. Speed tables physically change the street conditions, yet maintain a constant flow of traffic, as shown below:
Changing the built environment is a more sustainable approach to traffic calming as less enforcement by Winnipeg Police Service is required, traffic flow is maintained, and fuel is conserved vs having multiple stop signs installed. A bonus result of reducing speed enables improved conditions for pedestrian crossings. Speed tables can be installed on collector streets as they do not negatively impact emergency vehicles and transit buses, and stand up well to winter snow clearing operations.
There will be six speed tables constructed in the following areas, as part of this pilot project:
1. Eastbound: alongside 74 Hindle Crescent
Westbound: alongside 154 Vadeboncouer Drive
2. Eastbound: alongside 3 Scamel Road
Westbound: alongside Highbury Road
3. Eastbound: alongside 211 Hallfield Bay
Westbound: alongside 2 Clerkenwell
4. Eastbound: in front of 772 and 776 Aldgate Road
Westbound: in front of 714 and 718 Aldgate Road
5. Eastbound: in front of 768 and 770 Aldgate Road
Westbound: in front of 778 and 782 Aldgate Road
6. Eastbound: in front of 802 and 804 Aldgate Road
Westbound: in front of 806 Aldgate Road
A map with the six speedtables on Aldgate is shown below (click on the map to increase its size):
YOUR FEEDBACK ON THIS PILOT PROJECT
I want to hear your feedback on the speed tables. I recognize this is a change, and not all folks will be in agreement with change, but I ask that you acknowledge this is a pilot project with the overall goal to improve the community we live in. Do you think speed tables are an effective traffic calming approach? Is the installation of speed tables improving the conditions for pedestrian crossings on Aldgate? How effective do you think the crossings are in the winter? Do you notice any change in traffic flow? PLEASE contact me and share your feedback at: firstname.lastname@example.org
twitter link: http://janicelukes.ca/?p=6945