Do cars tear down your street? Do you see a lot of reckless cut-through traffic on roads near your house? Is there a spot on a busy road that threatens the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers?
Here’s the good news: You can do something about it.
Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council is soliciting neighborhood traffic-calming proposals to be implemented in 2014-15. These will be vetted, voted on, and then the top two (one residential proposal, one arterial proposal) will be passed to the city for consideration.
Traffic-calming proposals include anything from curb extensions to traffic circles (aka roundabouts), chicanes, traffic islands, medians, landscaping, and pedestrian crosswalks. You can see some examples of these in the images above.
The traffic-calming toolbox (PDF link) from the City of Spokane provides a lot of easy-to-read information about potential traffic-calming measures, including a short description of each one as well as pros and cons. This post from a street-scaping blog also has lots of ideas and images.
Unfortunately, the deadline is incredibly tight (it’s Friday, March 1), but that’s because word didn’t filter out of the city until recently — so you’ll need to e-mail your suggestions immediately to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll take care of the initial paperwork.
Please include the following basic info in your e-mail:
- Your contact information
- The exact location of the proposed traffic-calming project
- Why you think traffic calming is necessary in that particular location
- Which traffic-calming method (e.g., chicanes, pedestrian islands, roundabouts) would be most effective
Keep in mind that, if your proposal is selected by the city for further study, you might have to collect signatures from neighbors for approval. This is not nearly as daunting as it sounds. Although there’s always a neighbor who grumbles or is overly suspicious, signature-gathering here in Emerson-Garfield is usually a pretty pleasant experience, especially for universally beneficial projects like these.
And should you think that nothing ever comes of these applications, please note that Emerson-Garfield is currently under study for one of the most ambitious traffic-calming projects in Spokane — which was entirely proposed and advocated by residents.