More traffic calming devices headed for Monroe

Proposed locations include Barrett Street, McDaniel Street, Pinecrest Drive, North Midland Ave., South Madison Ave. and West Highland Ave.

If you attended the informational meeting in Monroe Tuesday, you would know that now that the results are in from the traffic calming devices that were implemented on Church Street and Davis Street last year, more of the same are being considered going forward.

Much controversy was raised over the median islands that were built in an attempt to slow down the traffic, but if that was the objective, the project was successful.

According to information that was available at the meeting, the posted speed limit on Church Street was, and still is, 30 mph. However, prior to installing the median islands, the average speed for 85% of the traffic was 41 mph. Following implementation of the median islands, the average speed for 85% of the traffic is now 32 mph – a reduction of 9 mph or 22 %. Likewise, the speed tables that were implemented on Davis Street with a view to reducing speed also managed to achieve the objective. Prior to the installation, the average speed for 85% of the traffic was 40 mph – 10 mph over the 30 mph posted speed limit. That is now down to 26.5 mph, a 13.5 mph or 34% reduction.

So, what can we expect going forward and which roads are likely to be impacted?

The map below gives an overview of what traffic calming devices are proposed and where you can expect to find them. The two red markings are Church Street and Davis Street, which have already had the traffic calming changes implemented. The blue lines are the roads under consideration for proposed changes.

If you were unable to attend the meeting and did not manage to fill in a comment card on changes that may impact you, you can do so by April 27 by emailing your comments to PublicComment@MonroeGa.gov. You also can phone the office at 770-267-3429 if you would like more specific information.

City Administrator Logan Propes said although a lot of traffic calming options were considered, only a couple were found to work in Monroe based on street width, intersection and driveway alignments, etc.

Speed tables were chosen for Barrett Street, North Midland Avenue and West Highland. According to Engineers Keck & Wood, “a speed table is a raised area of pavement placed across travel lanes with a height of 3-4 inches, a length of 20 feet, and a 10 foot long flat section. A speed table requires motor vehicles to reduce speed in order to comfortably traverse the measure. Speed tables create the greatest reduction in speed when used in a series along the roadway. This measure can additionally lower the volumes of cut-through traffic. Speed tables can increase pedestrian visibility and safety when used as raised crosswalks. An offset layout can be used to reduce conflicts with emergency vehicles.”

“The speed tables were chosen for Barrett Street, North Midland Avenue, and West Highland Avenue based on a combination of the amount of vehicular traffic (lower vehicles/day), speed limit, and roadway classification (local vs. collector, arterial, etc.),” Propes said. 

On Barrett Street, the posted speed limited is 30 mph and 85% of the traffic is currently doing speeds of 40 mph. On North Midland, the posted speed is 30 mph and 85% of the traffic appears to be obeying that and them some with the average speed at 27 mph. West Highland Avenue has a posted speed of 25 mph with the 85 percentile speed being 34 mph.

For McDaniel Street, Pinecrest Drive and some parts of South Madison Avenue, the now familiar median islands like those installed on Church Street are proposed. Raised crosswalks also are proposed for South Madison. Keck & Wood described a median island as “a raised island in the center of the roadway that not only separates traffic or provides landscaping, but also reduces lane width in order to reduce vehicular speed. They can be used at intersections as well as at mid-block locations. If combined with a pedestrian crossing, a median island can take the form of a refuge, reducing the distance a pedestrian has to cross at one time. The likelihood that a motor vehicle slows down or pedestrian safety increases can be amplified when median islands are combined with other measures such as lateral shifts, speed bumps/cushions, and raised crosswalks.”

“The raised crosswalks were chosen along South Madison Avenue at existing pedestrian crossings connecting a parking lot to the Monroe Cotton Mills. This addresses two items at once; pedestrian crossing safety and speed deterrence. Both the speed tables and raised crosswalks will lower traffic speeds by creating a physical vertical deflection that requires a lower speed to comfortably traverse,” Propes said. “Placing these various elements in a series with proper spacing will encourage a lower speed along the length of the roadway by not allowing traffic to reach high speeds in between each installation. Usually elements are placed 300-500 feet apart so as to not allow more time to get back up to high speeds between each installation.”

On McDaniel Street, the posted speed limit is 35 mph and the average speed for 85 % of the traffic is 45 mph. On Pinecrest, the posted speed is 30 mph and the average speed for 85% of the traffic is 39 mph. On S. Madison Ave., the 30 mph posted speed is exceeded on average by 10 mph at 40 mph.

 

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