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Ward 6 News: Residential Speeding & Traffic Calming

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Ward 6 ReportIn May of 2014, I introduced a Notice of Motion to Council calling on an increase to residential speeding fines in order to enhance pedestrian and community safety.  Until this spring, I have been working closely with the Calgary Police Service and the Province to implement the proposed increases. This included working with the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) who supported the motion at their AGM last September and wrote a letter to the then Minister of Justice for Alberta. The 2015 Provincial Budget presented by the Progressive Conservatives this past spring increased the speeding fines approximately 30% effective May 1, 2015.

 
If you are concerned with speeding in your community, please report concerns with Calgary Police Service by calling the non-emergency line at 403-266-1234 or by completing a Traffic Service Request online. You can also contact your Community Liaison Officer to increase attention to a specific location. The Roads Department can set up a Speed Limit Observation and Warning System (SLOWS); SLOWS trailers are stand-alone, radar-equipped devices that display the speed of oncoming vehicles. These Speed Awareness trailers encourage self correction and signals a community’s speeding concerns. SLOWS trailers can be requested by Community Associations by filling out an online service request.

Some issues may be related to Pedestrian Safety at intersections and crossings.  Typically the request is for a Traffic Control measure such as over head flashing sign or a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB).  Last term, I was pleased to co-sponsor a Notice of Motion with Councillor Demong to study and introduce solar powered RRFBs as a City of Calgary traffic control measure. Both measures require a Pedestrian Corridor Warrant Study.  A Warrant determines if a traffic control measures is needed at an identified location. View the list of which intersections have had a Pedestrian Corridor Warrant Study completed or apply here if it’s not on the list. 

If you have community traffic concerns you can apply for a Community Traffic Study.  An application form is used to identify your issue(s) and demonstrate general support from your community. Please note that in order for the application to be considered complete, you will need to collect signatures from your community association, councillor, police, and from members of your community.

Every December, this evaluation begins by ranking all existing issues and new issues reported within the prior twelve months. A priority ranking is assigned and typically the top 10-15 issues are selected to receive a Community Traffic Project. Priority is based on certain evaluation criteria outlined in the Traffic Calming Policy.

An update letter is then sent out to all communities on the evaluation list in early spring to inform them of the new projects to be undertaken in the coming year. If you community issue is not selected, this means the issue did not rank high enough in the current evaluation year.  Your issue will remain on the evaluation list for a total of three evaluations, at which point a re-submission will be required. Evaluations scores can and do change from year to year, and this is factored in through a Community Support evaluation criteria outlined in Section 3.3 of the Traffic Calming Policy.   

Once an issue is selected for a Traffic Calming Project, The City will work with the Community Association to set up a Community Traffic Advisory Committee (CTAC) to determine project issues and goals. The City then develops a traffic plan and determines which traffic calming measure(s) are appropriate. If two options were appropriate we would ask which of the two measures would be preferred by the residents. The City always attempts to fit the best traffic calming measure(s) to the issue. As an example, if the roadway is on a hill (>4% grade), winter driving can produce safety concerns and it may not warrant a speed hump. That is why constraints are ideally identified early in the process so that the options being considered by the community are feasible to implement.

Each type of traffic calming measure may be an ideal measure for a number of applications, but at the same time there can be some drawbacks. Oftentimes, when dealing with traffic calming, local residents must trade off some degree of accessibility and convenience to obtain quieter, safer streets and from our experience this can become very controversial within a community. Section 4 of the Traffic Calming Policy gives a brief explanation of various traffic calming measures used in North America.

The next Community Traffic Issue Evaluation will begin December 2015. For more information please visit calgary.ca/trafficcalming.


This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.
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