Every year, the City solicits applications from the neighborhood councils for its Traffic Calming Program. According to the City’s website traffic calming is, “a self-enforcing traffic management approach that forces motorists to alter their speed or direction of travel. The purpose of traffic calming is to improve safety, especially for pedestrians and bicyclists, and to improve the environment or “livability” of streets for residents and visitors.” The funding for this program comes from the City’s red light traffic cameras.
Southgate Neighborhood Council is allowed to submit two applications, one for a proposed arterial street and one for a residential street. Examples of past projects include the cross walk and refuge island on Palouse Highway behind Target and the addition of street tress along 42nd Avenue by Hazel’s Creek.
The 2018 applications are due on March 1st and so we will be discussing this topic at our neighborhood council meeting on Wednesday, February 7th. At our January meeting, attendees suggested a number of possible projects for consideration and we will be voting on these options next week. They are:
- Clearly marking the pedestrian crossing at 39th & Regal to improve visibility
- Make the right lane at 44th and Regal heading southbound right turn only to make the through traffic merge earlier and not back up into the intersection
- Infill sidewalks on Thurston Street between Cook and Regal (or further if we can)
- City requested flashing lights at schools zones near Ferris HS on 37th (SNC members suggest that the city use their funds from red lights at schools)
These are all arterial projects. Not every neighborhood application gets approved. Our applications two years ago were rejected.
The City has a website about the program and “toolbox” to provide some ideas for traffic calming solutions. Take a look and see if there are places in our neighborhood that could benefit from some traffic calming. Come to our meeting next week to discuss!