October 5, 2023

Antioch will spend $1.5 million on site visitors calming enhancements on a few of its most harmful streets whereas reducing the velocity on two of them.

Within the first traffic-related motion, the council voted 4-0, with Councilwoman Monica Wilson absent – to scale back the velocity on Laurel Highway and Wild Horse Highway by from 45 mph to 40 mph. And whereas Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock wished additionally to scale back the velocity on James Donlon Boulevard – a principal thoroughfare within the metropolis – from 40 to 35 mph, the town’s site visitors guide mentioned that was not potential.

“By legislation, we’re solely permitted to scale back the velocity based mostly off the 85 percentile,” guide site visitors engineer Charmine Solla mentioned, referring to the velocity that 85% of the drivers are driving at or beneath.

“We’re permitted to spherical right down to 45 and cut back that by 5 miles per hour. James Donlon is outdoors of that vary,” she mentioned of the principle arterial street, which has been the positioning of many accidents previously.

And though Meeting Invoice 43 permits cities to alter velocity limits outdoors the boundaries of state rules beginning in 2024, police then wouldn’t be capable to use radar or lasers, in keeping with Councilman Mike Barbanica, a former police officer, mentioned. “(It) would forestall us from imposing site visitors legal guidelines.”

The site visitors calming measures, in the meantime, got here on the public’s request to think about enhancements that might make the streets safer. Engineers and metropolis workers studied present situations, collision historical past, and checked out velocity surveys and site visitors volumes on James Donlon, tenth Avenue and Sycamore Drive. Additionally they met with police and fireplace departments earlier than advancing the measures.

Among the proposed site visitors calming measures embrace warning putting in indicators with rectangular fast flashing beacons, automobile velocity suggestions indicators, superior yield line striping to make crosswalks extra seen, in addition to including buffered bicycle lanes, “tuff curbs” (yellow separators with versatile posts), narrowing lanes and restriping some roads, amongst others.

Although the proposed enhancements don’t embrace everlasting infrastructure, reminiscent of concrete median islands, they value much less and will be carried out extra rapidly than everlasting constructions, Solla mentioned.

Roundabouts had been additionally thought-about however lacked the minimal radial house and would have required the acquisition of personal property, the workers report mentioned.

Estimated prices embrace $425,000 for Sycamore Drive, $220,000 for West tenth Avenue, and $765,000 for James Donlon Boulevard and $425,000 for Sycamore Drive. The enhancements to Sycamore Drive, the place many youngsters stay, would come first, being paid for by means of gasoline tax fund monies. Funding for the opposite roads will likely be determined in September, in keeping with Mayor Lamar Thorpe.

Numerous residents spoke in favor of the site visitors calming measures however nonetheless questioned whether or not they would assist.

“My concern is the reckless driver,” Leslie Might mentioned. “The dangerous half is reckless drivers and individuals who don’t care. They’ll simply run by means of these issues or, or swerve to the facet.”

Mayor Professional Tem Tamisha Torres-Walker mentioned she supported all of the modifications but in addition spoke of the shortage of crosswalks on Sycamore Drive, calling it a “large problem.”

“There’s been complaints of velocity on Mahogany,” Torres-Walker mentioned. “My concern is folks will loop (round by means of different streets) to keep away from the site visitors calming enhancements.”

Solla mentioned further crosswalks will be thought-about however the state requires excessive pedestrian demand.

“It’s not unusual for folks to attempt to discover different routes,” she added, noting that engineers can research if that turns into the case after the measures are carried out.

“Or we will go forward and stripe Mahogany,” Thorpe mentioned, noting a research would take an excessive amount of time.

The council agreed, voting 4-0, to approve the site visitors calming measures, together with striping on Mahogany Manner.