The City of Lloydminster is attempting to discourage drivers from cutting through a residential area to get to and from the shops on Highway 16.
Construction has begun on seven speed tables and lanes are being narrowed in three locations on 36 Street, 39 Street and 70 Avenue in the Parkview Estates area around Holy Rosary High School. Speed tables are like elongated speed bumps which extend forward eight to 10 feet.
Terry Burton, director of planning and engineering, says the majority of construction should be done by May 1 if the weather remains co-operative.
After receiving complaints from residents in the area about the volume and speed of traffic in the area in 2013, the city hired ISL Engineering and Land Services to complete a “traffic-calming” study. By tracking the licence plate numbers of commuters driving through the neighbourhood, ISL determined that 60 percent of north- and southbound traffic was not local, but outside drivers looking to shave just over a minute off their travel time.
In February 2014, ISL also distributed a survey and heard back from over 660 residents from within and without Parkview estates to get their thoughts on how to reduce what the city refers to as “shortcutting.”
“There are two outcomes that we’re trying to (reach) with this. One is ultimately creating a policy on how we will tackle these types of issues in other areas of the city in the future. And the second part of it ... would be what types of technologies or traffic-calming measures are more applicable to this type of a condition.” Burton said. “We found a lot of the traffic going through the neighbourhood just to get to these commercial developments, but in all reality, we want to encourage motorists to use our arterial and collector networks instead of the neighbourhood.”
The city will also be placing signs in the area to discourage motorists from shortcutting and will be examining the traffic lights on 62 Avenue and Highway 16 to ensure that traffic on those routes is moving as efficiently as possible, in order to fight the perception that cutting through Parkview Estates is faster.
Other traffic-calming measures proposed by ISL included raised crosswalks, partial and full street closures and flashing crosswalk signs. Burton says the city will compare “before and after” data and examine traffic patterns when school is in and out of session to determine the effectiveness of these new measures.
“After about a month and a half of this being in place we’ll do another count and do an update to see if this is actually doing what we want it to do,” Burton said. “And if it’s not, then we have to come up with some other alternatives as being possible remedies to calm the traffic within the section.”