In the Winter 2018 SRCC Newsletter, an error was made in the attribution of an article. The article on traffic mitigation was incorrectly combined from two different submissions but should have been kept separate. Below are the two separate articles with their correct contributors listed. Please note that articles submitted to the newsletter do not necessarily represent an official stance of SRCC or the views of all members. Please also see a separate post with updated information on the status of the project.
St. Edwards Drive Traffic Mitigation
At the December 4th SRCC General Membership Meeting, staff from the Austin Transportation Department presented plans for the proposed traffic calming measures (now known as Local Area Traffic Management or LATM) on St. Edwards Drive between IH-35 and Carnarvon Lane.
Anna Martin, P.E. and Mario Porras, E.I.T. discussed the history of the request for traffic calming, the speed studies that were performed and the results of the studies that indicated the need for traffic calming. Plans for St. Edward’s Drive have been in the works for many years and were postponed repeatedly.
Next, staff discussed the evolution of the City’s LATM program. The most effective approach to reducing speed, according to staff, is installation of rubber speed cushions. The rubber cushions replace the asphalt humps and are also more effective than signs, road striping and chicanes/concrete curb “bulb-outs.”
The proposed plan in Area 5 consists of 3 sets of speed cushions from IH-35 to Eastside Drive. From Eastside Drive to Carnarvon, the plan switches to “refuge islands”, which are intermittent medians in the middle of the road coupled with pedestrian crossing lanes/signs to both reduce traffic speed and provide safe crossing of St. Edwards Drive for pedestrians.
–Mike Kelly, SRCC Mobility Chair
Concerns over St. Edwards Drive Traffic Mitigation
Several neighbors who signed the petition supporting traffic calming on St. Edwards Dr. are changing their vote to “do not support.” The reason is that the proposed speed humps were approved in Sept. 2014, which was prior to the city granting a Right of Way variance in Jan. 2016 which allowed 18-wheeler trucks to make deliveries to the St. Edwards Operations Building at the dead end of St. Edwards Dr.
Other factors in the change of support to non-support include the future relocation of the southbound IH35 on-ramp to a location north of where St. Edwards Dr. intersects with the access road, which may reduce traffic along St. Edwards Dr., and the fact that the data that ATD is using, both for traffic count and for accidents, is 4-5 years old. Some neighbors would like a new traffic count done after the ramp is moved. These neighbors are against proceeding with any plans for traffic mitigation until ATD has a meeting with the nearby neighbors onsite to discuss their concerns, at least, and ideally until after a new traffic study is done (post-IH-35 construction).
–Neal Nuwash, Area 5 Co-Coordinator