NWSNA Meeting January 17, 2017
Present: Sandi Clothier (presiding); Peter Dorfman (acting as Secretary); Board Members Bill Baus; David Ferrand; Alan Balkeman
– Traffic – The City has responded to a year-old complaint about traffic volumes and speeds in the neighborhood, as well as line of sight obstructions at the intersections of Rogers Street and both 8th Street and 6th Street. The response was in an email from Andrew Cibor, Transportation and Traffic Engineer, to Carol Gulyas. Cibor said the city has done traffic studies, and while Kirkwood sees high volumes and a pattern of speeding, the rest of the neighborhood generally sees average speeds below the 25 mph speed limit. So the city finds no action is warranted.
As for the line of sight obstructions, the city evaluated four-way stop signs at both intersections and found they are not warranted because the traffic is mostly on Rogers, and volumes are much lower on both 6th and 8th Streets. However, Cibor suggested that the sight lines would be improved by the elimination of five on-street parking spaces on the west (southbound) side of Rogers at each corner — in each case, three on the north side and two on the south side of the cross street. Cibor asks the Neighborhood Association to get feedback on this suggestion from neighborhood residents. Attendees at the meeting unanimously supported this action.
In addition, Peter Dorfman suggested that the association begin the process of asking the city to install a crosswalk at the corner of 6th Street and Rogers Street crossing Rogers. This would make it easier for pedestrians to cross and might inhibit motorist speeds on Rogers. The attendees unanimously supported this suggestion.
– Sidewalks – There have been complaints of rough, uneven sidewalks at multiple locations on West 6th Street, resulting in falls. The problem generally results from sidewalk sections being lifted by tree roots. Alan Balkeman reported falling himself at 917 West 6th Street — one of seven sidewalk locations that the city has studied and ranked in terms of remediation urgency. According to engineer Joe VanDeventer, the city found none of these locations in its worst 100 sidewalk problems (although 930 West 6th was ranked 142). The fix generally consists of grinding the sidewalk smooth.
The Neighborhood Association has consulted with City Councilman Chris Sturbaum about this. Chris points out that city ordinance makes maintaining the condition of the sidewalk the responsibility of the homeowner at the site. But he has helped to make the city aware of the trip hazards and has inquired on our behalf about the possibility of grant funding. VanDeventer said if HAND has money to fix them and if there have been accidents at these locations, he would investigate getting funding with Robert Woolford.
Sandi Clothier pointed out that a significant part of the problem is lighting on cross streets like 6th. It is difficult to see uneven sidewalks at night because street lighting is obstructed by tree cover. She recommended the Association investigate what it would take to get additional lighting installed.