School Safety Project
The Traffic Calming Program (TCP) began a traffic calming project in the Fall of 1994 to address traffic problems identified on N Vancouver Boulevard, Columbia to Lombard, and N Baldwin Avenue, Commercial to Vancouver, as part of the Applegate Elementary School Safety Project. Additionally, a marked cross walk was installed at the corner of Commercial and Farragut Avenues.
The goal of the project was to enhance street safety for younger pedestrians by reducing the 85th percentile speed of vehicles using these streets closer to the legal maximum speed limit of 25 miles per hour (mph). Speed bumps have proven to be effective tools to reduce vehicle speed without impacting access. It was not an intended goal to reduce traffic volume as part of this school safety project.
Vancouver Boulevard is a Neighborhood Collector street which connects Columbia Boulevard and Lombard Street in a mixed single family residence, apartment and commercial neighborhood. Columbia Boulevard, to the north, is a Major City Traffic street. Lombard, at the project's south end, is a District Collector street. A marked school cross walk is located on N Vancouver at Farragut Street.
Baldwin Avenue serves a single family residence neighborhood and provides access to Vancouver Boulevard. Both streets have sidewalks and curbs.
All residents along the project streets were invited to an open house April 4, 1995 in order to review and comment on the proposed bump installation. Eight people attended the open house Those who attended expressed approval for the proposed project. There is no petition or ballot requirement for School Safety Projects as they are a City Council mandated activity.
Three 22-foot speed bumps, at 350 and 400 foot spacing, were constructed along a 0.2 mile stretch of Vancouver Boulevard on August 19, 1996 by the Bureau of Maintenance.
As the graph shows, vehicle speeds, previously concentrated between 26 and 31 mph, have been shifted into the range of 20 to 25 mph. The average 85th percentile vehicle speed before the project was 35.8 mph. After bump construction the average 85th percentile speed is 28.8 mph. The 85th percentile speed ranges from a low of 25.1 mph near the bumps to a high of 31.3 mph between the bumps.
Traffic volumes measured before bump construction averaged 5500 vehicles per day (vpd). After bump construction volumes averaged 4400 vpd. The average 1100 vpd reduction in traffic volume is significantly greater than the expected 100 to 200 expected daily vehicle fluctuation and can be attributed directly to the speed bump installation.
Two 14-foot speed bumps, 322 feet apart, were constructed along the 0.1 mile stretch of Baldwin Avenue on August 19, 1996 by the Bureau of Maintenance.
As the Graph 2 shows, vehicle speeds, previously concentrated between 23 and 28 mph, have been shifted into the range of 20 to 25 mph. The 85th percentile vehicle speed before the project was 30 mph. After bump construction the average 85th percentile speed is 25.5 mph. The 85th percentile speed ranges from a low of 20 mph near the bumps to a high of 26 mph between the bumps.
Traffic volume, measured before bump construction, was 580 vehicles per day (vpd). After bump construction volumes measured 500 vpd.
Traffic Calming on Vancouver Boulevard and Baldwin Avenue, has successfully reduced the 85th percentile closer to the posted speed limit and reduced traffic volume on Vancouver Boulevard. These changes have enhanced pedestrian safety around Applegate Elementary School.