School Safety Project
The Traffic Calming Program (TCP) undertook a School Safety Project (SSP) in the Fall of 1994 on the local streets adjacent to Saint Ignatius Elementary School.
The goal of a SSP project is to enhance the safety of the younger pedestrians associated with the elementary school by reducing the 85th percentile speed closer to the posted speed limit. Speed bumps are the only device considered for streets like SE 43rd and 45th, which are classified as Local Service Streets, are not transit or primary fire response routes and have vehicle volumes between 400 and 1700 vehicles per day. Speed bumps have proven to be effective tools to reduce vehicle speed without impacting access. It is not an intended goal to reduce traffic volume on low-volume Local Service Streets.
SE 43rd and 45th Avenues serve a single-family neighborhood and, with Tibbetts Street to the North and Powell Boulevard to the South, create the borders of St. Ignatius Elementary School. SE 43rd and 45th are North-South Local Service Streets which run North of SE Powell Boulevard and parallel to 39th Avenue. Both Powell and 39th are designated Major City Traffic Streets.
All residents along the project streets were invited to an open house October 3, 1994 in order to review and comment on the proposed bump installation. Eleven households were represented at the open house as well as the school principal and PTA president. All 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.
The project speed bumps were constructed in October of 1994 by the Bureau of Maintenance.
As the graph 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 highest 85th percentile speed measured was 27 mph. The 85th percentile speed ranged from a low of 19 mph very near the bumps to a high of 28 mph between the bumps. Since the pre-project 85th percentile speed was 30 mph for a street posted 25 mph, a great overall reduction was not expected.
Traffic Volumes measured after bump construction showed no significant change from the pre-bump volumes of 1100 vehicles per day (vpd). No adjacent streets were identified as unwanted diversion routes.
Traffic Calming on SE 43rd and SE 45th has successfully reduced overall speed and enhanced school pedestrian safety.