Traffic email — sample 1
From: Craig Kelley [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, June 05, 2009 7:28 AM From: Craig Kelley [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Friday, June 05, 2009 7:28 AM Subject: Magazine Street Traffic on Council's Monday night agenda Folks: Subject: Magazine Street Traffic on Council's Monday night agenda
The following Order is on the Council's Monday night agenda should you wish to speak about it. You can also email the Council at Council@Cambridgema.gov .
My experience is that speeding is rarely a problem in Cambridge. I've used my speedgun in various places and I've loaned it out to people and, by and large, folks are not going that much faster than the limit. I'd be glad to loan the speedgun to someone who wants to get speeds for Magazine Street, as having our own measurements of speeds (and other things) can help move the discussion forward.
There is also some thought that maybe traffic calming measures would be appropriate here. I can't say for sure, but my experience with the raised crosswalks by my house is that the only way to use them safely is to wait for all the cars to pass and then walk across. Like other crosswalks in Cambridge, drivers rarely stop at these. The downside to traffic calming is that trucks and busses can make big noises when they hit them, plus they make noise when the accelerate after them. Water can get dammed up behind them, they can eat up parking spots and they can divert traffic onto other streets if they 'calm' too much. And with curb extensions, drivers often swing wide around them when turning which puts them squarely into the oncoming lane which is exactly where my kids are biking so that type of traffic calming, in my experience, actually makes life more dangerous for some people.
The real issue, I think, is that the Police Department doesn't focus on traffic enforcement as it should. As I read the last two budgets, our revenue from moving vehicle violations has declined in each year which leads me to think that our enforcement efforts have declined as well. Nothing calms traffic, and gets drivers to focus on driving safely, than the honest worry that they'll get a ticket for running a red light or going too fast, etc. Since drivers in Cambridge don't really have that worry, we try to compensate with very expensive engineering projects of dubious worth. You can learn more about the City's traffic calming at http://www.cambridgema.gov/cityClerk/CommitteeReport.cfm?action=search&instance_id=354 .
CPD is working on creating a data tool that would help them (and the rest of us, I hope) better quantify and qualify their enforcement efforts (ie- where are they issuing tickets and for what offenses), but for now there's no real way to figure out what they're doing beyond looking at big numbers like the moving vehicle revenue and extrapolating from that.
The 2008 Crime Report, available at http://www.cambridgema.gov/CPD/publications/crime_2008.cfm , has some interesting discussions of enforcement efforts at various hotspots, but is not all that detailed about enforcement efforts in general.
But anyhow, here's the Order.
Have a great weekend. And let me know if you want the speedgun, I'll be getting it back Monday night.
City Council Office
Policy Order Resolution
IN CITY COUNCIL
June 8, 2009
WHEREAS: There is concern over drivers consistently speeding on Magazine Street in Cambridgeport; now therefore be it
That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with the appropriate departments to assess whether or not drivers are indeed consistently driving faster than the posted speed limit and whether or not traffic-calming measures are necessary and would help reduce speeding on Magazine Street, including the Dana Park area; and be it further
That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the City Council on this matter.