A number of Arvadans have been puzzled by the traffic circles and speed cushions that have popped up around Olde Town in recent weeks.
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A number of Arvadans have been puzzled by the traffic circles and speed cushions that have popped up around Olde Town in recent weeks. The infrastructure additions are part of a pilot program that aims to decrease roadway fatalities, according to John Firouzi, Arvada Manager of Mobility and Planning Innovation.
The city team is studying traffic compliance along Grandview and 57th avenues as part of the "traffic calming" plan, which aims to reduce speeding — and thereby fatal auto accidents — in high-traffic areas.
The first of these installations is a traffic circle at Brooks Drive and 59th Place, which was set up last year. Studies conducted by the city showed 84% compliance with the traffic circle, which saw drivers turning more slowly and pausing for pedestrians to cross the intersection.
Recently, another traffic circle was implemented at 57th and Grandview avenues — an intersection Firouzi said was chosen due to its proximity to schools and commercial areas. Speed cushions on Grandview have also been implemented.
Two more traffic circles are planned within the coming weeks; one at 57th Avenue and Ammons Street and one at 57th and Balsam Street. Carr Street and 57th will both see speed cushions implemented in the coming weeks as well.
Firouzi said that the traffic circles and speed cushions were tested by Arvada Police and Fire Department vehicles to ensure that large trucks and low-clearance cruisers can safely navigate around them. He added that the largest Arvada Fire truck was used for the tests — which found that the truck could pass around the traffic circle — and is roughly the same size as a semi-truck.
The current implementations — traffic circles and speed cushions — are part of a semi-permanent method to gauge compliance, called ‘lighter, quicker, cheaper,’ which references the impermanence of the structures. The city will monitor the efficacy of these implementations with cameras over the next year.
Firouzi said that if the additions are found to be useful in enforcing safe driving, permanent installations will be built during road resurfacing. More information about the city's traffic calming project can be found at arvada.org.
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