Happy New Year Wildwood Residents! With the Ward 8 Councillor change in 2013, from John Mar to Evan Woolley, the Traffic Committee is essentially starting over with our community agenda. The Committee has spoken briefly with the new councillor and will be arranging a meeting to present the traffic issues in Wildwood. We have received numerous complaints from residents regarding speeding, high traffic volumes and Bus Route 93. The Committee continues to research various traffic calming initiatives in our neighborhood and are working alongside the City of Calgary for direction and implementation.
The following initiatives are currently being pursued or explored by the Traffic Committee:
- 45th Street and Spruce Drive Intersection: Stop Signs vs. Traffic Circle. This intersection has been identified as a problem area, by both the Traffic committee and residents of Wildwood. An official petition was completed regarding the request for traffic calming at this location. The committee has received letters over the past 16 months concerning the placement of four-way (all-way stop/multi-stop) stop signs at this intersection. The committee worked alongside the City of Calgary to determine the best options. Overwhelmingly, traffic-calming research advises that four-way stops should not be used as traffic calming devices in residential neighborhoods. Findings from multiple studies include:
- Multi-way stops do not reduce speeds on residential streets.
- Stop signs increase noise in the vicinity of the intersection.
- Special police enforcement of multi-way stop signs has limited effectiveness. This has been called the ‘halo’ effect, as drivers will obey ‘unreasonable’ laws as long as a police presence is visible.
Based on the research, the committee is pursuing a traffic
circle at the intersection of 45 Street and Spruce Drive in an
attempt to alleviate the issues at this intersection. The
following, from a study conducted in Alaska on roundabouts, summarises the value of roundabouts in school zones:
“In addition to lowering vehicle speeds, roundabouts make intersections safer for pedestrians of all ages by minimizing conflicts, eliminating crashes caused by drivers disregarding red lights and stop signs.”
- Traffic Calming along Spruce Drive: working with City of Calgary for best solutions to alleviate speeding along this roadway. The request for more police presence has been made by the committee, but additional measures are needed to slow drivers down along this road. Please note that a significant number of speeders is local traffic.
- Traffic Calming along Windermere Road (west of 45 Street): need to mitigate short-cutting to Edworthy Park.
- Traffic calming at 45 Street & Woodlark and 45 Street & Wildwood Drive – working with City of Calgary for best solutions for these intersections.
- ISLOW Signs (Interactive Speed Limit Observation and Warning System solar powered signs used to alert motorists if they are driving faster than the posted speed limit): three locations proposed – two signs along Spruce Drive and one sign on 45 Street south of Spruce Drive. The signs are useful reminders to motorists to slow down.
- Bow Trail and 45 Street Intersection: this intersection has poor traffic flow as there is no turning lights on the north or south side of Bow Trail yet the traffic is significant, and more so since the implementation of the West LRT. The City needs to assess this intersection during peak hours.
Bus Route 93 has generated many complaints since its inception. As a result of the committee’s efforts, we were able to secure shuttle buses in the evenings and weekends. This appears to have alleviated some of the noise and traffic issues generated by the full-size empty buses that were frequently travelling through our neighborhood. We are still pursuing full-time shuttle buses, however for this to occur, we would need to be severed from Route 93 and either appended to another route that could sustain full-time shuttle buses or have a new route created for our community and possibly other neighboring communities with similar demographics and ridership demand. The most numerous complaints we have received find the full size buses too frequent and too loud and that they are usually empty. As we now have buses traveling in two directions through our neighborhood, this is compounded for many homeowners along or near the bus route. In order to achieve change, we need the community to not only voice their concerns not only to us, but to contact Calgary Transit directly and copy us on any correspondence with the City. Change will be difficult without a strong united voice.
As residents of Wildwood, we all value the tranquility that our community offers. This is why we are making efforts to mitigate the traffic issues that are brought forth. We look forward to 2014 and hope to bring forth change that will give all residents a sense of community pride.
Please contact Councillor Wooley’s office with your Wildwood traffic concerns:
Ward 8 website
Please also send a copy to the Traffic Committee so that we have a copy of your traffic concern for our records.