Rochester to put the brakes on speeders
(in the order citizens reported them)
1. Third Street Northwest, from Manor Park to 36th Avenue
2. Nottingham Drive Northwest at 48th Street Northwest
3. Fox Valley Drive Southwest, west of the roundabout
4. Fifth Avenue Southwest between 20th and 23rd streets
5. 900 block of 14th Avenue Southwest
6. East River Road at 27th Street Northeast
7. 1800 block of Baihly Hills Drive Southwest
8. 800 block of Northern Hills Drive and 10th Avenue Northeast, near Churchill Elementary School
9. 1400 to 1800 Assisi Drive Northwest
10. 2100 block of 19th Street Northwest
11. Ninth Avenue Northwest between Elton Hills Drive and West River Parkway
Source: Rochester Public Works
City prioritizes crackdown sites
By Jeffrey Pieters
Eleven Rochester residential streets have been designated as first-priority for heightened traffic enforcement or permanent road installations to reduce traffic speed.
The streets were pulled from 62 locations reported to Rochester Public Works with speed complaints over the past five years. The department conducted one-day to two-day speed studies at each location, and ranked the locations by a combined rating of average speed and daily traffic volume.
By that measure, the worst reported speeding problem was on Northern Hills Drive and 10th Avenue Northeast, near Churchill Elementary School.
The typical driver there exceeded the 30-mph limit by nearly 10 mph. The street carries an average of 700 cars per day — making it a medium-volume street compared with the others in the study.
A typical driver is one traveling at the 85th percentile speed. In other words, 15 percent of drivers are going faster than the typical speed.
The highest-volume street with what the city considers a serious speeding problem was Assisi Drive Northwest, between the 1400 and 1800 addresses. A typical car there travels at 37 mph in the 30 mph zone. The average volume is about 3,700 cars per day.
The rating system, devised and described by city traffic engineer Greg Shannon, is meant to be used to give an "initial screening" to citizen requests for special electronic speed signs, added police enforcement, or permanent installations to control speed, such as speed tables or speed bumps.
The city’s enforcement options are limited on some of the streets, including six of the 11, because they carry enough traffic to make them eligible for state funding for road-repair.
Speed tables, already installed on Fox Valley Drive Southwest and Villa Road Northwest, are popular with neighborhood residents but unpopular with drivers, city officials said.
In the two sites with them installed, speeds slowed by an average of 3 mph after the installations, said Public Works director Richard Freese. Traffic volumes also dropped by about one-fourth, he said.
The city budgets $100,000 per year for "traffic calming." That’s enough for about one project a year, Freese said. The city will require groups of residents to petition the city for future traffic-calming installations, which require the residents to pay a portion of the construction costs.