Coaldale traffic calming pilot project aims for safer streets

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WATCH: The Town of Coaldale has introduced a new traffic-calming pilot project in hopes that community engagement can help identify streets notorious for dangerous driving. Danica Ferris reports. – Jun 2, 2021

Residents of Coaldale can now have their say as the town works towards safer streets with a traffic calming pilot program targeting dangerous driving.

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The project will allow residents to submit a request backed by other community members showing support for the concern. The feedback will trigger exploration by town staff, who will study why the area presents the opportunity for unsafe driving.

“If we can identify that, then we can target different applications that could make it more uncomfortable for motorists to speed,” said Dustin Yanke, a municipal engineer-in-training with the Town of Coaldale, “which, in turn, makes it feel safer for people riding their bikes and kids playing in their front yards.”

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The program will closely follow the recommendations for traffic calming models outlined in the Transportation Association of Canada’s Canadian Guide to Traffic Calming.

Coaldale director of planning and community development Spencer Croil said the town will also draw on elements successfully implemented in other communities.

“The traffic calming pilot is effectively an experiment that lets us understand the broader process that the Transportation Association of Canada recommendsmand how we can tailor that to our community’s needs,” he said.

Croil said Coaldale residents spurred the process, which was identified as a priority in the town’s Transportation Master Plan that was passed late last year.

He said the pilot program came from a need to formalize how the town deals with requests from the community.

“We’ve had a number of requests and concerns shared from residents from different neighbourhoods in town regarding speeding and unsafe driving, especially in the context of pedestrians and cyclists,” he said.

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The town is using a new online platform to collect community feedback for the project, which doesn’t have a specific timeline yet.

Croil said the hope is that as it moves along, it can be tweaked and result in formalized policy in Coaldale that will benefit the community in the long term.

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“We hope to work directly with the community members throughout the process to ensure that all perspectives are considered and the potential solutions fit within the local context,” he said.

More information is available on the Town of Coaldale website.

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