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Verda traffic study redux yields unchanged results


Of the Keizertimes

Following up on speeding complaints made by residents of south Verda Lane Northeast, Keizer Police Department’s Sgt. Trevor Wenning redeployed traffic analysis devices for the second time in two years. The results aren’t likely to quiet calls from residents to reduce speeds in the area.

Twice in the past year, residents have requested some sort of action by the city to calm traffic south of Dearborn Avenue Northeast on Verda Lane, but the data doesn’t back up residents’ concerns about excessive speeding.

“We plan to speak with the residents and show them the data. Less than 1 percent – 61 cars –were traveling at excessive speeds (55 mph or more). It’s difficult for the traffic team to make the case for sending resources there when speeding doesn’t seem to be a problem,” Wenning told members of the Keizer Traffic Safety, Bikeways and Pedestrian Committee Sept. 13.

During the first study of the zone, in 2016, more than 63,000 cars were recorded passing through. The average speed for travel in either direction was under 33 mph and 85 percent of all traffic was traveling 38 mph or slower.

Wenning repeated the analysis between Aug. 28 and Sept. 4, which captured approximately 35,000 cars traveling through the area. The average speed was just under 33 mph, 72 percent of cars were traveling under the posted speed limit of 35 mph, and those traveling faster than 35 mph, averaged 38.5 mph.

Wenning said 11 vehicles registered speeds of 100 mph or more, but one of them was recorded at 2:55 p.m. when it would likely be difficult to attain such speeds among daily traffic traveling to and from area schools.

Residents are unhappy with the current situation because of difficulty retrieving mail from mailboxes across the street or simply visiting with neighbors.

Members of the committee have suggested asking the U.S. Postal Service to move mailboxes according to the respective side of the road residents live on.

Residents Jim Gray and Pritam Rohila bristled at the notion in a letter asking the traffic safety committee to reinvestigate the situation, saying, “Going by your reasoning, you would probably also recommend that we ask our neighbors to move to our side of the street so that we do not have to cross the road to visit them! In the same vein, would you also recommend that elementary and middle schools in the area be moved so that children do not have to cross the street on the way to and from their schools?”

Gray and Rohila have requested that the city lower the speed limit to 30 or 25 mph.

In other business:

• Committee members voted against taking action to alleviate a parking problem on Ivy Way Northeast. The street dead-ends behind an apartment complex and residents and visitors have taken to parking on Ivy Way to shorten the distance to the apartments. Residents requested establishing a permitted parking zone, but the committee declined to move forward with such a recommendation.

• In response to another request to eliminate on-street parking between Cherry Avenue Northeast and Eve Court Northeast, the committee also chose to take no action. A concerned resident visited the committee last month to request eliminating on-street parking in the area because it narrows the lanes of travel significantly. Bright headlights at night create additional hazards.