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Posted on: June 4, 2018

City of Montrose To Implement Traffic Calming Pilot Program

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Montrose, CO – There are residential streets throughout the city that double as thoroughfares and shortcuts that some motorists use and speed through on a regular basis. City engineers have been studying these areas and have created a new pilot program that may help to calm traffic on these streets.

Contractors working with the City of Montrose recently placed new edge striping on a section of Hill Street in an attempt to visually narrow the roadway to try and decrease speeding motorists.

Hill Street is a road built to a very wide standard – nearly 50 feet wide in places.  Although the posted speed limit is 20 MPH, the roadway’s wide design naturally encourages motorists to travel much faster.  A recent study of the roadway discovered that the 85th percentile speed was approximately 32 MPH, or 12 MPH over the posted speed limit.  Standard practice following a speed limit study would be to raise the speed limits to reflect the 85th percentile speed; however, in this instance where the roadway is alongside residential areas, it is desired to find ways to calm the traffic through modified striping.  Similar applications have been used throughout the country with mixed success.    

City Engineer Scott Murphy said by striping the street, the lines can make motorists drive slower to make them feel more constrained. The straightaway portion of the road between East Niagara and Oak Grove is the target of the new striping.

"Placing outer white lines to narrow the roadway will create the feeling for motorists that the road is tighter in the hopes of reducing speed and increase safety for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and residents,” Murphy said.

Without ripping apart roads and installing curb and gutters – which can cost between one-to-four-million-dollars-per-mile – Murphy said spending a few hundred dollars on street paint may help reduce speeds on streets like Hill in a more cost-effective way.  

Murphy said following the Hill Street striping a new speed study will be conducted on the roadway to see if the effort if effective in calming traffic and help to guide decision making for potential applications elsewhere in the City.  If successful, similar striping may be installed on streets such as Arbor Way, Sneffles Street, Cirque Way, and Stone Bridge Drive, all of which have observed 85th-percentile speeds above the posted speed limit.  

For more city news visit: CityOfMontrose.org. For more updates on street work and improvements visit: MoveMoCo.org .

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