Peach Orchard Drive in northeast Greensboro is set to receive a whole passel of traffic calming devices.
A lot of neighborhoods complain about “cut through” traffic speeding down their streets, and not much happens.
However, someone at city hall heard the complaints from the Carriage Woods and Orchard neighborhoods and took action.
Once the Urban Loop is opened, Peach Orchard will provide a direct route from Church Street, which has no access to the Urban Loop, to Yanceyville, which does. It is anticipated that the cut through traffic on Peach Orchard will greatly increase once the Urban Loop is complete. So along with the current complaints about vehicles speeding through the neighborhood, this was a preemptive effort to deal with a problem right over the horizon.
In response to concerns expressed by the neighborhood, the Greensboro Department of Transportation (GDOT) created a number of temporary traffic calming devices to see if they would have the intended effect of slowing traffic through the single-family residential neighborhood.
According to GDOT, the installation of pop-up traffic calming devices slowed average speeds by up to 15 percent and as a result GDOT plans to make the temporary improvements permanent.
The pop-up traffic calming devices included “chicanes,” which take a straight roadway and – by use of what many people refer to as traffic islands along the curbs – make the road curved. These are designed to encourage slower speeds and elevate driver awareness.
A pop-up mini-roundabout was also used to slow traffic. The mini-roundabout doesn’t allow a vehicle to go straight through an intersection but doesn’t take up as much space as a traditional roundabout. The mini-roundabout can usually be placed in an intersection without using additional right-of-way.
Neighborhoods often request speed bumps to slow traffic, but rarely get them. One of the major objections to speed bumps is that emergency vehicles often have to come to a complete stop to cross them. However, as Peach Orchard Drive proves the city now has a number of ways to slow traffic without using speed bumps.