Delaware leaders last week updated residents of the West Hull Drive area on their quest for calmer traffic and announced an open house to share information about a project to redesign the Point intersection on the east side.

City Engineer Bill Ferrigno presented a report May 13 to follow up on residents' complaints about heavy traffic, discussed during a Feb. 11 council meeting.

Hundreds of vehicles a day use Hull Drive, which wends through the Ravines at Stratford subdivision, to travel between Liberty Road, the Delaware Square Shopping Center and U.S. Route 23.

City documents classify the street as one of 16 residential collector streets -- used for through traffic -- with its traffic volume exceeded only by Pennsylvania Avenue.

Not included in that designation are streets that also are state or federal highways.

Ferrigno told council May 13 that little can be done to reduce the volume of traffic on Hull Drive "unless we're willing to decide to move that traffic to another neighborhood."

Cottswold Drive and Hawthorne Boulevard also can be used to travel between Liberty Road and Route 23.

He also said the volume of traffic on Hull Drive is essentially unchanged since the late 1990s, averaging about 2,500 to 3,000 vehicles a day.

Ferrigno's written report includes a detailed list of possible traffic-calming measures -- designed to prevent speeding -- including signs and new pavement striping.

For example, he said, pavement striping that creates narrow designated lanes and narrow approaches to intersections tends to slow motorists, increasing their perception of risk.

Two residents of the area addressed council May 13, with one saying heavy traffic makes it difficult for pedestrians, particularly children, to cross the street.

Ferrigno's report says if 85% of traffic on a street is within 5 mph of the speed limit, the level of concern is minor, and any traffic-calming steps could be funded by residents.

If 85% of traffic exceeds the speed limit by 11 mph or more, the level of concern is high and the city would choose to fund traffic-calming steps, the reports says.

Council member Lisa Keller said if the issue is traffic volume, "It's a complete waste of money to stripe a road. ... It won't actually address the problem that we're trying to solve."

If the city initiated traffic-calming steps, she said, the residents could return to council and say nothing was accomplished.

Ferrigno gave council the results of January and February traffic counts that show Hull Drive averaged 2,472 vehicles a day, averaging 26.2 mph with an 85% speed of 29 mph.

The speed limit on Hull Drive is 25 mph.

The road had 0.18 accidents per 100,000 trips, a rate exceeded by 10 of the other 15 streets surveyed, all residential collectors, Ferrigno said. Traffic on 13 of the streets has a higher average speed than Hull Drive, he said.

Ferrigno said the city will conduct another count to ensure an accurate picture of conditions on the streets.

Also during the meeting, Ferrigno previewed an open house set from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, at Conger Elementary School, 10 Channing St.

It will focus on updates to a plan to improve the congested Point intersection of Central Avenue and William Street on the city's east side.

One element of the plan is to widen the road under a new railroad bridge from two to four lanes to match traffic flow to the east.

Information stations will be set up in the school gymnasium on the project's process and funding, work-zone traffic, property access, the railroad, the environment and aesthetics.

City and project-team members will be on hand to answer questions, a city press release said.

Residents may submit written and/or oral comments during the meeting or to Deputy City Engineer Matt Weber at 740-203-1721 or mweber@ delawareohio.net. A 30-day comment period will begin after the meeting. The final date to submit comments is June 21.

For more information on the project, visit www.delawareohio.net.

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