Improve Safety of the Intersection East Avenue and Bilodeau Court

Improve Safety of the Intersection East Avenue and Bilodeau Court

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Cindy Cook started this petition to Burlington City Council

The East Avenue and Bilodeau Court intersection is heavily used by pedestrians, bicyclists and motor vehicles. In particular, vulnerable populations including school children unescorted by adults and seniors frequently use the crosswalk at this intersection. Residents and users have expressed concerns regarding high traffic speed and pedestrian safety for many years. This pedestrian crossing needs to be improve the safety of crossing pedestrians. Currently the intersection has high traffic volumes, high numbers of vehicles that exceed the speed limit. The crosswalk has poor line of sight for motorists due to overgrown vegetation, utility poles, and other signage.   

The Burlington Police Department and data from the Regional Planning Commission confirm that vehicles on East Avenue at its intersection with Bilodeau exceed the speed limit regularly. The last time the BPD patrolled the avenue, staff reported that they wrote tickets as fast as they could for the entire shift. In addition, users of the crossing report that they often have to wait for many speeding vehicles to stop to allow them to cross.

Residents submitted a petition for traffic calming on East Avenue –including be transformed into a “Complete Street”--to the Department of Public Works two and a half years ago. No action has been taken.

We, the undersigned, strongly encourage all city agents to act quickly to address the serious safety hazards on East Avenue. Specifically, we ask that the City Council direct its departments, including the Department of Public Works and the Police Department to:

 

1.     IMMEDIATELY improve visibility and safety of pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles by:

a.     Removing the vegetation on the west side of the Bilodeau Court/East Avenue intersection,

b.     Improving lighting in this area, and

c.     Installing short-term (perhaps temporary) measures to slow vehicles at this intersection until a longer-term assessment is conducted (see below). Potential short-term measures include:

                                               i.     Installing rapid flashing beacons,

                                             ii.     Installing stop signs[1],

                                            iii.     Installing bump outs,

                                            iv.     Installing a raised crossing, and

                                              v.     Installing speed bumps.

 

These signs may be an interim or long-term measure, depending upon the results of a comprehensive traffic calming assessment.

 

2.     Given the very high volume of motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians that use the East Ave corridor, move East Ave up in the Complete Streets queue. The first step ought to include a comprehensive safety assessment on East Ave that considers the full range of measures that might improve safety for all users, including:

a.     Rapid flashing pedestrian-activated lights;

b.     Narrowing drivers’ perception of the East Ave corridor. This might be done by

                                               i.     adding bike lanes and/or a sidewalk on the west side,

                                             ii.     installing bollards,

                                            iii.     planting trees, and

                                            iv.     considering adding on-street parking in this area if it can be done in a way that doesn’t affect visibility for pedestrians and drivers.

c.     Take measures to encourage drivers to observe the speed limit especially during peak hours of pedestrian crossing (7:30 to 8:30 am, 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm) and late night to early morning hours when visibility is very low and the average vehicle speeds soar by:

                                               i.     Regularly patrolling police staff to issue tickets to violators, and

                                             ii.     Regularly deploying radar signs to give drivers immediate feedback vis their speed.



[1] Please note that not all signatories support the installation of stop signs.

 

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