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September 2009 home page

Chicanery on Crest

Harold Feder | Crest

Photo Art Olson


After five years of studies, hearings, debates, both pro and con, the City Council unanimously voted to approve the construction of the first traffic calming measures on Crest Road. The measures involved the construction of one chicane adjacent to the Garden Club project on the canyon, and a second one with a planter and a forwarded stop sign which narrows the intersection of Crest and Via Alta.
The construction took less than three weeks. Significantly, the cost of the chicane came in well under the cost estimates of many residents and City staff members. The chicane cost approximately one third of these estimates.

Both factually and anecdotally, the project has been received favorably. The traffic has noticeably lessened and slowed. A number of residents have spoken about walking on Crest for the first time in years. There are many more joggers using Crest. One driver commented on the amazed look on the face of an oncoming driver when she graciously stopped to allow him to pass first.

The goal to make Crest safe is still not complete. There are still three temporary chicanes that require permanent replacements. There still is a hard core group of drivers, although finite, who drive recklessly even after all the publicity concerning safety. Those of us who live on Crest can identify certain people who speed and even run stop signs. Hopefully, through the completion of the construction of the remaining three chicanes and being socially stigmatised, these residents will evolve.

We have made great strides in transforming Crest Road back to being a pedestrian friendly road. Hopefully, as the City’s financial condition improves, we can complete these long overdue measures. On behalf of all of us who have been active in this safety effort, we thank both the previous and current Council for its determination to bring safety back to our village.


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