Measures taken to slow neighborhood traffic that passes by a school and day care could become permanent in early January if approved by the City Council.
Kathy Schrenk, a resident of McGarvey Avenue — a mile-long street in southwest Redwood City — said speeding has been an issue on the road, which borders Roosevelt Elementary School, for years.
“There’s a lot of people crossing the street during school drop-off times,” she said. “We went from a dead-end road to a main thoroughfare several years ago. I understand the need to use the street. I just don’t want them going 40 mph past my kids when they are playing on the front lawn.”
Schrenk said an incident in 2006 when a car full of teens sped down the McGarvey Avenue hill, lost control and ended up in her front yard sparked interest and support for traffic measures.
“It happened at 2 a.m. — a girl woke us up screaming,” she said. “If that happened during the day, the outcome could’ve been much worse.”
Schrenk said because of the danger, the neighborhood petitioned the city to do more to slow traffic.
A traffic study to assess the street was conducted shortly after the city received complaints. Released in 2007, the study found that as many as 12,000 vehicles use the road on any given day, at an average speed of 32 mph. The posted speed is 25 mph.
Later that year, the city installed a temporary traffic circle, placed rubber speed humps along the road and added a stop sign at McGarvey Avenue and Connecticut Drive.
A discussion to make these measures permanent is tentatively scheduled for a City Council meeting in January.
Peter Vorametsanti, Redwood City’s interim manager of engineering, said the city will receive opinions from neighbors before making anything permanent.
“These are all temporary and can be removed,” he said.
Vorametsanti said a permanent traffic circle could range between $15,000 and $25,000. He said keeping the rubber speed humps as opposed to creating the same measure from asphalt could save the city money.
Schrenk said the traffic circle and four-way stop sign seemed to slow cars the most.
“I’m pretty happy with it as it is right now,” she said. “The traffic circle has made a real difference. Because of the where it’s located, it’s almost impossible to speed down the hill.”
After the speed humps and traffic circle were installed, Schrenk said speed has been reduced to an average of 20 mph.
Curbing reckless driving
Redwood City has been working to slow down traffic on McGarvey Avenue.
25 mph: Posted speed
32 mph: Average speed in 2007 traffic study
12,000: Cars traveling McGarvey Avenue each day
Traffic circle, speed humps, stop sign: Temporary measures meant to reduce speeders
$15,000 to $25,000: Installation cost of a permanent traffic circle
Source: Redwood City