Traffic study set on Shaker, Vollmerhausen Residents cite more speeding EAST COLUMBIA


The county's traffic engineering department has agreed to conduct traffic counts and speed studies on Shaker Drive and Vollmerhausen Road over the next month to see if safety changes are needed.

The Kings Contrivance village board requested the studies after about 25 residents, most of whom live near Shaker Drive, turned out at a meeting earlier this month, complaining of increased traffic, speeding and dangerous curves and intersections.

"With the onset of summer and an increase in pedestrians throughout the village, we want to implement controls if they prove to be appropriate as soon as possible," wrote village board Chairman George Pangburn in a letter to traffic engineering chief C. Edward Walter.

Shaker Drive and Vollmerhausen Road are main arteries in the MacGill's Common and Huntington neighborhoods, respectively.

The board wants to discuss the county's findings at its April 21 meeting, but traffic engineering chief C. Edward Walter said a report would more likely be ready by May.

"We'll determine what's warranted, and find locations," said Mr. Walter. "I don't know whether there's a problem on those roads."

Betsy Hall said she is most concerned about the intersection of Shaker Drive and South Carlinda Avenue, near the MacGill's Common neighborhood pool, basketball courts and the Children's Time Cooperative Pre-School. The intersection is near the exit ramps for Route 32.

"People who get off Route 32 are going quick. They don't realize they're in a residential neighborhood yet," said Ms. Hall, a South Carlinda Avenue resident whose son, Tyler, attends the pre-school. "We want something to slow them down in the summer."

Albert Velasquez said he has seen several accidents recently in which vehicles smashed into trees or street lights on Shaker Drive. He suggested that shallow speed humps be placed at about three or four locations where pedestrian traffic is heavy or curves obstruct vision.

"There's much more cut-through traffic now," said Mr. Velasquez, who moved into his Shaker Drive home in 1978 when the neighborhood was being developed. "People seem to speed a lot more than they did before."

Several residents said traffic and speed has increased on Shaker Drive since the completion last year of the Seneca Drive bridge over Route 29, which links Shaker Drive and Kings Contrivance village to west Columbia villages.

Mr. Walter said the bridge "undoubtedly created some more traffic on Shaker Drive, but we don't know how far down it goes."

The traffic engineering office is receiving an increasing number of requests for "traffic calming measures" for collector streets, 00 such as Shaker Drive and Vollmerhausen Road, which lead to larger highways or connect neighborhoods, said Mr. Walter.

"These require more intensive study to come up with a range of solutions because they affect more people and they're longer roads," said Mr. Walter.

In the past, most requests for studies were for residential streets, he said.

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