MARVIN – Earlier this fall, the village of Marvin began discussions on creating a Traffic Calming Committee to resolve traffic and speeding issues the village has seen over the past couple of months. A group of concerned citizens and town leaders met recently to talk about those problems and possible solutions.
“They went over objectives and a timeline,” explained Lisa Thompson, the village administrator and senior planner for Marvin, about the Oct. 16 traffic meeting. “They only just began to look at areas of concern. The staff sent out an informal survey to our residents to compile a list of traffic trouble areas for the committee to review. We also provided them with other municipalities’ traffic calming policies.”
The Traffic Calming Committee consists of six village residents and one village staff member. Members of the committee are chair, Karl Behrens, from Woodcliff; Neil Gilbert, from Canterfield Creek; Eric Schachner, from Marvin Creek; Ernest Walker, from Providence Estates; Gary Hibler, from Weddington Chase; Paul Korry, from Innisbrook; and Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Burman, council liaison.
The Traffic Calming Committee next will review ways to implement traffic calming devices and the effectiveness of each solution and policy. The decisions made by the committee will lend to the creation of the traffic calming policy for Marvin.
Some of the solutions being discussed include center island narrowing, or raised islands used to narrow roadways; chicanes, or extra turns in a road to slow traffic; chokers, or raised curbs used to narrow roadways; speed cushions, or several small road humps; speed tables, or one long speed hump with a flat center section; enhancing streetscape; traffic circles; pavement striping to narrow the roads; and multi-way stops.
When the Traffic Calming Committee completes their next two meetings they will present their decisions to the planning board for a vote of how to proceed. In addition to speeding and traffic, Marvin also has seen problems with drivers passing stopped school buses. Discussions at the Oct. 16 meeting indicated that problem was improving.
“Deputy (Ed) Swan has done a great job with extra patrols and following the bus during his shift. The Union County Sheriff’s Office has also helped us cover morning bus hours. We have not had any complaints since the information was sent out to the media, website, (homeowner’s associations) and resident lists,” Thompson said.
While Thompson feels conditions have improved in Marvin, some residents from Marvin Creek feel there is only one solution to solving the issue of heavy traffic and speeding in Marvin.
At the main entrance of Marvin Creek, the homeowner’s association made an operational gate so they could limit the traffic coming through their neighborhood. Marvin Town Council later informed them the closed gate went against the town ordinance.
According to Marvin Creek resident Melinda Nielson, a traffic study done while the gate was open showed that 23,000 cars passed by her house in a month’s time. Her home is on the main road of the neighborhood. With the gate closed, traffic decreased by 80 percent.
“We know the gates work, but they are so against it. The right thing is right there, and there are a couple of people who are against it. That’s the frustrating part,” Marvin Creek resident Joseph Satalino said.
Marvin Creek representatives and town council members are currently in negotiations in regards to closing the gate, but the town wants the community in Marvin to be open and believes closing this gate will limit that “interconnectivity.”
Residents living in Marvin Creek have offered to pay for access cards for the first 500 people, not living in Marvin, who wish to travel through the neighborhood, and those involved have discussed the possibility of setting times where the gates are open and closed. No agreement has been made thus far.
Nielson and Satalino also feel that the new Traffic Calming Committee will not have lasting effects.
“I can’t tell you that this traffic committee is going to do anything more than telling you to fill out a form if you have a problem,” Nielson said. “The council has their ordinances and they aren’t going to change them for anybody.”
The next meeting for the Traffic Calming Committee is Nov. 13 at 9:30 a.m. in the Village Town Hall, 10004 New Town Road.