City traffic study
Richard Caudle speaks to the planning and development committee about the potential of a traffic study with Skipper Consulting.
Skipper Consulting presented four possible options for Homewood to pursue a citywide traffic study at tonight's planning and development committee.
The city has received approval from the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for a $100,000 study, of which Homewood would pay 20 percent and ALDOT 80 percent. Skipper has provided proposals for such a study in the past, and representative Richard Caudle said the firm built on those proposals to present four options.
The first is that the city could study about eight intersections for improvement options. Caudle said Skipper just finished a similar project in Mountain Brook, and they started with areas of concern for the council, got public input on those areas and then narrowed them to a list of greatest concerns. These eight intersections were studied more intensively and a list of solutions provided to the city.
The second option for the $100,000 study is a citywide crash study, looking at crash "hot spots" around Homewood and solutions to reduce accidents. Skipper worked on such a study in Auburn.
The third option would be field observations of school zones for traffic improvements, which Skipper also worked on in Auburn, and the fourth is a comprehensive calming strategy to slow traffic and reduce congestion citywide. Caudle said this idea came from his time in the Hoover traffic department.
Once the Homewood council has agreed to an 80-20 match with ALDOT, they can select a consultant to perform the work. Though Skipper provided these options to the council, Caudle said Homewood is not bound to work with Skipper or with any of the options presented.
Ward 3 Representative Walter Jones asked Caudle for proof that the recent restriping of Valley Avenue, reducing the road from four lanes to three, has had the traffic improvement effect that Skipper predicted when the idea was proposed several years ago. Caudle said the current striping of the road is temporary, and final striping should make the turn lane narrower and leave more room for bikes as well as vehicles pulling out from the Homewood Townhomes lots.
Valley Avenue will also eventually have a right turn lane for eastbound traffic at the intersection with 18th Street, which council members believe will improve traffic significantly.
“I’d like to know what you said is true,” Jones said.
Central Avenue Parking
Council members and Central Avenue business owners look at renderings of proposed sidewalks, crosswalks and parking on Central Avenue.
In tonight's finance committee, the committee discussed the addition of sidewalks, crosswalks and about 30 parking spaces along Central Avenue. Greg Cobb from the Building, Engineering and Zoning Department said the cost for the work would be less than $50,000. The plan, proposed by the owner of Caliber, has received pushback from some Central Avenue businesses due to concern it would take away some of their own parking lots and entry access, but those present were happy with modifications presented tonight.
The council will discuss bidding out the project on April 24.