Candidate Forum
Question 3: Traffic calming measures such as undulations and traffic circles help reduce the speed of vehicles and improve safety for neighbors. Many streets and intersections in East Davis neighborhoods could benefit from such measures. What is your position about traffic calming measures in neighborhoods? If you support them, how would you help ensure that the city has the funds available for these improvements?

Charlesworth / Forbes / Saylor  / Greenwald

JJ Charlesworth:
In this time of small city budgets it would be hard for me to approve money for these undulations and traffic circles. I have no problem with them and would actually want them in my mother's neighborhood in North Davis. However, individual neighborhoods would have to be considered. The funds may not be available, for to get my approval I'd want a neighborhood discussion, perhaps even neighborhood volunteer work if there was this much interest, with a minimal of city funds to assist. Laying cement, and blacktop isn't that difficult (maybe time consuming). I've done it with little training.

Stan Forbes:
I support traffic calming measures and believe they are important to maintaining the safety of residential neighborhoods. Please see above (question 2 response) for some of the traffic calming projects I implemented while I was on the council previously. Traffic calming measures are funded by either general fund or construction tax revenues. I would place a set sum of money aside in the budget annually to support traffic calming projects that are identified as needed.

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Don Saylor:
I absolutely support traffic calming in neighborhoods within the process established by the City to review these measures. I recently walked on Colgate, M and N to get a sense of the traffic issues. The turns off L are wide and some streets are just speed traps -- people feel more comfortable driving fast.

Last week, I was at the Safety Commission meeting and witnessed Kevin Wolf submitting a petition from more than 50% of the people on Colgate. That is the first step in the process. Now the city takes the next step of surveying all those affected. For consideration for undulations to be installed we will need a 50% response and two-thirds of those responding neighbors to say yes to undulations. We will measure traffic volumes and speeds.

In addition to speed bumps, it strikes me that signage could be improved - "Caution children live here too". The signs at the Colgate and M traffic circle need clarification -- looks like a puzzle. Lane separations would be good on M and Colgate to assist drivers.

Look, the traffic volume guidelines are standards. In some instances it may be appropriate to proceed even with lower total volume - one example is when streets become used for something other than their initial design - an alternative for school drop-offs or a means of shortcutting around traffic controls.

These are not individually major cost items - but it all adds up. Budget issues are a big deal for this city and we need to be responsible in addressing them. Our city has a structural deficit - we are spending more than we earn every year. The half-cent sales tax increase - Measure P on the March ballot - will forestall the problem by about 2 years. State cuts have yet to be sorted out and are likely to get far worse before the year is out. We have a new Finance Director.

In the immediate future, we will need to make some transfers of fund balance and implement short term cuts. For the longer term, we must initiate a comprehensive review of entire budget by new finance director, including business, citizens and city staff in the process. In addition to some hard choices on priorities we must develop a rational economic development strategy, enhance cost and service sharing partnerships with other public entities, establish fees and rates based on consistent methodologies and actual costs, and improve financial control processes from central finance department.

Four years from now, after I have been on the Council for four years, I intend to have a sustainable fiscal structure in place in this city.

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Sue Greenwald:
Operations and maintenance are a bigger problem for us to finance than relatively minor capital improvements like traffic calming devices. Since traffic calming devices could actually save operations and maintenance costs, i.e., police costs of traffic monitoring and processing accidents, I would think that traffic calming measures would be a good investment.

In general, I support measure P, because the revenues are essential for all our city services and improvements.

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