Video: Traffic Calming Informational Discussion, 2/26/09

Here is a complete Google video of a Traffic Calming Informational Discussion that took place at JFK Middle School on February 26. This discussion was organized by Northampton’s Laura Hanson, Assistant Civil Engineer, Department of Public Works, Engineering Division. The Northampton Traffic Calming Manual and related materials can be found on the Transportation and Parking Commission’s web pages.

This video is 2 hours and 3 minutes long and was recorded by Lachlan Ziegler. The video is also available on Vimeo. The agenda included the pros and cons of placing speed humps within Northampton streets, plus short presentations from Emergency Response Personnel (fire, ambulance and police), transportation personnel, and the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Assessment Team for the Jackson Street School.

Here is the Safe Routes to School handout, also available as a PDF (173KB). Note the desire to increase the amount of walking and bicycling within one mile of schools. The closing of a Northampton school would undermine this goal.

See also:

Council Takes Up Traffic Calming Manual on 9/18/08; Traffic Concerns from Ward 3; Impact of Traffic Calming on Bicyclists and Snow Removal

New Urban News: “Principles of the New Urbanism”
The heart of the New Urbanism is in the design of neighborhoods, which
can be defined by 13 elements, according to town planners Andres Duany
and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, two of the founders of the Congress for
the New Urbanism. An authentic neighborhood contains most of these

…6) An elementary school is close enough so that most children can walk from their home…

Closing Bridge Street School Contradicts Smart Growth Goals
On page 11 of the Sustainable Northampton Plan, Land Use objective number 5 states:

Locate housing within walking distances along safe paths, or with
bicycle access, to and from neighborhood commercial areas, parks and
recreation, schools, and public transportation.

On page 51, one metric of progress is “Percent of children able to walk to school”.

It is well known that mothers of young children are heavy users of cars…