Holland Park Blvd. now thin in places

       Holland Park Boulevard was once about 60 feet across, resulting in the residential street attracting drivers going 70 mph or more, according to read-outs on the police speed-checking trailer.

A repainted center stripe that would actually be in the center of the road at Holland Park Boulevard and Forest Hill Road could prevent the pictured situation, where a car going past the new calming-project bump-outs at the intersection has only scant room on its right but the left tires are still on the stripe. The problem is that the southbound lane now is less than 10 feet from the curb to the center stripe (below city standard), while the northbound side is 11 feet, 7 inches wide.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Now, at two locations where a city contractor recently completed intersection “bump-outs,” the lanes are at the narrow end of the city's standard widths of 10 to 12 feet.
       This is fine with Philip McGrath, president of the Holland Park Community Association (HPCA), which had worked with the city for about five years on plans to “calm” Holland Park Boulevard traffic between Vondelpark Drive and Jackson Park. “The narrowing project was designed to slow traffic to the posted 25 MPH, as we all know that people slow down when there are obstacles,” he said. “As residents on Holland Park Boulevard, we have witnessed slower traffic as well as a quieter and safer street. As a pedestrian and a bicyclist on this street, I personally enjoy the slower traffic.”
       The Holland Park work is one of the last projects in the city's now-defunct Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP). (See story starting on Page 1.)
       The initial Holland Park Boulevard calming work in 2008 - bump-outs and a traffic island at the Sinton Trail/ Douglas Creek crossing - had been timed in conjunction with a Springs Utilities project in the area.

A car goes past the new median on Holland Park, just north of its T-intersection with Vondelpark Drive. The arrow sign in front of the median has been knocked over at least twice since the project was completed around the first of the year.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Near the end of 2009, the Holland Park Boulevard work wrapped up with a raised median at Vondelpark, which prevents sharp left turns or overly broad right turns onto Holland Park. In late fall, bump-outs had been installed at the intersections with Darby Street and Forest Hill Road.
       New center road stripes have not been painted along that part of the boulevard yet. Kristin Bennett of Traffic Engineering has told the HPCA she would look into when that work might be scheduled.
       Checked with a tape measure this week, the boulevard's lane widths vary at the different narrowed locations.
       At the Vondelpark median, the narrower (northbound) lane is over 14 feet wide from curb to curb.
       At the trail crossing, each lane is 13 feet wide.
       At Darby, where there is no center striping, the street is 22 feet, 1 inch across. With striping (measured elsewhere at 14 inches wide), each lane would be just under 10 ˝ feet across.
       At Forest Hill, the distance to the old center stripe on the northbound side is 11 feet, 7 inches; the corresponding distance on the southbound side is just under 9 feet, 8 inches. But if the striping is properly repainted in the new street center, each lane would be a couple of inches wider than at Darby.
       The HPCA has heard from one resident expressing concern that the lanes are now too narrow, making them dangerous, particularly on turns in bad weather.
       According to Philip's wife Cynthia, who is also an HPCA officer, “Our personal household opinion would be, that the only people that might run into them will be the same people going too fast and driving unsafely in the first place.”

Westside Pioneer article