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Neighborhood Progress on Slowing Margaret Street Traffic (aka the Taking Care of Margaret Campaign)

Submitted by Editor on July 4, 2017 – 3:41 pm | Print or Email »No Comment

By EHNA Steering Committee President Mark Ruddy, photo by Richard Long

Over a period of two years our Neighborhood Association and friends convinced the City Engineer’s office to leave the speed limit on Margaret Street at 25 mph versus raising it to 30 mph. And, we have initiated other ways to slow down traffic, do “traffic calming”: planting trees and perennials close to the curb causing motorists to perceive the street as narrower, needing more caution, and, thus, slowing down.

Last winter we advocated for more trees in the boulevards. The city’s forestry staff responded by recently planting 30 sizeable trees; four more will be planted in the fall when a new inventory of trees will be available. Homeowners and renters who live contiguously with a new boulevard tree have been asked to water the trees as needed; with our sandy soil they cannot be watered too much.

Starting on Earth Day, we revitalized 10 of the original 23 boulevard perennial gardens that have survived since 2009, between Valmont and Highland Avenues. The other boulevard plots have evolved to other landscapes, including being left to grass and weeds. It appears that for this section of Margaret Street the city provided perennial plants. These surviving 10 have now been weeded and mulching will be finalized soon.

Our Association will attempt to set up a process that keeps these perennial gardens maintained. If we have neighborhood support the city will provide more perennial plants next spring for anyone who wants to convert their boulevard into a perennial garden to further increase safety on Margaret Street. From Highland to Hogeboom there are 13 more boulevard spaces for potential perennial gardens. It appears that perennials were not offered as an option in 2008 when that northern part of Margaret had a “face lift”. So far, one Neighbor in this area wants to convert grass to perennials.

If you have a boulevard area you’d like to convert to perennials, and/or want to help existing boulevard owners maintain their plots that benefit us all, contact markruddy55@yahoo.com; 839-7949.

The Association continues to review other safety features that could be used on Margaret Street, e.g., a 4-way stop at Highland Avenue, more painted crosswalks, and other strategies to limit speeding and the use of Margaret Street as a shortcut to downtown that endangers our Neighbors.

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