For roughly the past year, the Highland Park Town Council has turned to consultants regarding HP’s unique traffic problems. Now, consulting firm Nelson Nygaard is ready to share its findings with residents.
The 150-page final report has been available to review on the town’s website since mid-November, but a public meeting will be held on Feb. 12 at Armstrong Elementary School for residents to share comments with the firm and council.
“We didn’t want to rush it. Part of the focus was to be deliberate and give the opportunity for input,” town administrator Bill Lindley said. “It’s a quality-of-life type issue.”
Some of the top concerns residents have voiced and consultants have studied are cut-through traffic, pedestrian safety, street parking, and overflow parking in the town’s northeast quadrant during SMU sporting events. A second meeting on Feb. 12 will discuss the possibility of resident-only parking permits, much like University Park began instituting a few years ago. HP already has started using “no parking” signs on game days in the surrounding area.
Regarding the cut-through traffic, Mockingbird Lane continues to be the main focus, with motorists attempting to take side streets as they travel east to west. One proposition is to reduce the speed limit, either town-wide or in selected areas, from 30 to 25 mph, to lessen incentive for shortcut seekers. Another is installing additional stop signs. One suggestion is to update signal timing along Mockingbird. But no changes are set in stone.
“Modifications to roads and so forth will be driven a lot by what we hear from residents,” Lindley said.
He added that major modifications — such as adjusting curbs to curtail traffic — would probably not be implemented immediately, but rather when certain roads are scheduled for resurfacing.
“When you start talking about a roundabout or something like that, that’s engineering and cost,” Lindley said. “Those type of changes are more ongoing.”
The study also includes details on which roads see the most traffic per day (and exactly how much), which areas are more prone to accidents, and which areas need additional pedestrian measures.
“We’re delighted the formal study and recommendations are finished, and the council now looks forward to hearing what our residents think about those recommendations,” Mayor Joel Williams said.