Residents grow restless waiting for Falls Rd. fix

They renew traffic concerns; chief says study delayed by malfunction


Ozaukee Press staff

Residents took their seats once again at the Public Safety Committee meeting Tuesday night at the Grafton Police Station’s training room to express ongoing concerns about the traffic on Cedar Drive and Falls Road.

Crossing safely is challenging, according to residents, due to hilly conditions, unpainted crosswalks and lack of signage to warn drivers of pedestrians.

At last month’s meeting, Police Chief Jeff Caponera promised to work with Public Works Director Amber Thomas to install a warning sign and traffic monitor to assess conditions.

“We got the sign put up,” Caponera said, “but it took longer because there were none in stock. The sign was put up shortly after the last meeting, traffic lines were painted and the trees were cut back, making the sign more visible.”

The traffic monitor was installed, but the equipment’s battery overheated. As a result, 10 days of data was lost.

Caponera said they were able to recover two days of data, once the battery was replaced. It showed that of the 4,082 cars traveling in that area on those two days, only 1% were over the 25 mph speed limit.

Vehicle type can impact data, according to the chief.

“There are a lot of different factors affecting how we measure,” he said. “You have to actually come within a certain mile per hour on the laser. We have to visually measure a vehicle’s speed within three miles an hour of what we think they’re doing.”

Additionally, other things can impact speed measurement, Caponera said.

“There are a variety of different circumstances, hills, corners, smaller vehicles, high profile vehicles, each one of those gives a different perspective as to what their speed looks like.

“I’m not making excuses. I’m just trying to educate folks on how the dynamic looks to someone who may not be trained in speed detection.”

Caponera told residents he will present a full 10-day traffic study at the next meeting on Aug. 8.

“We are making progress,” he said.

Committee Chairman Lisa Uribe Harbeck asked Caponera about types of crossing signals that might be available through the Department of Transportation.

“In the state of Wisconsin, under DOT, the community has the option to

pretty much put in whatever,” she said.

She mentioned using more than one signal, and different types.

“There are different styles, solar, for example, that would flash as cars are approaching. Those things would also have to be discussed with Public Works.”

Uribe Harbeck told the audience the matter would be discussed at the Public Works meeting next month.

“They are the people who decide on the type of sign,” she said.

Despite the delays in reaching a permanent solution, Grafton resident Susan Katzban, 1987 Cedar Dr., told officials she is grateful for the village’s attention to the matter.

She referred to the past 13 years of working on this issue with no results.

“I really do commend the work that’s being done,” she said.



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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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