Drivers heading down Kimberly Avenue will encounter a new stop sign at Hampstead Road, recently installed as part of a pedestrian enhancement. Walkers and joggers crossing at Hampstead Road will notice wide crosswalk margins painted on the roadway at all four points of the intersection.
Overall pedestrian and multimodal safety along Kimberly Avenue was the focus of this project. The City considered several factors before deciding that an all-way stop control should be added to this intersection.
The intersection itself is very wide as people cross Hampstead on the west side of Kimberly. The wide crossing causes pedestrians to be exposed to traffic longer. Part of this ongoing project is geared towards changing the western approach to create a narrower footprint.
Speeding motorists along the stretch was also a factor. Pedestrians attempting to cross Kimberly Avenue are faced with vehicles that are often exceeding the speed limit. That’s because Kimberly Avenue has become an alternative to Merrimon Avenue. The volume of traffic as well as the number of drivers documented as exceeding the speed limit, particularly at the Hampstead Road intersection, caused the City to look closely at ways to slow the traffic. Although the posted speed limit is 25 mph, 85% of drivers have been documented as going an average of 38 mph. The all-way stop signs are intended to make the crossing safer by forcing vehicles to stop so that pedestrians can cross without having to judge the vehicle’s speed.
Pedestrian and multimodal safety is the focus of an upcoming campaign the City will launch in August.
The City of Asheville has one of the highest per capita pedestrian/vehicular collision rates in North Carolina. With the goal of reducing this rate, Asheville is joining the Watch For Me NC campaign by promoting enforcement and education from August to November. Look for more information soon.