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Heritage Hills catching more than your eye?

Shartel Avenue speed monitor

Monday, a speed monitor appeared on Shartel Avenue, between 15th Street and 16th Street

This is a singular sign, facing only the North bound traffic. It is planned to only track those vehicles entering the neighborhood of Heritage Hills in North Oklahoma City and functions mostly as a speed deterrent, unmanned by police actions for violators. The sign picks up oncoming traffic, signaling speed to the driver almost 2 full blocks away, and registering a final read on speed just as the driver arrives.

Interestingly enough, two cyclists approached and they too were clocked at Highland Drive, that little curving street between 13th and North Shartel and Classen Drive, just East of O'Neill Park. One cyclist was 11mph and the other 15mph. They laughed and waved as the data registered.

Driver feedback signs have been available to residents of Oklahoma City upon request since 2011. Signs are used to count traffic, monitor speed and improve neighborhood and city traffic officials understanding of traffic patterns for best planning, improvements or change.

There has been an increased police presence on 13th Street, between North Walker Avenue and North Classen Boulevard in the last few weeks. This area, just South of the speed monitor has had reduced traffic for many months, while The Edge apartments have been under construction.

The Edge is the first major modern residential construction in the area since the 1970's and at least one lane of traffic has been dropped from use, due to the safety barrier on this emerging high rise.

Also, the Villa Teresa School and adjacent Catholic Convent have recently been closed completely with many workmen appearing on those 4 properties in a series on Classen Drive.

Heritage Hills has had some mostly minor issues in the past with traffic problems, predominantly speeding. Streets like North Dewey and North Walker Avenue and about 6 others were changed to one way streets to divert rushing cars from what was then Wilson Elementary. When school was dismissed one day in the 1950's a child ran from the entrance and ran into the road, being struck and killed by a driver who did not see her. So, the entrance of the school at that time was moved from the East, with the heavily masoned, engraved entry, to the North. Children would exit the school on a side street, not a main street in a protective and preventative move.

Heritage Hills is full of historical homes, which are often a destination for Sunday drives. The vintage properties are architecturally unique. and attract walkers, bikers and drivers. And with sidewalk improvements, even more people are out on the streets and sidewalks. Residents, commuters and visitors.

Use of the traffic monitoring speed signs is new, but preventative thinking regarding traffic is not new to Heritage Hills.

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