OUR VIEW: City should consider cost in 'traffic calming'Some folks are getting fed up with drivers barreling down residential streets at high speeds, and they’re right to be frustrated.
Some folks are getting fed up with drivers barreling down residential streets at high speeds, and they’re right to be frustrated.
Speeding in residential areas is reckless and dangerous. Period. Thankfully, it’s also a manageable problem.
Right now Woodbury City Council is attempting to manage that problem for residents living along Woodcrest Drive and Sherwood Road.
The idea is to provide what city officials call “traffic calming.” Council members are considering solutions to achieve the goal. One involves the city incurring cost, while the other involves a cost-free measure requiring drivers to alter their course.
We don’t see it as a no-brainer, but it seems like the wise decision would be to ease into this by starting with the cost-free option. That option, called “chicanes,” involves the city creating “bulges” in the roadway by placing plastic cones in alternating stretches along the curb. The effect requires drivers to follow an “S” pattern, and consequently slow down.
The alternative, which comes at a cost of up to $9,000, calls for temporary speed tables – physical speed deterrents that give drivers a real shake if they cross them too fast.
Public Works Director David Jessup said chicanes have proven effective around Woodbury and have slowed speeders. We say the imperfect solution at least deserves a try along Woodcrest drive and Sherwood Road. True, it’s not a permanent solution. True, reckless drivers can just plow over the cones. But combine the use of chicanes with heightened police presence, and it’s a big step toward neighborhood safety that minimizes the burden on taxpayers.
The city should hold on to the cash and see what effect chicanes and police have this summer. If things don’t improve, the city always has the more expensive option to adopt.