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Traffic calming options considered to slow down residential-area speeders

A few Woodcrest Drive residents have sent complaints of speeding drivers in their quiet neighborhood to Woodbury City Council.

A few Woodbury residents at Woodcrest Drive and Sherwood Road have expressed concern over speeding in their neighborhoods.

Woodbury City Council is considering adding traffic calming solutions to those streets, but what if more people come forward with the same issue in different neighborhoods?

"Traffic in neighborhoods is a huge issue and I wish people would slow down," Council member Paul Rebholz said at a recent workshop.

Though nothing has been decided, city officials are discussing whether or not to install speed tables or chicanes, which are curb extensions that alternate from one side of the roadway to the other, making an "S" shape that forces drivers to slow down.

Temporary speed tables at Woodcrest would cost from $8,000 to $9,000, while the temporary chicanes would be made out of cones that are already on hand, Public Works Supervisor David Jessup said.

The idea is to test them out, see if residents like them, if they're feasible and effective, he added.

But Rebholz questioned whether the city is able to afford permanent traffic calming measures if up to 30 neighborhoods come asking for them.

"What are we going to do at the end of the summer if these folks want this permanent?" he said.

About three years ago, the city installed some chicanes on Pinehurst Road, east of Radio Drive, as part of a street construction project. The same thing was also done at Steeple View Road.

"It's my understanding it has reduced a number of vehicles that drive very fast through the area," Jessup said. "It hasn't appreciably changed the speed that the average person drives through the area."

However, there is a down side with narrowing residential streets -- plow trucks are constantly clipping the curbs, Rebholz said.

Jessup said the city has seen a number of people who continue to drive over the speed limit, but traffic calming has helped eliminate some of the "very high speed travel through the neighborhood."

When considering narrower streets, the council discussed striping problem areas as a possible solution.

Jessup said if the temporary speed tables and chicanes are installed, city staff would study their efficiency for about two to three months before deciding on a more permanent option.

A study is currently under way at Sherwood Road as a part of a construction project on Woodlane drive that will examine speeding at that neighborhood, according to the city engineering department.

The city has received complaints of speeding over the years from various neighborhoods but Sherwood and Woodcrest are the only two streets with the most recent complaints.

City Council agreed to add traffic calming as a discussion item to this month's workshop that will be held Wednesday, May 18.

Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.