One of the many questions asked on National Night Out was how to slow down traffic in the neighborhood. Depending on what type street you live on will depend on the method of speed control that may help. This is an on going concern. The city has had some success in areas and is working in several others areas where citizens have reported excessive speeds.
One of the first steps is to conduct a traffic study of the area in question. The city has a small device that is temporarily installed on the road itself. This device counts the number vehicles coming and going each day, and the speed of those vehicles. After reviewing the information from the traffic study, a plan for that particular street or area is developed.
There are several different ways that you can attempt to slow traffic. Different situations dictate the success or failure in each case. Some solutions are:
Reduce the speed limit to a lower speed
Post more signage and possibly highlight as a reminder
Temporary signage to bring new awareness to the problem
Speed humps or bumps (The city has considered but has not tried this.)
Stop signs, to break up traffic flow
Speed indicators are temporary devices that make you aware how fast you are going
Police car decoy
Police using radar
A neighborhood that has a great deal of thru traffic is the most challenging. Winterlocken, located in the Long View Acres and West Landing subdivisions, and Gulf Street in the Rosemont McIver Park Historic District, are good examples. These neighborhoods had an average vehicle speed of 5 to 10 miles per hour (mph) faster than the posted speed limit. Unfortunately, at times there were a few vehicles traveling on in excess of 50 mph. A speed indicator and a four way stop were chosen to help slow traffic on these streets. Combined with police patrols, this seems to be slowing the traffic in these areas.
Carbonton Road, in the Kiwanis Park area, presented a different challenge. This area has a speed limit change from 45 mph to 35 mph located on an incline. Posting more signage, speed indicators and police using radar seem to be a winning combination that is slowing traffic on this stretch of road. There are still some that choose to speed, but the majority of drivers are slowing down.
Neighborhoods such as Brentwood, Carbonton Heights, Westcroft, Bellaire, Planters Ridge, Muirfield, Westlake Downs, etc., have no main thoroughfare leading to other areas of the city. There is a limited amount of traffic in these type neighborhoods and most of the people driving too fast are the neighbors. Temporary signs and police patrol will help in these areas; however the neighbors may be the key.
It is impossible to have a police patrol in your area all the time. Getting involved and discussing problem speeders with your neighbors may help solve some problems. Community Watches can help with this problem too. Many times in these areas it is a young neighborhood driver who is traveling too fast. They either live close by or are visiting a friend. Either way, someone in the neighborhood, usually knows who these individuals are and where they live or visit. You may need his or her parents contacted to help with the problem. Children tend to play more in the streets in these areas and no one ever wants to see anyone get hurt.
Our traffic flow is always changing. New streets and neighborhoods are increasing traffic volume. As our city grows, so will traffic concerns. The City Council and Police Department are continually working on different plans for problem areas. If you have a concerns about an area please call Major Gray with the Sanford Police Department at 919-775-8346, or Steve Brewer at 919-770-9587.