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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Traffic calming devices or traffic impeding devices?

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM

Do we really need traffic "calming" devices on West Third Street? A better question would be this: Do we need more traffic "calming" devices on West Third Street in addition to the bumpouts that are already there and have already successfully slowed traffic according to city engineering department's own study?

The fact that the city engineering department says speed is not an issue makes the question more relevant. Why do we "need" speed bumps? The answer is simple: The push for this is political, not based on what is actually required for the area. While all decisions by elected officials are inherintly political, all efforts should be made to ensure that decisions about infrastructure have as little political influence as possible.

The traffic "calming" in the area is more than enough to slow traffic. I walked up and down that section of the street last Saturday to see for myself how narrow the street is and how difficult it would be to drive through there above the posted speed limit. I also took several pictures, which you can see on Twitter:

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7.

Let's be honest here. This is not about traffic calming, any more than the ridiculous traffic impediments on Tenth Street are about traffic calming. This is about making West Third unpleasant enough to drive on that those who do not live in extremely close proximity simply will not do so. This is about diverting traffic, not calming it.

This is a mindset that the City Council should reject. Prospect Hill residents do not own that street. It is a public street owned by the taxpayers, not their private driveway. City Hall should not be in the business of playing favorites because some residents complain louder than others.

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