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Traffic calming report has a lot of bumps to overcome

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A traffic calming report, initiated earlier this summer in a discussion, drew most of the attention at the City Council meeting Tuesday night.

City Engineer Don Holloman and City Administrator Ed Driggers presented council with the traffic calming guidelines from the cities of Greenville and Spartanburg. Council advised Driggers to use Spartanburg as the benchmark to move forward in slowing traffic in communities with calming techniques.  “Anything we need to adopt we need to tweak to Greer,” Driggers said.

Councilman Wayne Griffin (District 2) said, “I’m looking for ways to rattle the speeders in communities.” Griffin was commenting on comments Holloman submitted on a report he presented from surveys on Lemon Creek Drive and American Legion Road.

“We found that traffic calming did a good job of clipping speeds,” Holloman said. “All (Greenville and Spartanburg guidelines) had commonalities with minimum criteria of doing nothing to a maximum of having physical impairments. All of them have an element of funding with most funded by an agency and approved with a time table process.”

The discussion was for information purposes only.

Driggers said the questions are plentiful for calming bumps. “What is the criteria and what warrants it? If warranted and it meets the criteria, how do we pay for it?”

Holloman said Greenville contracts out the barriers at $1,500 each with an asphalt company. Rubber material costs are significantly less with a guess of $300-$400. Two speed bumps are suggested for every 1,000 feet in a community, according to Holomon’s report.

Driggers suggested, “Let’s determine if we have a speeding problem first. We may find an individual wants it but most of the community doesn’t. We have to establish guidelines to meet the criteria and will the community accept it.”

Judy Albert (District 6) asked if an individual street in a community get a speed bump and not others.

Wryley Bettis (District 5) wanted to know, “If a community wants them removed, how will the city collect the money.” Driggers offer that the city would not remove the speed bumps.

Holomon said the lower the speed boundary the tendency of higher speeds versus the higher the speed bump the lower the speeds. “Neighbors said car windows rattle and there is noise associated with the larger speed bumps,” Holloman said.

Wryley favored getting developers putting in the speed bumps when making streets in developments. He said the planning commission could make that part of their requirements.

Lee Dumas (District 4) said, “I like a scoring system for neighborhoods. The criteria could include a lack of sidewalks or schools in the vicinity.”

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