Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Neighborhood denied and takes action

A Seattle community took matters in to their own hands after the city did not act. The NewHolly neighborhood decided to install their own speed bumps to slow traffic and create a safer environment for everyone. This Seattle Times article discusses why they did it.
After witnessing a speeding car nearly run down her 12-year-son at the mailbox across the street, Van Nguyen won't allow him to ride his bike in the neighborhood anymore. "Even on the sidewalk," she said.

Nguyen is one of several residents of the NewHolly neighborhood in Southeast Seattle who tried forcing the issue of traffic safety by taking matters into their own hands. About six weeks ago, they installed eight rubberized yellow speed humps — purchased online for $900 — on two of NewHolly's busiest streets.

Transportation officials disagreed about the need for traffic calming in the form of bumps or humps:
Sheridan said the traffic volume residents are complaining about is generated by the neighborhood itself.

Radar-gun studies, including one done by the residents, clocked average speeds just above the 25 mph limit — significantly below the prescribed threshold for installing speed humps, Sheridan said.

I am not sure how thorough the process is, but in my experience qualitative data and perception can be just as important as the recorded speeds. I always figure safety first, especially if children are at risk. Hopefully they can convince the officials to install some type of traffic calming on a temporary basis and study the results.

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