City commissioners Tuesday night indicated that they're calming their enthusiasm for traffic-calming devices such as traffic circles and speed humps.
Commissioners at their weekly meeting unanimously agreed to indefinitely defer a request for new traffic-calming devices on a portion of Trail Road between Lawrence Avenue and Kasold Drive.
"I keep having this vision that I'm going to wake up and have these devices all over town, and that concerns me," Mayor Mike Amyx said.
Some commissioners said they thought the city should slow down on approving new traffic-calming devices and instead study whether they are working the way the were intended.
"In talking with people on Harvard Drive, I think there is some consensus that the devices we built out there haven't done a lot to slow down speed," City Commissioner David Schauner said. "It seems like drivers slow down at the device but then just speed back up."
Several commissioners said other options include more targeted use of police officers to run speed checks or the installation of electronic signs that show motorists how fast they're driving.
Commissioners also were concerned that the list of traffic-calming projects requested by neighborhoods and approved by commissioners had grown to the point that the city was not likely to be able to fund all of them in the next three to four years.
The city has 11 traffic-calming projects that have been approved but have not been funded. Many of the projects cost anywhere from $10,000 to $250,000 apiece, yet the city has only $250,000 in its budget to fund both traffic-calming projects and sidewalk gap repair projects.
Some of the projects have been on the city-approved list since 2004.
The Trail Road project had been recommended by the city's Traffic Safety Commission earlier this month, but details of the project hadn't been determined. City staff members had estimated that four devices would be needed on the stretch of road but had not determined if they would be speed cushions, traffic circles or something else. Costs were estimated at $100,000.
Several neighbors from the Trail Road area spoke in favor of the traffic-calming devices at the Traffic Safety Commission meeting in early February. None, however, spoke at the City Commission meeting.
City commissioners did not expand their discussion to include roundabouts, which are larger versions of traffic circles but generally are not considered traffic-calming devices. They are considered traffic-control devices that are designed to direct traffic rather than just slow it.