CHARLOTTE – The city has made it easier for neighborhood roads to qualify for speed humps and multi-way stops designed to slow down speeding drivers.
City council updated its Neighborhood Traffic Calming Policy on Nov. 26 by relaxing some of the traffic and petition requirements.
“It gives the community and neighborhoods better flexibility in terms of taking action to make their communities safe with the reduction of speed limits and reducing some of the barriers in trying to get traffic calming initiatives in their neighborhoods,” Councilman Greg Phipps said.
Phipps added these measures won’t exacerbate traffic congestion because they are not for highways.
Neighborhoods can request speed humps for roads that sustain 600 vehicles a day, as opposed to 1,000.
Multi-way stops used to be available for 600 vehicles per day on a main street with a petition encompassing a 1,200-foot radius around the intersection. Now, main and intersecting street traffic may have a combined volume of 600 vehicles daily and the petition needs to only include people within 1,200 linear feet from the intersection.
Combining speed humps and multi-way stops to streets is also easier. The city lowered the requirement from 2,500 vehicles per day to 1,500 vehicles.
The city also made it easier to get the necessary signatures for a petition. Among the less stringent requirements are neighborhoods now need a signature of only one parcel owner as opposed to all. Petitions need just 60 percent support to be successful.
The city adopted the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Policy in 1997 and updated it last 2006.
“I get a lot of requests in my district for the calming on roads,” Councilman Ed Driggs said. “People travel at very high speeds probably because the police are spread thin in Ballantyne. People don’t expect to get caught, frankly.”
Councilman Matt Newton said pedestrian public safety issues are the top concerns he hears from his constituents.
“Oftentimes, it’s very difficult for neighborhoods to be able to afford the traffic-calming measures they need,” Newton said. “ So even after going through the process of getting neighborhood matching grants – that’s assuming there’s an HOA or neighborhood association – this goes a long way toward scaling back the criteria, providing the opportunity for full funding of traffic-calming measures.”