Sunday, November 23, 2008

Speeding in residential neighborhoods

Speeding in residential communities appears to be a serious problem. I am particularly concerned with speeding on the Old Kaneohe Bay Drive. The Old Bay Drive is particularly dangerous because the road is narrow, crooked and has hills which limit sight distance. Time and again, drivers flying over the crest of a hill T bone someone trying to drive out of their driveway. There are several places where pedestrians can not see far enough down the road to be sure the road is safe to cross.

It is only a matter of time till a speeding driver kills a pedestrian. The Board has received testimony that people crossing Kaneohe Bay Drive at Aumoana Place are are endangered because they can not see if it is safe to cross and speeding drivers will not see a pedestrian until it is to late to stop.

What can we do to control speeders?

People have suggested a cross walk. Personally, I am very cynical about cross walks ever since I was run down and nearly killed by an off duty police officer while I stood in a marked crosswalk. I think crosswalks encourage people to expect traffic to stop for them, while speeders totally ignore crosswalks.

I have testified that the only way to control speeders is to install physical traffic calming structures such as speed humps that will physically slow down traffic.

This is a response I received after recommending a speed hump at the top of the hill near Aumoana Place:

"I don’t agree that you shouldn’t put the crosswalk in because speeders might ignore the postings , signs etc. The idea of the crosswalk and improved Bus Shelters is to create/engineer more of a (safe)pedestrian environment that the motorists will observe and hopefully modify their behavior. Roy says The City won’t let any speed bumps be put in because the Emergency vehicles use Kaneohe Bay Drive, but with that reasoning there wouldn’t be any speed bumps anywhere because emergency vehicles use all the streets. Additionally a speed bump there would probably result in motorists burning rubber as they leave the bump."

To be clear, there is a difference between a speed bump and a speed hump. To see the difference go to Kihapai Street in Kailua. The city has used speed humps very effectively to slow traffic through this residential neighborhood. Speed humps work while speed bumps are only an annoyance.

What should be done to slow traffic in residential areas? Please leave your comments and suggestions. Perhaps, we can come to a consensus about reducing traffic problems in residential neighborhoods.


Anonymous said...

Police are strictly enforcing the speed limits.

Police enforcing speeding are required to give 4 tickets an hour.

What is that going to do to resolve speeding issues? It will force police officers to set up speed traps where they know they can give tickets.

Rather than solving problems in residential areas they are going to concentrate on areas where speed limits are reduced and people are know to be slow to get to the reduced speed.

In short, quotas force police to focus on areas where they know they can give a lot of tickets and not on areas where there are real situations where speeding actually creates dangerous situations.

Be aware that police will not give you a five mile per hour over the limit leeway.

Bill Sager

Steve Boubelik said...

I found a company online that sells nice, quality signs with different messages to get peoples attention to slow down