We have noticed residents are divided on the use of speed bumps to slow traffic. The Village is a heavily treed area with a wonderful mountain feel. Frequently the streets are filled with adults and children on foot, bicycles, ATVs and motorized wheelchairs, many with dogs in tow. The roads are narrow and winding with a posted speed limit of 15 miles per hour. Speed limit signs weren’t working. Additional signs were added. That didn’t work, so red triangles were added to those signs for extra visibility. As you can see, the board has taken action over the years to mitigate the speeding issue. Still, those residents who dream of being Mario Andretti or Parnelli Jones would not be defeated.
After reviewing last year’s annual meeting minutes and numerous emails and other communications sent to the board over the years, it’s clear that some residents want the board to do something to slow people down before someone gets hurt. Residents lobbied for a variety of solutions including speed bumps, posting additional signs basically begging people to obey the posted speed limit, public floggings and security cameras and radar.
Extensive research was done and the additional signs did not make the cut. If people are not willing to abide by the current signs, it is unlikely they would slow down just because we say “PLEASE SLOW DOWN”. The cameras were expensive, not only to install, but to monitor (this is your money). Most people want to be neighborly so ratting out the speeders won’t work either. Cocktail hour can be rather tense after you’ve called Guido over to puncture the offender’s tires.
The conclusion was that speed bumps are the most effective and useful method of slowing people down on roads with speed limits of 25 miles per hour and under. Speed bumps also tend to keep non-resident traffic down so perhaps some of those outsiders using the dumpsters or coming in for nefarious purposes will be discouraged. However, speed bumps do impact emergency vehicles, people on bicycles and motorcycles, and those in golf carts and ATVs. The motorcycles and bikes should be able to avoid them by riding down the middle of the road, subject to oncoming traffic, but others can’t avoid them altogether. Another consideration for using speed bumps had to do with the garbage trucks. Some of those drivers also think they are on a race track and are doing damage to the road when they exit the club house.
There are also options that slow cars to 10 miles per hour but anything that slows them more than 20 miles per hour will be hard on cars, RVs, and people. As the speed limit is 15 miles per hour, going the speed limit will prevent some of the other issues with braking and accelerating that come with more radical (read bigger) speed bumps.
As you know, speed bumps were purchased and some of them were put in place. Apparently the people on the ATVs have already figured out that they can mimic Richard Petty by racing furiously down the streets between the speed bumps. To be fair, they are not alone in the challenge.
Some people were frustrated that residents were not asked to vote on how best to slow down traffic. However, after the decision was made, residents did get to vote with their vehicles. Some voted loudly and clearly for more speed bumps.
According to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the average risk of severe injury for a pedestrian struck by a vehicle reaches 10% at an impact speed of 16 mph, 25% at 23 mph, 50% at 31 mph, 75% at 39 mph, and 90% at 46 mph. The average risk of death for a pedestrian reaches 10% at an impact speed of 23 mph, 25% at 32 mph,50% at 42 mph, 75% at 50 mph, and 90% at 58 mph. Risks vary significantly by age. For example, the average risk of severe injury or death for a 70‐year‐old pedestrian struck by a car travelling at 25 mph is similar to the risk for a 30‐year‐old pedestrian struck at 35 mph. There are too many people and pets out on the streets in the Village to ignore these numbers and until everyone has driverless vehicles, another solution is necessary.
In the ideal world, drivers would travel at a prudent speed without having to be policed, nagged or threatened. However, that has not been the case so additional speed bumps will be put in place. If this does not deter speeders, it could be taken as a yes vote for bigger and better (and more expensive) speed bumps. The board takes the safety of the Village residents very seriously and we’re asking nicely; please slow down.