Local News

Chapel Hill Community Designs Way To Slow Traffic

Posted August 24, 2001

— Some people in Chapel Hill say that they have it all in The Oaks. A golf course, well manicured, upscale homes --- and on the street, designer speed humps. But there is more than just looks to the gentle sloping brick mounds. They are called traffic calming devices. They work together with raised, landscaped medians, and a neatly arranged roundabout to slow down traffic cutting through the neighborhood.

"One of the things that the roundabout has done is it absolutely slows traffic down. I mean, you can't help but slow to get around the roundabout so yeah, I think it's done an excellent job," said homeowner Mark McCurry.

The neighbors said construction traffic cutting through from the nearby Meadowmont Development made the streets dangerous. They convinced the Meadowmont Development Company to pay for the traffic calming devices -- and they put some teeth behind the calm.

The homeowners association at The Oaks means business. They tell you right as you come in who is not welcome. Meadowmont construction traffic caught passing through The Oaks can be fined up to $2500.

Some neighbors say the effort may not be enough.

"Actually, if you really want to slow traffic down put in a speed bump. That's the only way you're really going to slow anybody down, all this other stuff is nice, but you can speed up in between," said homeowner Anna Tabor.

Chapel Hill engineers say they made sure the traffic calming devices conformed with town code, and confirmed that developers picked up the bill.


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