Speed bumps bigger obstacle for Raleigh neighborhoods than for drivers
Posted December 2, 2014
Updated December 3, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Scores of Raleigh neighborhoods seeking speed bumps or other "traffic calming" devices to slow traffic on their streets face years of waiting because of limited city funds for such projects.
Jed Niffenegger, a senior transportation engineer with the city, said Raleigh can afford to address only about four traffic calming projects a year. More than 120 streets are on the city's waiting list, he said, calling the backlog "disconcerting" for residents.
Stacey Hilton said her 5-year-old son even recognizes when cars are speeding along Hiking Trail in the Durant Trails neighborhood of north Raleigh.
"Now, whether he's walking or riding a bike, he'll actually yell at cars slow down," Hilton said.
The speed limit on Hiking Trail is 25 mph, but city traffic surveys show cars average 40 mph on the street.
"People are flying around the corner," Hilton said, noting that two crosswalks that connect homes on one side of the street to the neighborhood's pool, tennis courts and playground on the other side are located at either end of a sharp curve, limiting sight lines and drivers' ability to quickly hit the brakes.
Hiking Trail is 29th on Raleigh's list for speed bumps, meaning city crews will reach it by 2022.
For Hilton and her neighbors, that's unacceptable.
"What I don't want to see happen is for us to sit on a list and wait for this problem to go from bad to worse," she said.
Niffenegger said there's no real solution to the problem right now.
"If we were to do more, (the City) Council would need to allocate money, and we'd need more staff," he said. "That would pull from other entities of the city – fire needs more people, police need more people."