Local News

Raleigh ramps up efforts to make drivers slow down

Posted October 26, 2012 4:01 p.m. EDT
Updated October 26, 2012 7:31 p.m. EDT

— The city of Raleigh is stepping up their plans to make drivers slow down in neighborhoods.

The city has completed four major traffic-calming projects since the Neighborhood Traffic Management program began in 2006. In all of the projects, the speed limit on the roads was reduced to 25 mph.

On Cross Link Road in Raleigh, police have responded to 12 speed-related crashes in three years. Neighbor Kristie Hammond says motorists on the road are driving too fast.

"I almost got hit a couple of times because I didn't see the car," Hammond said. "The next thing I know, the car comes 60 or 70 mph, flying."

The city of Raleigh says many people drive 10 to 15 mph over the speed limit on Cross Link Road.

At an intersection on Eagle Trace Drive - one of the four projects completed by the city - traffic engineers have included features such as median islands and changed road design to get drivers' attention and make them slow down. The traffic-calming project cost the city $150,000. 

A second project was completed on Ashe Avenue and also included Cox Avenue, Flint Place, Dexter Place and Park Avenue. Engineers utilized median islands, pedestrian ramps and crossings, and speed humps. The project cost $135,000.

The project at Plaza Place in northwest Raleigh cost $90,000 and includes medians, pedestrian ramps and crossings, and curb extensions. The final project on Mourning Dove Drive, from Six Forks Road to Heathfield Drive, cost $59,000 and used medians, a four-way stop intersection and curb extensions.

Tom Fiorello, traffic calming coordinator for the city of Raleigh, said more money is planned to go into the traffic management program, which means more projects will be able to be completed. Up to 13 projects are planned to be completed each year.

The city plans to take on three major projects and eight to 10 minor projects each year, including a project on Cross Link Road. A major project is composed of significant changes to a street, which could include curb extensions, medians or traffic circles. A minor project generally includes speed humps or speed tables.

A fifth project is currently under construction on Anderson Drive in north Raleigh. The project is scheduled to be completed late this year and includes the removal of a merge lane from southbound Six Forks Road onto westbound Anderson Drive. A bicycle lane and medians are being added, and the speed limit on Anderson Drive will be reduced to 30 mph.

Major projects approved for the 2012-13 fiscal year include Varsity Drive from Avent Ferry Road to Marcom Street, Quail Ridge Road from Falls of Neuse Road to Spring Forest Road, and Bridgeport Road from Creedmoor Road to Abbottsbury Court.

Fiorello said studies show traffic-calming projects make drivers slow down by a few miles per hour.

"Even five or six miles an hour is better than it was before," Fiorello said.

To apply for a traffic-calming project in your neighborhood, call 919-996-4066 or email Fiorello at thomas.fiorello@raleighnc.gov.