COUNCIL REFERRAL


TO: Mayor/Council DATE: February 10, 2014

PROVIDED BY: Ronald S. Hamlett, Traffic Engineering Manager

REFERRAL: Request to provide a description of the City’s Speed Table policy


Response: The Traffic Engineering Division handles Speed Table requests through our Neighborhood Traffic Calming policy for which a copy is attached. Previous to the enactment of this policy, we responded to Speeding complaints by setting traffic speed counters out to measure the speed of traffic for three to seven days per request. These speed counts were analyzed to determine what the 85th Percentile Speed for the street in question. The 85th Percentile Speed is the highest speed that 85% of the motorist will drive. We found that it was impossible to keep up with this practice being over 100 requests in queue at one time.

We talked with other agencies in the state finding that they handled speeding complaints much differently. They developed a Tool Box of minor to major improvements that could reduce speeding along residential streets. They also found that if you did not involve the residents that you would not be successful in obtaining a speed reduction since the majority of the speeders lived within the neighborhoods. Most agencies used a Petition Process to involve the residents.

Columbus developed a similar Petition Process for which the basic steps are described below:
1. Send the resident who initiated the speeding complaint a Neighborhood Traffic Calming (NTC) Petition package that includes a drawing showing the lots that are included in the study.
2. The NTC representative returns the petition with a minimum of 20% of the resident’s signatures within 90 days.
3. Traffic Engineering performs traffic study to determine if street qualifies for NTC improvements. The 85th Percentile Speed must exceed the posted speed limit by more than 10 MPH.
4. For streets that qualify, Traffic Engineering will recommend a NTC improvement such as Speed Tables, Chokers, Chicanes, Diverters, Roundabouts, etc. For petitions who do not qualify, we provide Slow Down Columbus yard signs and add speed limit signs as needed.
5. A Public Information Meeting is scheduled with the neighborhood to discuss the recommendation and to obtain signatures of 65% of the property owners to proceed.
6. The improvements are procured and installation scheduled.
7. Six months after installation, Speed Counts are conducted to measure the effectiveness.
Since 2007, the Traffic Engineering has performed the following work for NTC:

1. 327 NTC Petitions mailed out.
2. 76 NTC Petitions were received.
3. 76 NTC Studies were conducted.
4. 04 projects were implementing that included 13 Speed Tables.
5. 03 studies are in queue for PIM and implementation needing funding for up to 11 Speed Tables at an average cost of $7,500. We have only $12,340 in the Traffic Calming CIP account.

With the ongoing budget restraints, we are at a point that we cannot continue even the existing studies in queue until additional funding is provided. We will work with the Finance Department to determine if any additional funds are available in the FY14 Budget.