Traffic calming device in Savannah neighborhood does little to deter speeding

Traffic calming device in Savannah neighborhood does little to deter speeding

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -Residents in a Savannah neighborhood are upset after seeing the result of a new traffic calming measure that was implemented over the weekend.

The idea was to slow down the traffic that drives through East 52nd street, near Habersham Street.

For two years, residents say they’ve been working to get a traffic calming device put in their neighborhood because of excessive speeding.

Alderman Nick Palumbo says the idea behind the design was to make sure emergency vehicles wouldn’t have to slow down to go over it when responding to calls. With good intentions in mind, Palumbo admits the design isn’t effective. While some drivers do slow down to go over it, many straddle it to avoid having to slow down.

“We need something as consistent as the rest of the traffic calming measures that are throughout the city,” said Alderman Palumbo.

Any resident in Savannah can file an application to get traffic calming measures on the very street they live on. The process is long and that’s why residents were hoping for a better outcome.

“52nd Street, for decades, has been a highly traveled street,” Palumbo says.

The problem, residents say, is that cars can straddle the speed bump to avoid it. Palumbo says it was designed this way for emergency vehicles heading to a call, so they didn’t have to slow down. Other blocks on the street have a full speed bump. Alderman Palumbo says the 200th block got cut short.

“It’s just not effective," the alderman said. "So, the best intentions but you can see that this is just a flawed design. I’ve asked the city manager and the infrastructure and development officer to come and take a look at this, get to the bottom of how this happened and why it happened.”

The second one was set to be built Monday, but Palumbo says he has told the city to put it on hold for the time being.

Resident Nelson Rosado says his concern is people getting hurt and he’s disappointed that what they spent time and money on isn’t solving the issue at hand.

“They should just save their money and put a bunch of signs up to say this is a residential neighborhood, please slow down before you kill somebody. That would be cheaper and probably as effective if not more effective.”

While some drivers do slow down, many do not

“When they finally unveiled it and we saw the end result we were extraordinarily disappointed," Rosado said. "Within three hours I saw a car driving in excess of 50 miles per hour down the road going right through this traffic calming device.”

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