Cars should move a little slower on Green Meadows Lane this summer after Brookhaven City Council approved installation of traffic calming devices on the roadway.
Five speed humps will be installed on Green Meadows Lane between Cheshire Way and Wilford Drive after a speed-and-volume study showed vehicles commonly exceeded 30 mph on the road that has a posted limit of 25 mph. Landowners along the road will be assessed an annual $25 fee for maintenance of the traffic calming devices.
Richard Meehan, an engineer with the public works department, said the Green Meadows project is the third traffic calming plan approved within the last four months or so, adding that the city would be bidding out those projects in the coming weeks. Installation could begin in late May or early June.
City officials polled owners of properties that would be be affected by the proposed plan, Meehan said. About 67 percent of them, or 28 out of 42, approving of the change. The city’s ordinance requires a minimum of 65 percent approval from property owners. Officials had also received six emails in support of the plan.
The council approved the measure 3-0 on April 7. Councilwoman Rebecca Williams did not vote as she presided over the meeting in her role as mayor pro tem. Mayor J. Max Davis was not in attendance as he was traveling over spring break with his family, Williams said.
A public hearing on the proposal was held prior to the council’s vote. Resident Robert Sanders told council members he began seeking a measure to slow traffic about a year ago, after his 1-year-old daughter was nearly hit by a passing vehicle.
“The data supports it, and I think the street is vastly in favor of it. It should be a pretty easy vote,” he said.
Other residents said backing from their homes into the street was difficult. One resident called it “scary.”
“It’s impossible for me to back out of my driveway without at some point being exposed in the middle of that road at the peak of that blind hill, so we were very excited when Robert came around with the petition for the traffic calming, because it’s something my wife and I had wished,” said Damon Mills, who lives at the top of the road’s blind hill.
“From my standpoint, we need something to make that street a little bit more safe for me and definitely the people that live at the peak of that hill. Just entering your driveway, coming in and out, is a dicey maneuver every day.”
But resident John C. Taylor voiced concerns about the plan. The 94-year-old said speed bumps have led to his cars having to go to the shop three times for repairs and that he believed city leaders should consider repair costs drivers may face as a result of more speed bumps.
Taylor said he drives over at least 30 speed bumps a day. “All of these speed bumps and other traffic things influence a lot more than just one street,” he said.
Resident Stan King worried about “unintended consequences” the proposed speed bumps could cause, saying that existing speed bumps nearby have diverted water, damaging part of his property on Cheshire Way. “I’m losing real estate. I’ve got ruts on my yard about that deep,” he said. “I tried to fix it myself, and couldn’t do it.”
But King said his concern only put him about “10 percent” against the plan and “90 percent” in favor of it. Similar quantities had been mentioned earlier by Perry Patrick, who said his small amount of disfavor was based on the possibility that the proposed addition of more speed bumps might become a trend.
“Philosophically, I’m all for obeying the speed limit,” Patrick said. “I’m the guy that’s out there yelling at cars as they go screaming by. I’m the guy that’s doing ‘rolling traffic control,’ known to the police as the speed limit.
“[But] I think the council needs to ask themselves ‘Are we going to piecemeal every busy street in Brookhaven?’ I don’t want Brookhaven to become ‘Bumphaven,’” he said.
“I think it’s the council’s duty to judge this petition on its merits, but at the same time, look at the overall traffic pattern, especially in that area, because you know as well as I there are huge projects coming up that are going to impact traffic.”