At Tuesday’s meeting, the Leon County Board of County Commissioners approved implementing a new traffic calming policy. The policy aims to address traffic and speeding issues in Northeast Tallahassee and along Deer Lake Road.
“Traffic calming helps to encourage healthy environments for motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians by rendering suburban neighborhood traffic flows more consistent with residential lifestyles,” staff reports. “Speeding traffic and reckless driving are not conducive to sports such as playing in yards for youth, riding street bikes or evening walks for families.”
Efforts to calm traffic could include speed tables and humps, pavement signs, elevated intersections and more.
Leon County has had a traffic calming program since 1998 and has since seen a rise in concern for safety in residential areas. Staff reports that congestion on urban streets “pushes drivers to seek new and faster routes to their destination, and these new routes were leading through residential neighborhoods.”
Staff reports that there has been a rise in demands for calming roads that are known as minor collector roadways — shorter roadways with lower traffic and fewer through trips, such as Deer Lake Road.
The meeting agenda outlines minimum requirements for roads to be included in the new traffic calming program:
• Vehicle trips per day must be at least 150 for local roads and 3,500 for minor collector roads
• 85th percentile speed must be at least 5 mph over the posted speed limit for local roads and 10 mph for minor collector roads
• Qualifying roads must have only two lanes – one lane in each direction
• Posted speed limit of less than 35 mph
• Minimum road length of a quarter of mile (1,320 feet)
• Abutting properties must be located in a residential neighborhood
• At least 75% of the property owners abutting the affected roadway(s) must sign a petition requesting the placement of traffic calming features for local roads. For minor collector roads, 75% of the property owners abutting the affected roadway(s) must sign the petition or the HOA may file a petition when there are no existing driveways connected to the road segment subject to traffic calming.
• If a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) for the area is active, the HOA must provide a letter of endorsement for traffic calming features to be installed.
There will also be prioritization criteria for roads in the program. Funding for the program is included in the annual Capital Improvement Program Budget.