Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008

Bowie planning speed humps for some city streets

Pin Oak Parkway, Excalibur Road recommended for traffic calming program

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In response to council and community concerns about speeding in the city, Bowie is planning to install speed humps on two city streets as part of a pilot program to address speeding issues.

At a council work session Monday, city staff recommended placing speed humps on Pin Oak Parkway and Excalibur Road as part of a traffic calming demonstration program, which City Manager David Deutsch called a ‘‘significant change in policy” from previous councils.

Alan Creveling, who handles public safety issues for the city, told council that the staff recommended Pin Oak Parkway because it is a mostly residential street that does not have many curb cuts for driveways, a problem for installing speed humps.

Excalibur Road was chosen because it has both residential and commercial areas.

Creveling told council members any speed management program adopted by the city should be a balance of engineering, education and enforcement.

‘‘It has to deter speeding with the primary goal to make things safer, and that’s really important,” Creveling said.

The city will monitor speeding and traffic safety on those streets before and after the installation to evaluate the program.

Although council members said they were generally supportive of the idea, they also had other ideas they wanted to consider for traffic calming devices. Councilman Isaac Trouth (Dist. 4) pointed to Jennings Mill Drive as a problem location for speeding, and Councilwoman Diane Polangin (Dist. 2) said raising speed limits in certain areas and having a ‘‘zero tolerance” policy for speeding motorists would help deter speeding.

Councilwoman Geraldine Valentino-Smith (At-large) argued that the plan was not enough and the city needs a ‘‘comprehensive plan” to address speeding throughout the city.

‘‘I didn’t see in the rest of staff recommendation something leaning toward a more comprehensive study,” Valentino-Smith said.

Deutsch said a study of the entire city’s speeding and traffic situation would be cost prohibitive.

Deutsch said the staff could provide a more detailed proposal, and the program could be implemented as part of the next budget this summer.

E-mail Megan King at mking@gazette.net.