James Island, S.C.— Many of you tell us you are frustrated with cars speeding through your neighborhood. You say people fly down your streets and it is dangerous for your kids and pets.
We spent the day on one of these roads—Bur Clare Road, which runs perpendicular to Folly Road on James Island. Tim Taylor lives on this street. Taylor describes the short stretch of road saying, “It’s almost like Grand Central Station through here.”
The speed limit is 30mph. We took the News 2 Speed Tracker out there to see if people follow the law. We used the radar gun and clocked multiple people going as fast as 39mph. Some of those were big trucks
Taylor says the volume of cars and the speed at which they drive frustrates him and his other neighbors. “We have a major subdivision at the end of the street so they’re in a hurry to get home. I understand, but it’s not safe to check my mail at my mailbox.”
He and others who live on the street want the county to install speed bumps. “We need speed bumps. We’ve tried! The two attempts that we’ve made in this neighborhood, those took months, probably a year. Two very frustrated neighbors lead the charge and they gave up eventually. It’s extremely frustrating.”
On Wednesday, we talked to an engineer with Charleston County and asked—what’s the hold up?
County engineering manager, Matthew Fountain, explained that installing speed bumps is more complicated than simply laying down asphalt.
“The issue on this road,” said Fountain. “Is that there are 4 parallel roads so you’d actually be installing speed humps across the entire neighborhood rather than across a single road because if you install speed humps down a single road, you basically just encourage people to move to the next road where currently they are not driving and cause the same problems for that street.”
Fountain also pointed out that there are lots of projects competing for county money. He told us, projects are ranked by cost benefit. “Basically, the ones that have the most cost benefit are selected for installation and funding,” Fountain explains. “So [Bur Clare Rd.] is a little challenging in that, it would be hard to score that high because of the cost and the number of roads involved.”
The county conducted a traffic study on Bur Clare Road and found that the road does qualify for some kind of traffic calming. The county proposed an alternative to speed bumps.
“We reached out to the residents originally and asked if they’d be interested in sidewalks and that’s something that we would think would score better. Sidewalks separate the pedestrians and the traffic so they still let you have safe use of the street, but if you have speed humps in with that much traffic, it probably isn’t incredibly safe to be doing activity on the street anyway.”
Tim Taylor does not think sidewalks would do the trick. He says, he and his neighbors are most concerned with the amount of speeders.
If you are like Tim Taylor and you think people drive way too fast through your neighborhood, here is how you can request a traffic study.
1. Find out who manages your road—town, city, county or state.
2. Call municipality and request that they come out and conduct a traffic study
A more temporary option, you can request an officer come to your neighborhood to monitor speeding. The drill is the same here:
1. Find out who manages your neighborhood—county sheriff’s office or police department.
2. Call and request for them to send an officer to catch people speeding.