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Leon County updates Traffic Calming Program to include ‘minor collectors,’ such as Deerlake Road

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 4:38 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Leon County adopted a new policy for its traffic calming program at its latest Commission meeting; the policy formalizes eligibility criteria for traffic calming additions to roads.

Any road that qualifies could be eligible for traffic calming additions, even if it’s a minor “collector” road.

According to the agenda item, formalizing the procedure meets the FY2017-FY2021 Strategic Initiative of “Evaluate and implement options to address chronic speeding and traffic issues in the Northeast and along Deer Lake Road,” which aligns with the quality of life priority of “supporting strong neighborhoods.”

Deerlake Road is where a girl was badly injured in a hit-and-run in November of 2020. The nearby neighborhood is still full of signs asking for information leading to the person who hit 15-year-old Rose Beidel.

Deerlake is considered a “minor collector” road; Leon County has now revised its Traffic Calming Program to include these roads.

A minor collector road is a road that is “predominately residential in nature, generally with lower traffic volumes, shorter trip lengths, and fewer through trips than major collectors,” according to the County’s agenda item.

If 75% of property owners living along the road sign a petition, the County can conduct a speed study and take action to make people slow down.

People who live in the area or frequently drive along Deerlake Road say speeding is not always consistent, but some see it as a big issue.

Rebecaa Hobbs has lived in the area for almost 23 years; she’s also now the Church Administrator at the Deer Lake United Methodist Church, right off of Deerlake Road.

Hobbs says the area has gotten significantly busier in the last few years; her children do not walk to school because of the speeding.

“Whenever it affects someone you know and love, you’re more aware of it, you’re more cautious in any situation,” said Hobbs. “You’ll have some who are right at 30 miles per hour, but for the most part, everybody is beyond that.”

Megan Green visits her mother-in-law in the area with her two sons.

“Sometimes it’s hit or miss, sometimes it’s very very slow, or people zooming down the road,” she says.

Green thinks speed bumps could help with the issue.

“The speed bumps would probably be the most effective, because with the signs, people can just ignore them. But with the speed bumps, they’re forced to slow down,” said Green.

However, others believe speed bumps aren’t the solution.

“When you’re needing 911 there, you want them to be there and not going over that third or fourth speed bump to get to you,” said Hobbs.

“The speed bumps would be problematic because there’s a lot of large vehicles, trucks that carry supplies for Golden Eagle,” said another local resident.

They believe cameras and monitoring signs could be the best way to make people pump the brakes.

“I think a monitor that tells you what your speed is; if it had a camera on it, it might be more effective!” said one resident.

“I think that reminder to drivers sometimes is what you need,” said Hobbs.

Despite disagreement on the best solution, and how much speeding there actually is in the area, all agree that drivers could pay more attention to the road.

Below is a list of the other minimum requirements for a road to be considered for traffic calming:

  • 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.

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