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Raleigh is accelerating ways for residents to request a traffic slowdown in their neighborhoods :: WRAL.com


— Raleigh is accelerating the time it takes to respond to concerns about speeding on neighborhood streets.

The changes should reduce the current eight-year wait to see change to one or two years, city officials said. Currently, 95 streets in the neighborhood are on the list for traffic calming.

Driving on Brentwood Road requires zigzagging through an obstacle course designed to slow down drivers.

“I think it helped. A lot of people complained about it, which I think does its job,” said Alex Howard.

Howard has to cross a mini roundabout from his side street to Brentwood Road. The roundabout and the floating islands that create curves on straight sections are traffic calming measures put in place by the municipal authorities at the request of the district.

“To go through those and stay in the lanes – 25 [miles per hour] pushes him,” Howard said.

City leaders said they were working to expedite the process.

“There was a lot, for lack of a better word, of wasted time in the process,” said William Shumaker, Raleigh’s traffic calming administrator.

Shumaker said changes to this process include removing the minimum number of neighbors who must approve the project by vote.

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of projects we can launch just by removing that barrier to entry,” he said.

“It was really blocking the streets and taking the streets out of contention due to neighborhood apathy,” Shumaker said.

The city is accelerating design and construction by making Brentwood Road the model for future projects

Raleigh is accelerating ways for residents to request a traffic slowdown in their neighborhoods :: WRAL.com

“We’re able to significantly reduce construction costs so we can get more projects done with the same amount of money,” Shumaker said.

The city is also removing the minimum number of neighbors needed to approve the project by ballot. The city expects to grow from 7-10 traffic calming projects over two years to 15-20 per year.

“When a community asks the city for help, their problem has been around long enough that people need an immediate solution,” said resident Jennifer Fuller.

These traffic calming measures are intended for streets that have problems with speeding and accidents. The city has also lowered speed limits on a record number of streets in the past year.

“These calming measures require everyone to do something different, but it’s for the good of the community,” Fuller said.

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