Council approves traffic calming

First residents’ petition for action filed before final approval

Advocate staff writer
Published: Jan 11, 2007

The Metro Council received its first traffic-calming petition Wednesday before it even signed off on the new program to slow speeders on residential streets in East Baton Rouge Parish and discourage the use of neighborhoods as shortcuts.

On behalf of the residents of Menlo Drive in University Acres, former LSU Law School Chancellor Winston Day presented the council with a petition signed by 12 residents, asking for traffic-calming measures.

The possible traffic-calming measures include more than 20 options, ranging from speed humps to partial street closures to traffic circles.

“Menlo and College Hills Drive between Highland Road and Lee Drive are residential subdivision streets that have become virtual speedways for traffic seeking to avoid the Highland/Lee controlled intersection,” Day told the council.

“The traffic not only disturbs the peace of the neighborhood, but also poses a serious threat to residents — especially children — who live on this street,” Day said.

Day noted that the situation is especially dangerous because Menlo Drive has a neighborhood park that attracts children, but no sidewalks.

“We appreciate the support that we’ve received from the police, but they can’t do enough,” Day said.

Under the new residential traffic-calming program approved Wednesday, a neighborhood can request a traffic-calming analysis by collecting signatures from at least 10 residents.

If the analysis indicated a legitimate problem, the city-parish’s traffic engineers could recommend several solutions and implement them. The council appropriated $100,000 to fund the residential traffic-calming program.

In addition to the $100,000 appropriation for traffic calming, the city-parish is purchasing enough radar trailers to assign one to each of the 12 council districts for traffic control.

The city-parish has two mobile trailers with mounted radar machines that display the speeds of oncoming vehicles. Plans call for the radar trailers to be used at locations that have experienced problems with speeders or motorists taking shortcuts through neighborhoods.