City Council targets local streets for speeders

By Steve Lynn The Daily Times
Posted: 02/09/2009 12:00:00 AM MST

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City councilors are considering ways to reduce speeding on Sandalwood Drive.

FARMINGTON — People have sped on North Dustin Avenue as long as George Bacon has lived near the major north-south artery. But they speed everywhere in Farmington, said Bacon, who has lived on a street off Dustin since 1971. He thinks speed bumps would deter fast drivers.
"That's the only thing that will help," Bacon said.
Speed bumps won't work for North Dustin, according to Bohannan Huston Inc., which reviewed the speeding problem for the city. The city instead should build medians on North Dustin between 38th Street and Piñon Hills Boulevard.
Along Sandalwood Drive, where some councilors say speeding is a problem, the Albuquerque engineering company recommends narrowing the street by extending curbs toward the street's center. Or, the city could build a 14-foot-wide island on a short stretch of the road.
The company's recommendations come after a request by Councilman Jason Sandel for the city to research the possibility of speed bumps and other devices to thwart fast driving on the streets.
"You've got kids walking to a park and motorists that are speeding out of control" on Sandalwood, Sandel said.
"This is a personal issue," Sandel added. "My daughter happens to be one of those kids."
Sandel called North Dustin a "speedway" with the some of the same problems.
"I would like to evaluate what our options are to see how we can slow down traffic and protect our kids," he said.
Speed bumps won't work for Sandalwood Drive because it's

too steep, according to Bohannan Huston. Speed bumps would cause problems for bicyclists and fire trucks on North Dustin, the company says. The city should ask residents what they want before anything is built, city officials said at a City Council meeting last week.
Aghdesia Ratna, a baby sitter who walks a child in a stroller along North Dustin Avenue to the park, said speeding in the area isn't so bad.
But sometimes people don't pay attention while talking on cell phones and they end up driving too fast, Ratna said.
"Sometimes you just need to be careful," she said.
Sandalwood curb extensions or an island would cost about $20,000, and North Dustin medians would cost $20,000 to $40,000, according to Bohannan Huston.
Councilwoman Mary Fischer said in Tuesday's meeting she would rather see police patrol the area for speeders.
Councilman Dan Darnell said, "Those are two areas we need to address somehow."

Steve Lynn: