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Of all the ways to meet new people, the most important is this: Never turn down an invitation if you’re free.

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Traffic calming devices come in all shapes and sizes. The most recognized are speed humps and speed bumps, raised mounds of pavement placed across roadways that compel drivers to slow down. Bumps are steeper while humps have a gradual rise. Speed tables are flat-topped speed humps. Twelve-foot-long humps have been shown to reduce speeds by 22% in a of 179 sites conducted by Fehr & Peers Transportation Consultants. Traffic accidents declined by 11%.

Another option is traffic enforcement. A police car on your street is an effective deterrent, but only a short-lived one. Once police move on, speeding is likely to resume. A neighborhood watch program is an alternative. Phoenix, for example, has one in which residents are armed with radar equipment to collect data on days and times when speeding is at its worst. The city then sends letters to vehicle owners urging them to slow down. Since drivers don’t get speeding tickets, Phoenix officials say the long-term impact may not be that pronounced.

The most costly and time-consuming traffic calming measures involve major design changes to roads. Roundabouts, traffic circles, curb extensions, and lane narrowing are some tactics cities can use to slow drivers. Traffic circles, raised islands placed at an intersection, are better suited for neighborhoods that don’t have a lot of traffic volume. Roundabouts are used in higher traffic areas. Curb extensions narrow the width of roadways, especially at pedestrian crossings. Roads can be narrowed by extending sidewalks, or adding bicycle lanes or parking spots. The Fehr & Peers study found these tactics to be less effective than humps at reducing speeds.

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No one knows our communities as well as those who live in them do. Love My Neighbor! Grant Program, an initiative founded by Neighborhood Allies, invests in the ingenuity, talent, creativity, and hope in our communities by investing in resident-led projects that aim to improve neighborhoods and engage neighbors.

 

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When people come to THOSE events, hit them with your church flyers. Then remember to personally follow up on them to welcome them back. (See my recent posts about “” for how BEST to collect visitor info).

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A quicker strategy to implement is placing signs on your street. There are simple signs like “Children at Play” that can be posted to encourage drivers to slow down. There are also electronic signs that flash how fast a vehicle is traveling. Like a neighborhood watch, the effectiveness is limited because there’s no enforcement penalty tied to either. In fact, some cities warn that “Children at Play” signs can be dangerous because they give parents and kids a false sense of security.


People are speeding in my neighborhood

Rallying fellow residents around your stop-speeders cause is critical. A is a good to start. Get signatures from as many people on your street as you can. In Abilene, Texas, for example, a written request to city officials for a speed hump must come from at least five residents; 70% of the homeowners on the street must ultimately sign off on the measure. Make sure your neighbors understand that the process is a long one that can include a financial commitment.

Procedures vary by state or even community, but in general the next step is to contact the local director of traffic or transportation. If you live in a private community, reach out to your homeowners association first. Try to do legwork beforehand by writing down the dates and times you typically see speeders. Send a detailed letter outlining the problem to your HOA board or transportation director. Copy your elected officials on the letter as well.

Once the transportation director is notified, a survey is usually undertaken to determine whether a speeding problem exists. If it does, officials will develop a traffic calming plan. Public meetings may be held, so make sure to attend. Affected residents may be polled to confirm support of the plan. Once approved, the plan is implemented. In some cities, like Tuscon, Ariz., residents foot all or part of the bill. A speed hump can cost $1,500 or more.

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You can also have your youth group walk the neighborhood with flyers. Order some PENS emblazoned with your church’s name and website and attach them to the flyer so it can be dropped off at a front door and not blow away. A dozen kids can do 200 homes in no time at all.

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Don’t be surprised if some neighbors resist your traffic calming efforts. Speed bumps are often criticized because they can damage vehicles and delay emergency responders. According to the , a group that opposes certain traffic calming measures, humps and bumps also increase fuel consumption and emissions because of the forced braking and accelerating. The National Motorists Association favors efforts to improve the flow of traffic on main roads so it doesn’t spill over into residential neighborhoods.