A few months ago, I met with Plainfield Department of Public Works Director David G. Brown, II, to discuss concerns raised by some of my constituents in a number of areas, one of which had to do with the installation of speed humps as traffic calming devices. During that conversation, I suggested the utilization of portable speed humps across the city. The Director agreed that portable speed humps were a very good idea and said that he was considering them, with advice from the City’s engineer. Below is the text of an email from Director Brown in response to what we know is a city-wide problem:
Please be advised that a joint meeting between the Department of Public Works & Urban Development (DPW&UD) and the Police Department was held today and the following recommendations are being made to deter speeding on various streets:
1. Our research has found the use of temporary speed humps has been somewhat effective in other municipalities, and 4 (one per ward) complete sets should be purchased by the City to deploy at the recommendation of the Police Department. The Police Department has recommended the use of this traffic calming device on Field Avenue as soon as funds (approximately $6,000 - $10,000) can be identified and the devices purchased and received. [The plan is to rotate the 4 complete sets around the City per Ward or if necessary to utilize them all in a concentrated area if recommended by the Police Department.] Please be advised that temporary and/or permanent speed humps will only be utilized on secondary roadways, which is consistent with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration;
2. The deployment of portable speed limit radar signs will be placed at various locations beginning Monday, August 30, 2010 to immediately begin to address speeding concerns and enforcement on the streets identified by residents and recommended by the Police Department. These radar signs will allow us to collect data where they are deployed so that we may analyze that data and other traffic calming and enforcement techniques can be utilized;
3. The City Engineer and the Police Department’s Traffic Officers next week are going to assess various intersections on the streets identified by residents that speeding is occurring and decide if a four way stop sign can be utilized as a traffic calming measure.; and
4. Policy going forward in the City’s Road Improvement Program will be to have the City Engineer analyze on secondary roads in conjunction with the Police Department’s Traffic Officers if permanent speed humps should be utilized and be a part of that specific street design plan.
I hope this is to your satisfaction and I am available via email or by cell phone if you have any questions or concerns about the Administration’s strategy regarding speeding complaints and traffic calming measures.
David G. Brown II
Director of Public Works and Urban Development”
Although the steps outlined above by Director Brown will not satisfy every single one of the specific complaints I received from constituents, these traffic calming measures are welcome ways of improving traffic safety on our roadways. I wish to thank Director Brown, Director Hellwig, and the Plainfield Police Division for being responsive to citizens’ complaints.