Council hears from residents about speeding concerns

Published 3:49 pm Wednesday, July 15, 2020

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Several residents spoke during Monday’s Albemarle City Council meeting about the need for speed bumps in the Amhurst and Kingville communities to protect against drivers who often speed through the neighborhoods.

Citing the safety of children, Rhonda Vinson, a daycare provider, specifically mentioned the need for speed bumps on Avery Avenue, T.E. White Sr. Drive, Summit Avenue, Elizabeth Avenue, South Bell Avenue, Inger Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, South Morrow Avenue and Gibson Street.

“I have witnessed a lot of speeding on several of these streets,” Vinson said, adding that “there is a need for speed bumps.”

Since many of the streets don’t have sidewalks and people, including children, are spending more time at home due to the coronavirus, residents said they are worried since cars continue to speed.

“There are numerous accidents that have happened there,” said Tim Hill, adding that it is normal for children to have to dodge cars or run out of the way.

“It’s becoming normal to see a kid almost get hit and that should not be normal in any community,” Hill said.

A petition to install speed bumps in the Amhurst and Kingville communities has already garnered more than 90 signatures from concerned citizens. The petition was created to “protect against dangerous drivers who illegally speed through neighborhoods and the accidents, near-accidents, injury and death that has been been caused for years.”

Councilman Dexter Townsend said it was like “people were in training for NASCAR” after he recently saw cars zooming along Gibson Street. A resident even compared the streets to a racetrack, specifically the Indianapolis 500.

Speed bumps will bring more safety awareness to both drivers and people walking the streets, Hill said.

One resident talked about the numerous accidents that have occurred, including the death of a child, due to people speeding while another said the speeding occurs all night long.

Mayor Ronnie Michael said Police Chief David Dulin needs to examine the streets to make sure they meet the required criteria for establishing speed bumps before any further action can be taken.

For streets to qualify for speed bumps, they must meet criteria already established by the city. These criteria include:

  • Must be a residential or residential collector street;
  • Posted speed limit should be no greater than 25 mph;
  • The 85th percentile speeds should be a minimum of 10 mph over the posted limit;
  • Street must have a minimum of 1,000 cars per average weekday; and the
  • Street may not be a primary medical services or fire response route.

When installing the speed bumps:

  • The street grade should be no greater than eight percent;
  • Humps should be at least 200 feet apart and at least 200 feet from an intersection;
  • Sight distance should be at least 200 feet; and they
  • Should be located near a street light for greater visibility.

Michael said if the streets meet the criteria for creating speed bumps, then 75 percent of the property owners who live on each of the streets would also need to sign a petition. A public hearing for each street would then take place to consider the request.



About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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