Neighbors on 7th Ave S. have spent years telling city leaders about excessive speeding on their block. Carolyn Huffer told Patch, in a previous story, she routinely sees drivers accelerate up to 40 and 50 mph between 58th St. S. and 64th St. S.
Huffer along with her neighbors have appeared in front of council and during the past few months, they've voiced their concerns again and again, hoping officials would do something about the constant speeders.
As a result of residents' concerns, the city has adopted a "Traffic Calming Program" that provides several steps for officials and residents to determine if anything can be done to slow drivers.
City staff are currently developing an application packet that will be available on the city's website. The application will include a process in which residents can petition for changes on their block.
Here's a brief look at the process:
Once a petition is submitted, city staff will perform a study. If the initial screening by the City has at least 90 percent of the volume and speed to qualify for traffic studies, a formal study will be done. If recommendations are made, there will be a public meeting to inform residents about the proposed traffic calming devices. City Council will make the final decision on traffic calming devices.
Examples of traffic calming devices include:
- Road Stripping
- Radar Speed Monitoring Trailer
- Neighborhood Flyers
- Traditional Law Enforcement
- Rubber Speed Cushions
- Raised Crosswalks
- Rumble Strips
- Intersection Hump
- Mid-Block Median
- Forced Turn Barriers/Diverters
- Partial Street Closure
- Lane Narrowing
- One-Way Streets
Right now people can view a draft of the program posted on the City's website - and attached to this article. According to the draft, "Traffic calming involves changes in street alignment, installation of barriers and other physical measures to reduce traffic speeds and/or cut-through volumes, in the interest of street safety, livability, and other public purposes."
The draft document outlines what roads are covered in the program, options for traffic calming devices and the cost of those options.
Here's a look at the petition process, according to the draft:
"The contact person is required to obtain signatures, either for or against, of 90% of all property owners in the affected area. If the contact person cannot accomplish the 90% notification requirement, certified mail receipts can be used to meet this requirement. Each affected property owner shall be counted as one vote, regardless of the number of separate properties owned. In the case of multiple owners, only one vote shall be counted for that property. A minimum of 75% of the property owners within the affected area must be in favor of the proposed traffic control measures before they can be considered for approval.
The contact person has 90 days to return the completed petition forms. Petitions not received within the 90 day period will be deemed null and no further action will be taken. If requested by the contact person prior to the expiration of the initial 90-day period, a one-time extension of the 90 days may be granted by the City staff. However, in no case will petitions be accepted later than 180 days from the beginning of the initial signature period.
If a location fails to achieve the necessary petition majority within the signature period, the petition process will not be repeated for a period of three years from the date the signature period expires."
If residents have any questions they are urged to contact Public Works at (727) 893-1089. Again, city staff are working on a final application that will be posted on the City's website.
Editor's Note: Gulfport Patch has attached the draft document, an updated flow chart that illustrates the procedure and an updated tracking sheet that staff will use to determine whether or not the warrants are met for construction of traffic calming devices to this article.