In Your Corner: Neighborhood Speeding Problem

By Ryan Elijah

August 17, 2012 Updated Aug 17, 2012 at 9:25 AM EDT

Lisa Winslow says her Whispering Meadows neighborhood is like a "raceway" during the busy commute times. Two weeks ago she says her concerns were validated when her neighbor's dog wondered into the street and was killed by car that never hit the brakes.

"she did not brake until after hitting that puppy, it's heartbreaking", said Tami Olson after her puppy was killed.

On Wednesday morning at 8:30, we monitored traffic on Burnt Ember Place, along with Fort Wayne Police Officer Robert Wilcox. The street connects three neighborhoods, making traffic heavy during those commute times.

While a few cars were clearly traveling faster than most parents would like, the top speed on the radar gun was 32 miles per hour, just barely above the city's neighborhood speed limit of 30.

"sometimes it's an illusion that you're speeding", said Officer Wilcox.

On Thursday morning, without our cameras rolling, Officer Wilcox surveyed 111 cars on the street between 7:45 and 9:15 in the morning. He found the average speed was 23 miles per hour, but four cars were caught speeding, including one going 38 miles per hour.

Officer Wilcox uses a mathematical formula using speed and friction to determine stopping time, at 30 miles per hour on this road it will take a driver 43 feet to stop, but even 5 miles per hour more adds 16 feet of stopping time.

"at 30 miles per hour your stopping distance is a lot less, each mile per hour you go, your stopping distance increases, said Wilcox.

In Fort Wayne, the guidelines for neighborhood speed are set at 30 miles per hour, that varies from city to city and state to state. These neighbors feel that's too high, but what are their options?

Speed bumps aren't allowed due to snow plows, but neighborhoods can contact their police quadrant commander and the city's traffic engineering department. Radar enabled or "slow children" signs are both options and you can buy radar guns for less than $100, many neighborhoods have found this helps. Many residents on Burnt Ember Place feel a stop sign would make the most impact.

"we would like a stop sign, we have over a dozen children on this street and you never know when that ball bouncing in the road will be followed by a child", said Lisa Winslow.

At 40 miles per hour, nearly 85 percent of pedestrian strikes are fatal, which is why slowing the vehicles down, even a little, can make a life or death difference.

Stopping Times with dry conditions:

30 mph = 43 Feet
35 mph = 58 Feet
40 mph= 76 Feet

Speed Survey For Burnt Ember:

111 Cars
Average Speed: 23.1 mph
4 Cars speeding
Top Speed: 38 mph

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