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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Road Calming or Lynchburg Calming that is the Question?

When I woke up this morning, I was surprised to see such a large response to MOM's post. Needless to say we are pleased. Our plan is to make this site as interactive as possible.

There is a move on in Lynchburg for road calming. The city council seems to be behind this and have plans for some roads that they consider would be appropriate for this measure. I have been looking at the pros and cons of this issue. And there are both, advantages and disadvantages. Roanoke has done this an there was an article about what has happened after looking at the results after a year. You can find a news article here.

There are also different approaches, some are more expensive than others, and some are more aesthic pleasing than others. A good site to look at for the results others have experienced can be found here. The site I found interesting with many pictures of how road calming was done.

And not to be without the opposing views to road calming, is this site. There seems to be just many sides of this issue than originally meets the eye.

Now, what would be appropriate for Lynchburg, you decide. As can be seen from MOM's post, the comments have been swift and intense, and I have drifted into a calming mode.


At 11:57 AM, Anonymous Aaron Mahler said...

This is an interesting debate to explore and I thank you for bringing it up... I'd have totally missed it otherwise.

I can see both sides of the debate pretty well just glancing at the examples you provided.

For example, I'm curious about the hard numbers of potential reductions in accidents that might be possible through calming vs. the argument that calming increases times for emergency response. That seems to be one of the more apples to apples aspects of the debate... then again, maybe not. :)

I'd like to examine it more, but my gut feeling tends toward supporting the road calming. That's truly an opinion-based response at this juncture. I'd like to hear people who have an opposite opinion... the arguments might well be persuasive.

At 12:17 PM, Blogger B O B said...

Thanks for the comment Aaron. Is it not remarkable how an issue such as this can lead to such diverse opinions? Like you I agree it deserves futher exploration. I am not sure which side of the issue I am on, but I am keeping an open mind. Lynchburg does have at least one example of road calming it can be found near the waste water plant. It does cause people to slow down. At least I do.

At 12:23 PM, Blogger Melissa O. Markham said...


You did a good job presenting links. I have personal experience with 'road calming'. I live in a private subdivision and they voted that we needed speed bumps. I have to tell you I went kicking and screaming on that one. They are hard on autos for one thing (even if you do slow down). You can get increased erosion problems on the sides of the speed bumps where water can pool, also the extra force in these areas to ease over leads to quicker degradation.

There is concern about response times of emergency vehicles (which I see the Roanoke article didn't say how that was affected. I live a mile off the main road. I am hoping the fire trucks don't slow down for the 4 speed bumps between the main road and my house.

And finally there is the fact that the people who were speeding before are still speeding now. UPS, FedEX, the mail lady. They have places to go and packages to deliver and often are concerned about the vehicle they are driving as it isn't their own. So they still drive just as fast.

Having said that there are different techniques for road calming. Such as broader speed bumps (as opposed to the ones in some local parking lots) these slow people down, but not emergency vehicles. The picture at one link Bob showed us has curved walls in the street...that looks like it is kind of scary! But I can see how it would work for cars, just not sure about emergency vehicle response time.

It is definitely something to look at closely.

At 12:52 PM, Blogger B O B said...

Thanks for the comment Mom. Perhaps a secretive objective I had when posting this, was my desire to have the city, start exploring all the possibilities themselves. I have noticed a large reliance on calling in consultants, when the information they seek is really out there for the picking.

Our tax dollars in Lynchburg would be much better spent, if the city would develop an effort of doing their own research. Not only would this lead to a broader range of ideas, it would promote fiscal responsibility.

This could be compared to like gnu open source programing, with the efforts of many you can derive the best.

I did peek at Aaron's profile on Documenting Democracy, so the comparison to gnu concept would not be foreign to him. And I like him use gnu programing a lot.

Thanks again for the comments.


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