It appears that neighborhoods in Greensboro are going to start seeing speed bumps, speed humps, chicanes, intersection roundabouts and other “traffic calming” devices being installed.
At least the consensus on the City Council at the Thursday, Aug. 24 work session appeared to be in favor of taking action to slow traffic through neighborhoods by using traffic calming devices.
At the work session, Greensboro Department of Transportation (GDOT) Director Hanna Cockburn gave a presentation on ways to reduce traffic accidents and slow traffic in Greensboro. Cockburn said that the cost of implementing the program recommended by GDOT with input from the Greensboro Police Department and the Greensboro Fire Department would cost $1.7 million a year.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan said, “I’m happy we are finally talking about speed bumps, humps, cushions or whatever you want to call them because for years we’ve been told that we can’t do them and obviously we can and I think we need to look at where we can deploy them. While they are difficult decisions I would certainly support delaying some projects, but not street resurfacing.”
Cockburn also talked about implementing a redlight camera program.
Councilmember Yvonne Johnson said, “The redlight camera program, didn’t we have that at one time and didn’t we have to give the money to the department of education? Did anything change?
Cockburn said, “Nope.”
Councilmember Sharon Hightower said, “Yea, but I’m all for the redlight camera program anyway. It doesn’t matter to me at this point if we have to give the schools the money.”
The issue that cities in North Carolina have had with red light camera programs, is that they are expensive to operate. The fines would cover the cost of the operation of the program, but according to the North Carolina State Constitution, fines and penalties collected by local governments must be awarded to the public schools.
High Point tried to get around the state constitution by making running a red light a civil not a criminal offence and the courts ruled that the fines collected still had to go to the schools.
According to Vaughan, Greensboro is still exploring a way to implement red light cameras that “would not run afoul of the state constitution.”