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Slowing down motorists could cost Hampton residents

| Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Neighborhood requests for all new signs and devices to control speeders, such as speed bumps, now carry a price in Hampton Township.

A recently amended township resolution requires residents — not the township — to foot the bill for traffic studies the township requires to determine the need for such signs and devices.

“We get a lot of requests for reducing the posted speed limits,” said Susan Bernet, assistant township manager. “A lot of the speed limits are set by the state.”

Residents of Ridgway Drive, for example, recently asked the township to help slow motorists using Ridgway as a detour after the April 22 closing of Duncan Avenue at Route 8, Bernet said.

The residents want the township to post a new speed limit on Ridgway, but the residents first must decide whether to collectively pay $1,500 to $2,000 for a study by the township's traffic engineers to determine the need for such a sign, Bernet said.

Ridgway Drive's current, unposted speed limit is 35 miles per hour.

Bernet declined to share the names of residents who are requesting the reduced speed limit.

“They're asking that it be reduced to 25 mph,” she said.

The township previously paid for studies when residents requested signs or speed-control devices.

But it ended up losing money when the traffic studies showed no need to reduce a speed limit or post a new stop sign, Bernet said.

“Sometimes, it's deceiving on how fast people are going,” she said.

But traffic studies can document the volume and actual speed of traffic as vehicles pass over pairs of rubber tubes placed on a road that is being studied.

Each passing car triggers a pulse of air within each tube that a machine records to determine the car's speed, according a representative of Trans Associates Engineering of Robinson Township.

Trans Associates Engineering performs Hampton Township's traffic studies.

Last year, Hampton Council adopted a resolution that requires residents, homeowners associations or other petitioners to pay for such traffic studies after placing a written request for a new stop sign.

Last month, council members amended that resolution to include requests for all new speed-control devices, including, but not limited to, “no parking” signs and reduced speed limits.

Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or ddeasy@tribweb.com.

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