Slowing Down Drivers in Broken Arrow

Tuesday, July 27th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The City of Tulsa is looking into a plan to slow down drivers in neighborhoods. But officials are not sure how effective a program would really be. The News on Six found out that the city of Broken Arrow has had a traffic plan in effect for two years.

Speed humps are found in many Broken Arrow neighborhoods. They're supposed to force drivers to slow down and obey the speed limit. The city says when residents have a problem with people barreling through their neighborhood at high speeds, they first place signs along the streets and increase police patrol. If that doesn't work, they place speed humps or traffic circles around. "We really like the speed bumps. It's nice because you don't have traffic flying down the streets. With little children you really become aware of that situation," said Suzanne Lair, neighborhood resident.

Residents who live near the traffic circle say things haven't changed much. "Even after it was put in, it was just like they did not realize what they're supposed to do. And it's such a simple thing. It tells you exactly what you need to do," said Jackie Lynn.

Lynn says most people don't yield at the circle at all. The director of Broken Arrow's public works says studies show both methods work the same and they're effective. But speed humps are used the most. "For a traffic circle you have to have a four-way intersection, whereas with the speed hump you can put it on a straight stretch of road," said David Wooden, Public Works Director.

Speed humps are four inches high and 20-feet long. Wooden says the traffic calming methods cost the city a little bit of money, but it's worth it. "Each speed hump we put in cost the city about $500 dollars. But, by the same token, how do you measure safety?," he said.

The traffic circles cost about $700 including the signs. Wooden says it may sound like a lot of money, but the new methods have drivers averaging 27 miles per hour. That is only two miles an hour over the speed limit. If you live in Broken Arrow and have a problem with drivers speeding through your neighborhood, call the public works department.