“It’s like a big ski jump and they would come hauling down,” said neighborhood resident Frank Hasty.
That all changed with the installation of a sign placed squarely in the center of the road cautioning people to be aware of golf carts using the crossing.
The impact was almost immediate, Hasty said. “It really got people to slow down, and slows them down a lot.”
One of five that Willow Springs placed around the subdivision last fall, each of the $500 signs has more than paid for itself in terms of improving safety, Hasty said. “These are one of the best things we’ve ever done. They’re amazing, just as effective as speed humps and much less intrusive.”
Similar signs at crosswalks up and down Canton Street have proved their worth in slowing traffic. Roswell Transportation Director Steve Acenbrak and his staff came up with the idea of using the signs in Willow Springs after Hasty and his homeowners association asked for a way to mitigate speeding and its inherent dangers to golf cart drivers and pedestrians.
“We modified the information on the sign blade so that instead of saying ‘stop’ for a pedestrian crosswalk, there’s an icon of a golf cart saying ‘cart crossing,’” Acenbrak said.
Willow Springs also has a pair of flashing signs on its roads that detect and display a vehicle’s speed, which have been in place almost a decade. While they do get some speed limit compliance from drivers, the new signs do an even better job, Hasty said.
“We were just amazed at all the people who slowed down immediately. Our speed limit here is 25 mph, and since these signs went in we went from having a fair amount of people going over 35 mph to very few,” Hasty said.
Canton Street’s results are equally good, and that’s because the signs are more prominently placed in the road than speed signs off to the side, Acenbrak said. “Even if you’re driving distracted, you can’t help but notice a yellow sign in the middle of the road.”
The success of the signs has prompted the city to begin offering them to all subdivisions as part of an expanded traffic calming program that includes the flashing radar signs and rapid rectangular flashing speed beacons such as the one in use at Scott and Eves roads near Centennial High School.
Because these devices don’t physically alter the structure of the road, like speed humps do, there will be no requirement for a majority of residents to sign a petition asking for these calming devices, which often has proved burdensome for HOAs to achieve.
Representatives of HOAs interested in these new forms of speed mitigation may contact the Muhammed Rauf, city traffic engineer, at (770) 594-6525.