Ferndale Residents Push for Traffic Calming Measures to Reduce Traffic Accidents
Some Ferndale, WA residents believe that speeding and distracted driving through neighborhoods is causing an increase in traffic accidents that should be fixed with traffic calming measures. Ideas to reduce speed on the roads include installing speed bumps, more police patrols, and contacting the mayor.
Other cities in Washington State have traffic safety programs in place to reduce traffic accidents. Programs include funding for city officials to help residents respond to traffic issues caused by poor driving choices such as speeding and cutting-through neighborhoods. Residents are able to:
- Start a petition and request a review of their neighborhood. One option – which has recently been employed in Ferndale – is to setup a speed awareness trailer that collects data about the amount of traffic coming through and at what speeds. It also shows drivers their speed in an effort to increase awareness. The trailer collects unbiased data over a long-period of time which is useful in identifying whether a problem exists that needs fixing.
- City officials are mobilized to increase education and/or enforcement if the review finds evidence of traffic safety issues.
- Traffic calming measures include installing speed bumps, speed tables, medians and signage. Capital projects to modify infrastructure or remove objects that block driver’s views are additional steps that can be taken to increase road safety. Note that Ferndale recently put a speed table on Washington Street.
City of Ferndale Community Development Director Jori Burnett advises Ferndale residents to call 911 if they are concerned about traffic in their neighborhood because “this will establish a report for the City to track dates, times, trends, suspect descriptions (if they are available), and more.” Burnett said in an email that the City takes these reports very seriously.
Why do so many traffic accidents happen in neighborhoods?
People often associate the risk of car accidents with freeway driving or road trips where people are driving in unfamiliar areas. The reality is that about one third of car accidents happen within five miles of a driver’s home. Of these accidents the most common type is a driver hitting parked cars but other types of common neighborhood accidents include crashing onto side-roads or alley ways, and reversing into walls or fences.
The research shows that people enter their comfort zone as they approach their house and many drivers stop driving defensively and practicing safe driving behaviors.
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