Archive for Thursday, April 13, 2006

Neighbors may get radar gun to track speeders

April 13, 2006

Concerned residents may soon have a new weapon to combat neighborhood speeding - a radar gun.

Of the ideas voiced at Tuesday night's Town Hall meeting, city officials embraced most warmly the idea of enabling neighborhood groups to monitor their own streets with the help of a radar gun, which the Police Department would train residents to use.

City officials and residents hope the measures will "calm" traffic through the neighborhoods, slowing speeders.

According to the plan voiced Tuesday, neighborhood residents would submit license numbers of speeding cars to the police, who agreed to issue a letter to the registered owner of a speeding vehicle for the first offense, and pay house calls for the second.

The effort is in response to demands by residents who have complained that drivers try to short cut through the neighborhoods at high speeds, causing danger for local children and the potential for accidents.

Police Chief Steve Wayman said he understood concerns, but that the Police Department simply did not have the resources to post cars in every neighborhood. Though he acknowledged that paying house calls could take away from patrolling time, the plan would allow for more flexibility. Wayman also reported that Lansing police wrote 4,800 traffic citations in 2005, but that speeding still remained a problem.

The city was lukewarm toward other ideas such as installing speed bumps along the streets, which would create liability for the city and might simply divert the speeding traffic to other streets, but agreed to research the possibility of "speed humps," which are similar to speed bumps but wider and with a gentler slope.

Residents' concerns have risen as the Main Street System Enhancement project looms on the horizon, promising prolonged traffic congestion along Main Street, potentially diverting a large volume of vehicles through smaller neighborhood streets.


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