About 20 residents from the 400-household neighborhood descended on City Hall on Wednesday night to address the City Council’s public works committee.
Sandie Wilson of Idlewyld Drive came with 75 signatures on a petition. Residents on her street are among the 200 families not eligible to vote for or against six proposed speed tables on Lees Trace, which is the street commuters use to cut through the subdivision. Often these commuters are speeding on their way to and from work, trying to avoid traffic backups on Whitlock Avenue.
“We respectfully request the right to vote,” Wilson said about neighbors who don’t live on Lees Trace or its adjoining culs-de-sac. “This action will have an effect on our daily lives, and I feel I should be offered the opportunity to vote on this issue.”
Wilson did not say how she would vote, nor did homeowners’ association board member Walter Walker indicate a preference.
“We want everyone to vote, and we hope it will be a majority vote,” he said.
The main issue is safety, Walker said, quoting a city study in which speeders hit the 25-mph streets at up to 70 mph.
The council favored the inclusive approach but found itself tripping over its own ordinance, requiring a vote within two weeks of public meetings.
The clock started ticking for Lee’s Crossing on Jan. 22.
Mayor Steve Tumlin called a special meeting for today at noon to suspend the city ordinance.
“This is important,” he said. “We’re not going to hash out the ordinance. We’re just going to suspend it for two weeks.”
There were six wrecks on Lees Trace in 2012.
Not every vote results in the construction of speed tables, which are gradual lifts in the pavement meant to slow down motorists. Charles Avenue residents recently voted against traffic-calming measures.
Speed tables slow down traffic but, unlike speed bumps, don’t require a full stop.
Requests for speed tables have come from residents of 67 streets throughout the city.
At least 13 more streets are slated to have speed tables installed this year.
They include Evelyn Street and Hickory, Heathersett, Sugar Springs and Bellemeade drives, the last of which had nine car crashes last year.
Campbell Hill Street and East Park Boulevard have had speed tables for several years, city engineer Jim Wilgus said.
Another way to prevent speeding is to ramp up police activity, a practice succeeding in the Church-Cherokee historic neighborhood.
Lt. Steve Kish reported results from the Slow Down Marietta initiative spearheaded by public safety committee chair City Councilman Anthony Coleman.
During the initiative from Jan. 21 to 25, out of 517 tickets written citywide, officers wrote 79 on Cherokee Street and six on Church Street.
“Church Street was not an issue. Cherokee was very high. The officers were out there and identified a serious problem,” Kish said.
City Manager Bill Bruton said during the initiative there were no complaints about traffic cops.
He said the activity helped dispel a commonly held thought that police won’t ticket unless the speeder is going 15 mph over the limit, which Kish explained.
“We can write a citation at 11 miles or more over the speed limit or any amount over in a school district,” he said. “There aren’t any points assessed on your driver’s license unless it’s 14 or more miles over.”