The Marietta City Council’s initiative on speed tables aims to slow speeding traffic on neighborhood streets and divert motorists to other areas. It may seem like a good idea up front, but in the final analysis these devices do not solve the problem, they only transfer it to other streets. Many new problems are created by the speed tables.
In my neighborhood, certain residents will benefit from the speed tables noise-free and not be disturbed, while others like myself living near an installation site will have to endure increased noise levels, listen to gear and brake noises and rattles, and the louder impact when someone hits it without braking. I am very unhappy to have a speed table slated for the front of my home in west Cobb.
Of special concern is the delayed emergency response times for fire trucks, ambulances and police calls. This poses a greater threat to the public at large than speeding vehicles. Only a matter of seconds could make the difference in saving a life.
Property devaluation is another concern for homeowners who will have speed tables imposed near their property. The devices could create a loss of negotiating power when selling the home. Many buyers may consider the devices a liability. Due to high volume braking and acceleration at each site, there could be potentially dangerous health, clean air and environmental issues.
In addition to being noise-makers, the speed tables are eyesores as well. Formerly aesthetic streets lose on appearance due to the unsightly look of the tables. It should be noted that trailers and vehicles carrying mulch, straw and soil could drop it into the street when crossing the tables.
And last but certainly not least, it goes without saying that those of us traveling our neighborhood streets will now have more expenses on tires and possibly other auto repairs.
I urge the Marietta Council to take another look at this solution to speeding traffic. I applaud the initiative to slow traffic, but there should be better ways. For example, isolated speed tables only at high-speed or dangerous locations, better use of radar scanning devices, police patrol at peak speeding intervals, and many other more innovative solutions which do not create higher noise levels, clean air issues or loss of property values for private citizens.