SEA CLIFF VILLAGE PILOTS RADAR SPEED DISPLAYS; COULD LEAD TO FEWER STOP
September 13 -- According to data collected by the Village, Sea Cliff
drivers are applying the brakes a bit more frequently - that is, if they've driven past one of the four speed display signs installed around town last month. The signs are an effort by Village Hall to make the streets a bit safer - especially, according to Mayor Bruce Kennedy, for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Responding to frequent complaints about cars tearing through village streets, at what observers have characterized as excessive rates of speed, the Mayor researched various approaches to address the issue.
With a $20,000 grant through the Nassau County Revitalization Program, the Village purchased from the company All Traffic Solutions four radar speed signs that are equipped with “cloud technology.” The All Traffic Solutions computer program enables the village to monitor traffic and collect data regarding volume, average and actual vehicle speeds at any time of the day or week, and access that information via the internet. With that data in hand, if a pattern is identified, the village could then, according to Kennedy, justify to Nassau County Police a need for having a patrol car at a particular place at a particular time.
“The focus of our program,” he explained, “is simply to identify problem areas with
real time empirical data that can be shared with NCPD in order to step up enforcement efforts.”
In addition, the signs measure changes in speed as a vehicle passes through the radar zone, thus allowing the village to collect data on the sign’s “effectiveness” – that is, the extent to which notifying a driver of his speed actually causes him to slow down. The Mayor reported that the signs have been about 75% effective.
Currently one sign each has been installed on Laurel and Prospect Avenues, and two on Downing. At this past Monday’s Village Board meeting, the Mayor demonstrated the computer program to the audience, bringing up data at the four locations. Surprisingly, in the time intervals displayed on the screen, average speeds were only 3-5 miles per hour above the speed limit. The Mayor reported however, that speeds as high as 60 miles per hour have been clocked on both Downing and Prospect Avenues. (The Village Speed limit is 30 mph.) The signs are transportable, and their locations will be changed in order to collect data throughout the village and get a clearer picture of trouble spots.
In an interview with Northwordnews, Mr. Kennedy stated that he believed speed display signs were a better way of addressing speeding than installing more stop signs, which he contended, can have many negative consequences when used for that particular purpose.
Frustrated drivers often find themselves rolling through signs or resorting to jack rabbit starts and short stops, as they make their way down a stop sign riddled street, posing a threat to others. In addition, there is the increased air pollution and use of fuel, as well as noise, and wear and tear on a vehicle. Perhaps, the Mayor speculated, if the speed displays prove effective, the number of stop signs throughout the village that have been installed for speed control, could be reduced a bit.