City purchasing traffic calming devices

Posted on October 9, 2015 by Mat Pellegrino

Gulf Breeze City Council approved the purchase of two traffic calming devices at their Monday City Council meeting that will aim to help cut down on speeding in cut through neighborhoods.
The council approved the purchase of two speed bumps totaling $3,170. One speed bump comes in two sections and can be bolted into the asphalt, and is mobile. The other speed bump is also mobile, but along with coming apart in sections, the speed bump rolls up, and can be conveniently transported to different areas as needed by any agency.
The request for the traffic calming tools came from the Traffic Calming Taskforce committee. The committee will be responsible for choosing where the mobile speed bumps will be placed. For right now, Carver said he believes the taskforce is eyeing Soundview Trail and Andrew Jackson Trail, both popular cut throughs.
“The perception about Soundview is people are getting off at 399 and cutting through Soundview to avoid 98. Andrew Jackson seems to be the cut through from the Publix over to the Andrews Institute,” said Deputy City Manager Curt Carver.
Once the Traffic Calming Taskforce approves a deployment site, the speed bumps will be anchored into the pavement. From there testing will be done to determine whether the traffic calming pieces are doing their job.
“There will be a follow-up to determine whether or not it’s an effective tool and we can decide whether we want to purchase more then,” Carver said. “They will be placed in an area where they already have data collected on the traffic patterns…when they are put into place, we will collect more data.”
Last year, a motorist took out a brick mailbox on Soundview Trail. Neighbors complained to the city about the incident, specifically because another mailbox on that street had been hit years before that incident.
Nathan Ford, the Assistant to the City Manager said one of the speed bumps the city purchased is actually one that the Gulf Island National Seashore utilizes.
“They use them on the beach for the shorebird sections in the National Seashore. I was asking one of the rangers “How bad does it tear up asphalt when you pull them up?’ They have to redirect them all the time because the shorebirds migrate. They said they just create a little hole,” Ford said.
The city has thought about putting in permanent asphalt speed bumps before, but the cost was too high for something permanent.
“It costs $4,800 to put in a speed table. And that’s permanent,” Ford said. “If you want to take it out, that costs more. For us to try this (temporary speed bumps) in a number of different areas…if it works, it can be a good thing,” Ford said.