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City continues talk on speed mitigation

By Grace Lovins

Birmingham city commissioners revisited discussions on speed mitigation brought up during the Monday, February 12, meeting, directing city staff to come back with reports on increasing current mitigation efforts.

During the previous meeting on Monday, February 5, Birmingham police chief Scott Grewe gave a presentation to commissioners about the department’s current initiatives for mitigating speed issues. Grewe explained that the Birmingham Police Department is highly active when it comes to traffic enforcement, noting they are the leading municipality in the 48th District Court for traffic tickets despite being only the third largest municipality.

Birmingham also employs speedboards to help mitigate speeding in residential areas on top of working with traffic consultants and the multi-modal transportation board to help with speed mitigation in street designs.

At the last meeting, commissioner Clinton Baller took issue with the fact that the city itself does not currently have a set of standards and criteria for the placement of speedboards. He offered that the city should look at two things: speedboards and speedboard placement, and enforcement.

Typically, speedboards will be placed in certain areas if the city receives complaints about speeding, Grewe mentioned on February 5, but Baller said he believes residents shouldn’t have to complain to place more of the boards. He noted his specific concern is residential streets and streets that get a lot of cut through traffic.

Commissioner Brad Host questioned if the department could place more speedboards around town. Currently, the city has six permanent speedboards and a handful of temporary speedboards. According to Grewe, the cost of a permanent speedboard can range from $8,000 to $10,000, which has been budgeted by the department to maintain the speedboards they currently have.

The commission voted 7-0 to task city staff with gathering more information for the board about placement, quantity and cost of speedboards, a report detailing what enhanced traffic enforcement would look like and engage with the city’s communications director to help communicate to drivers they should be going the speed limit.


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