Speed mitigation efforts reviewed by commission
By Grace Lovins
Birmingham Police Chief Scott Grewe talked about the city’s current speed mitigation efforts during the city commission meeting on Monday, February 5, with a report that led commissioners to bring the item back for further discussion.
The focus on Birmingham’s speed mitigation came after commissioner Clinton Baller asked city staff to bring the board information on what the city is currently doing to reduce speeding. In Grewe’s report included in the meeting packet, the chief addressed the department’s current use of speed boards, speed humps, grant funding, enforcement and speed mitigation design to help alleviate the issue.
The department is involved with traffic study reports, said Grewe, so the department can keep count on the traffic of areas throughout the city. Currently, the city has six permanent speed boards around town and four temporary speed boards placed where they’re needed. Grewe’s report stated that the temporary speed boards were placed in 22 different locations in 2023, ranging from two weeks to two months.
Commissioners have previously discussed the option of adding speed humps or speed bumps throughout the city, however, Birmingham has been found to not meet the generally accepted standards that show a need for them.
According to Grewe, police along with the city’s multi-modal transportation board (MMTB) and traffic consultants looked at the possibility of adding speed bumps throughout the city by reviewing the policies of other municipalities. He said that streets where the 85th percentile of speeds is over 10 mph above the speed limit are where it is common practice to implement the bumps.
Birmingham does not have any streets that match the requirements laid out in other municipalities’ policies and the 85th percentile measurement, said Grewe. The MMTB also determined that Birmingham doesn’t have any streets that would qualify for speed bumps.
Police officers are also very active in enforcement, said Grewe. Of all the municipalities that feed into the 48th District Court, Birmingham is the third largest but, according to Grewe, outranked all of them in terms of traffic enforcement.
After Grewe’s presentation, Baller asked the commission if they were satisfied with the status quo or if they wanted to give any direction to city staff. It being almost midnight, commissioner Anthony Long suggested that the board bring speed mitigation to another meeting as a formal agenda item for further discussion and decision-making.
Commissioners voted 7-0 to do just that. Speed mitigation will make a return to the city commission’s table during a future meeting.