REDINGTON SHORES – After failing to control an ongoing speeding problem on one of the most traveled side streets, the Redington Shores Town Commission is turning to a speed-inhibiting device many residents oppose.
A commission majority at the March 29 town workshop agreed to try “speed tables,” which are similar to speed bumps but offer a softer ride-over with less jolt, to try to slow motorists on 175th Avenue East.
Speeding on the road has been an issue for years, said Mayor Bert Adams. Vice Mayor Tom Kapper added that the town has had complaints about speeding on the street for years.
The issue was addressed in 2013, when the speed limit was lowered from 30 miles per hour to 20. That did not solve the problem, Adams said. Issuing speeding tickets does not solve the problem either, Adams said, as the area cannot be patrolled 24 hours a day.
Kapper said the town should go ahead and install the speed tables. He has driven over them in North Redington Beach, Kapper said, and “they have a nice and smooth approach, but they slow you down.”
Commissioner Jeffrey Neal said 175th Avenue is used by 95 percent of the people in his district. While Neal said he personally feels the speed tables would probably solve the speeding problem, many in his district disagree with that solution.
“Of the people I’ve talked to, about 60 percent don’t want them and 40 percent do,” he said.
Adams said North Redington Beach encountered the same type of opposition before they put in the speed tables. But once they were in, “Everybody was happy with them,” Adams said.
Police Chief Terry Hughes said he believes the installation of speed tables on 175th Avenue is “a good idea.” Hughes cited a traffic study done of 20,000 motorists in the area. Most, about 65 percent or 17,500, drove within the speed limit. But the rest, about 3,100, had speeds ranging from 35 mph. to in excess of 60 mph.
Adams said “if installing the speed tables can slow somebody down and keep some kid from getting hurt, I’ll take the 60-40 percent ratio (of people opposed).”
Resident Jackie Shannon said the speed tables “penalize everybody because some people aren’t acting right.”
The town should first look at “solutions that penalize people who are doing the wrong stuff,” she said.
Resident Alan Johnson wanted to know if the installation of the speed tables on 175th Avenue would be just the beginning. Would other streets, or most streets in town, be coming next, he asked.
The mayor said he could not answer that question, “because we don’t know where the next problem will be that we need to solve.” But he mentioned other roads, including 180th and 182nd, that have speeding problems.
The idea of placing speed tables on 175th Avenue East will be voted on at the next regular town commission meeting on April 12. Passage appears likely as only one commission member – Neal – voiced any concerns.
Meeting times to be moved to 6 p.m.
The commission agreed to move up the time of its regular and workshop meetings from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. A resolution making that change will be voted on at the April 12 meeting. All commission members were in favor.
The earlier time had been discussed by the commission in the past, but then-Commissioner Lee Holmes had a conflict and the time was not changed.
Security cameras at town hall eyed
Commissioner Mary Beth Henderson said “the unrest in the country today” should cause the town to look at installing security cameras at the doors and front desk of town hall.
Also, the conditions at town hall, where cash and checks only are accepted for transactions, point out the need for a surveillance system, Henderson said.
She said an official of the town’s bank recently told her, “I can’t believe you don’t have video cameras.”
Kapper said the town should look into the cost of a video alarm system, and other commissioners agreed.
Commissioner Patrick Drumm suggested checking with the company that currently provides security alarms at town hall because “they could put in cameras for you.”
Henderson also said Verizon is offering “some really competitive prices.”