Traffic-related changes on Stardust Drive will be up for consideration tonight when the City Council meets in Hannibal City Hall.
The recommendations come to the Council from last week’s meeting of the Traffic Committee, which approved the installation of three “speed tables” between Veterans Road and Munger Lane, and boosting the speed limit from 25 to 30 mph.
On Feb. 5, the Council tabled a proposal that would have seen flat-topped speed humps installed between Veterans Road and Clover Road, Head Lane and Rosewood Drive, and Munger Lane and Rosewood Drive. The same hillside sites are being proposed again.
The proposal to hike the speed limit comes after the results were reviewed of a traffic study conducted by police. The study revealed that on the downhill slope between Veterans and Clover, 25.3 percent of motorists exceeded the speed limit by 5 mph or more. Overall, 63 percent of drivers on that downhill slope went over the speed limit.
Between Head Lane and Munger Lane, it was determined that 17.4 percent of westbound motorists (from Munger toward Head) exceed the posted speed limit by at least 5 mph. Overall, 41 percent exceed the speed limit altogether. For eastbound motorists (from Head toward Munger), 20.8 percent of drivers exceed the posted limit by 5 mph, and 29.3 percent exceed the speed limit altogether.
“While a traffic calming plan is certainly justified on this road, one could argue the current 25 mph speed limit is akin to ‘fighting physics,’” wrote City Manager Jeff LaGarce in a memo to the Council. “Antidotally, motorists must ride their brakes for nearly two-thirds of Stardust Drive just to maintain the 25 mph speed limit.”
Citing the traffic study, LaGarce contends that boosting the speed limit to 30 mph will significantly reduce the percentage of motorists going over the speed limit.
“By installing traffic calming tables, in conjunction with a more ‘natural’ speed limit, motorists can drive an appropriate speed, but are precluded from dangerous speeds by speed tables. This may be a win-win,” wrote LaGarce, noting that resident sentiment in that area is mixed to boosting the speed limit.
The Traffic Committee’s recommendation was not unanimous. The proposal was approved on a vote of 4-2. Opposing the measure were Street Superintendent Leon Wallace, who wanted to see the impact of the raised speed limit before installing the speed tables, and City Engineer Mark Rees, who does not feel it’s appropriate to install speed tables on a collector route.