After receiving complaints of speeding cars on Sun City Summerlin streets, Las Vegas City Councilman Stavros Anthony held a town hall meeting June 15 to find a long-term solution to curb speeding on the downhill streets.
“I could send a couple of officers over there and write a bunch of tickets, and that will tick off a lot of people, but there are other things we can do,” Anthony, a former captain of traffic for the Metropolitan Police Department, told about 50 attendees at Mountain Shadows Community Center, 9107 Del Webb Blvd.
It was decided that two speed feedback signs, which flash a driver’s mph, would be placed in Sun City. An installation date has not been set.
Flashing signs are planned along Button Willow and Villa Ridge drives and will be affixed to light posts. Each sign costs about $5,000 and will be purchased by Sun City.
The city studied the problem using discreet sensors to track average speeds. Data show that on Villa Ridge, a street with a posted speed limit of 25 mph, 15 percent of eastbound vehicles were going 55 mph or faster. Just under half were traveling 30 mph or slower.
“But there’s no cut-through traffic, so it’s the residents, you guys, who are speeding,” said Gena Kendall, a city traffic engineer. “It’s not shocking to see this, but how do we slow down people who feel comfortable enough to go that speed?”
The study showed that Villa Ridge, near Highland Falls Drive, averaged 300 vehicles per day. Farther east, it was 550 vehicles.
The decision to install the speed-reader signs comes after three speed cushions were installed at strategic points on Button Willow on May 2 for a 30-day trial. Residents were asked to give input.
“We didn’t take any data off of them because we placed them close to a stop sign (on purpose), so they didn’t surprise anyone,” Kendall said.
Similar to speed bumps, the cushions are made of recycled rubber to provide less of a jolt when a vehicle rolls over them. Speed cushions are installed in pairs with a break in between, allowing emergency vehicles to straddle them unimpeded.
Sun City board members said they complaints about the speed cushions. Anthony said feedback to his office had also been overwhelmingly against them.
“I’ve heard they’re not real friendly to golf carts and cause them to tip over,” he said.
He noted that some drivers will go on the curb to avoid the speed cushions. Anthony said the decision of whether to install them rested with him.
Before the meeting , homeowners weighed in on the speed cushions.
Susie Scott, who is 92 and uses a walker, said they were a necessary evil. She didn’t want one in front of her house but said she’d put up with it if it helps. She has to back out of her driveway on Villa Ridge and is afraid of being hit.
“Most all of them are doing 40 (mph),” she said of drivers in the area.
Carl Thompson, 59, said he’s also seen excessive speeding on residential streets.
“Villa Ridge and Sun Gold, they’re neighborhood collectors,” he said. “Other streets, like Sun City Boulevard and Del Webb, are designed for (faster speeds). They’ve got multiple lanes.”
Roger Reid, 79, said there was no reason to install the cushions.
“There are no problems, no speeding, no accidents, no reason to put impediments in the pavement,” he said. “They’re a distraction. Bump, bump — who needs it?”
Las Vegas said more than 70 percent of calls and emails were against the city installing them. Residents suggested other options, such as increasing police presence to stop speeders or posting stop signs, which Kendall said were inappropriate and sometimes ignored in neighborhood settings.
The flashing speed indicators were seen as the best option. Anthony said if residents thought more were needed, he’d look into it. Anthony’s office can be reached at 702-229-6405.
Contact Jan Hogan at email@example.com or 702-387-2949.
The yearly economic cost of crashes due to speeding is estimated at $40.4 billion. Speeding was cited as a contributing factor in 30 percent of all fatal crashes in 2012, with 10,219 people killed.
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration