By Dom Nozzi
We need to have the City of Greenville deliver a “Neighborhood Slow Zone” sign to our Greenville home in our north Main Street neighborhood due to excessive car speeds.
While such signs will do little, if anything, to slow cars on our street, it does perhaps send a visible message to neighbors and others in the city that we need slower speed street design.
For the record, when the City is in a position to engage in the much-needed re-design of Croft Street from Rutherford Street to Wilton Street to obligate motorists to drive at slower, more attentive speeds (i.e., speeds that are compatible with safety for children, seniors, the handicapped, and bicyclists), that design must include horizontal interventions, not vertical interventions.
Desirable horizontal interventions include:
*Landscaped bulb-outs forming pockets for on-street parking
*Painted on-street striping for on-street parking
*Abundant planting of large canopy trees abutting the street curb
*Human-scaled (rather than excessively tall highway-scaled) black wrought iron and historically designed street lighting that is no taller than 14 feet
Undesirable (vertical) interventions include:
*Speed humps – humps are exceptionally undesirable for a number of reasons: They create noise pollution, they can damage cars (even those driving at low speeds), they are extremely undesirable for bicyclists, and they are extremely detrimental to public safety because of their exceptionally negative impact on emergency vehicle response.
Note: Ideally, for safety, reduction in noise pollution, and property values, the section of Croft Street I identify above should be designed to be narrow enough to create “give-way” street dimensions. In other words, dimensions that obligate motorists in opposing directions to give way when a motor vehicle approaches from the opposite direction.
I lived on a give-way street in Gainesville Florida and can therefore understand why traffic engineering studies show that give-way streets are extremely safe, walkable, and considered to be such a desirable street that the most wealthy families in my city ended up living on that street.