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O’Fallon approves updates to their ‘traffic calming’ policy

At its May 28 meeting, the O’Fallon City Council approved Bill No. 7188 by a vote of 10-0. Sponsored by council members Mike Pheney [Ward 5] and Nathan Bibb [Ward 3], the bill revises protocols for traffic calming in subdivisions.

Traffic calming measures to slow down vehicles in a subdivision can include such things as “speed bumps,” roadway dips, narrowing of lanes and radar-enabled speed signs. These latest changes, recommended by city staff and the Public Works Advisory Committee and based on input from residents, now update processes and protocols established in 2008 and last modified in 2018.

Changes include:

  • The percentage of residents required in a subdivision to petition for a traffic condition study has been raised from 10% to 15%.
  • Instead of conducting a subdivision-wide town hall meeting immediately after a petition is received, city staff will mail a “traffic calming pamphlet” to residents who signed the petition, providing an overview of the process and setting expectations about what is required to proceed.
  • Speed studies in response to the petition currently were being done at any time during all 12 months of a year. Instead, the period of Dec. 15 through March 15 will be excluded, due to traffic patterns not being viewed as normal during that period.
  • For conditions severe enough to warrant traffic calming, a speed study must demonstrate that the average speed on the roadway is greater than 25 MPH and [instead of or] the traffic volume must exceed 600 average daily trips [ADT].  If either of those criteria [instead of just one] is not met, the roadway will not qualify for traffic calming.
  • An added exception: If the average speed exceeds the speed limit by 10% or greater, the ADT requirement will not apply.
  • Staff will prepare a preliminary design for traffic calming based on the eligibility criteria score and traffic study results, instead of based on general agreement regarding the problems and strategies.
  • If traffic calming measures are necessary based on the traffic study, a member of the city engineering staff will schedule and attend a neighborhood meeting to showcase an initial traffic calming design and attempt to reach a consensus for the preferred traffic calming measures, based on input from residents attending the meeting.  That is instead of Community Development, the Fire Department and Police Department attending the neighborhood meeting.

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  • If the proposed traffic calming measure fails based on minimum eligibility criteria, residents can apply to have radar-enabled speed signs installed as a new option. A form signed by 15% or more separate households in a subdivision must be submitted to the engineering department. The city then will send a mail-back survey form to all affected residential dwelling units in the subdivision. Any support response of less than 65% of the households will be considered by the council as no action required.
  • Radar-enabled speed signs will be installed on city poles per city standards. The residents or HOA will be responsible for the initial cost and long-term maintenance of those signs and must enter into a license agreement with the city.  The costs must be paid up-front.  Radar signs will not be installed without a prior TC evaluation failure.
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