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Street known for speeding gets started on safety improvements

A Columbia neighborhood ranked second-highest in the city for traffic safety concerns is on its way to getting some safety improvements.

College Park Drive from Rollins Road to Stadium Boulevard has been flagged by the city as a neighborhood in need of a traffic intervention.

Residents and city staff met Wednesday night to discuss ways to calm the traffic.

Larry Scruggs has a resident of the neighborhood for nearly 25 years. He said in the time that he’s lived there, the amount of students walking to the two schools on the street has increased, and so has the traffic speeding by them.

“The traffic has just gotten faster and faster,” Scruggs said.

So ABC 17 News tested it out. College Park Drive is typically a 25 mile-per-hour road, except during school hours in the school zone, when the speed limit is 20 mph.

ABC 17 crews went to the street around 3:15, which would be during the 20 mph speed limit, and used a radar gun to test drivers’ speed. Crews found drivers going 32 mph, 30 mph, 25 mph. The average speed of the drivers was 27 mph.

And the city staff found drivers going even faster.

Traffic Engineer Lee White said his crews clocked drivers speeding at 40 mph every time they went.

“There’s a lot of traffic for a neighborhood collector street and the speed of cars are higher than the speed limit,” White said.

Those two factors, plus schools nearby, proximity to pedestrian areas like parks, collisions, and bicycle routes all played a role in how College Park Drive ranked second highest in the city’s priority to calm the traffic.

“Some people wanted speed humps, some wanted bump outs like a median. We’ll take their opinions into account and bring our recommendations February 24,” White said.

The residents will vote on which idea they like best Feb. 24. Whatever method is chosen will be funded by the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program.

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