Pedestrian safety is becoming a larger issue in our communities. People are walking more. They are moving to urban neighborhoods and adding steps to improve their health. And of course, children will always be playing near the street. This all increases the importance of managing the speed of vehicles.
There is much that we can do to improve the safety of our communities. We do not need to rely only on the police for enforcement. Our community can organize to play an important role in managing traffic safety.
Community organizations and Home Owners Associations can develop and offer education for our citizens. This would be from the perspective of the walking or cycling pedestrian, as well as, the driver of the automobile.
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center offers tips and educational resources that can be shared with the community. For instance in their post Safety Tips for Pedestrians, they offer specific details on:
- Be Safe and Be Seen: Make yourself visible to drivers
- Be Smart and Alert: Avoid dangerous behaviors
- Be Careful at Crossings: Look before you step
Home Owner’s Association
A road may be owned and maintained by the Home Owners’ Association. It will be the responsibility of the HOA to control the speed of the motorists.
Many communities that manage private roads prefer to keep the speed limit at 20 miles per hour or less. A vehicle traveling at a speed greater than 15 or 20 MPH can prove to be a hazard to the residents of the community.
As we have discussed in a previous post, private roads can post a speed limit by installing speed limit signs. Enforcing the speed limit can become quite challenging, however. Some Home owners’ Associations will attempt to charge the resident member a fine for their violation or a guest of the resident that violated the speed limit.
Another recourse the Home Owners’ Association has is to install speed bumps. A speed bump’s purpose is to reduce vehicle speeds by providing a low-level obstacle.
There are regulations regarding placement and installation of the speed bumps. These regulations differ, so the municipality and other governing bodies of the community must be contacted by the Home Owners’ Association to ensure compliance is adhered.
Private communities can consider alternatives, such as speed bumps and citizen education, as a deterrent to drivers exceeding safe speed levels for areas with active pedestrians and cyclists.