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When citizens feel that the traffic on their residential road is getting too dangerous, they can petition the city to complete a traffic study on that street. The study will determine if a “traffic calming device" (i.e. speed bumps, road striping, islands, etc.) should be installed. This is primarily a citizen-driven process. To get approval for the study, 30% of neighbors in the affected area must agree to it. In order to install a traffic calming device, 65% of neighbors must approve of the plan before Council ultimately votes on it. The necessary signatures for this process are not collected by the city - residents do the work of organizing. Then, once a device is installed, the people within the “affected area” are assessed a $25 Traffic Calming Fee in perpetuity.
Approximately $5000 per year is gathered from this tax. It does not come close to covering the cost of installing and maintaining these traffic devices. The money to maintain our streets is set aside in the budget every year, and revenues from this fee do not impact our ability to do the work needed. In light of that, I think we can consider removing this tax altogether. I was excited to discuss this idea in Council, as this was the first agenda item that I’ve ever sponsored! (Ta-da!) In the meeting, I explained why I think the tax is not beneficial, and seems to merely nickel-and-dime our citizens. Others said that the fee is a gesture of real "skin in the game" from the community.
The video above is a recording of the June 10 meeting. If you’d like to hear the discussion about the Traffic Calming Fee, skip to the 1:11:00 (one hour, eleven minutes) mark of the video. I’d love to know what you think.