To slow traffic on residential streets, Palm Coast council debates adding speed bumps

A speed study that covered over 40 streets, including Florida Park Drive, showed multiple streets qualified for a speed limit reduction, but it would cost $1.6 million to do.

Florida Park Drive file photo
Florida Park Drive file photo
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Palm Coast's City Council is considering installing speed humps to help slow traffic on some residential streets.

A speed study, conducted by firm Kimley-Horn, on Palm Coast's residential streets — including Florida Park and Cimmaron Drive — analyzed speed data from 109 locations. Of the neighborhoods analyzed, 17 of 48 Palm Coast neighborhoods met conditions to reduce the speed limit, Kimley-Horn's Manny Rodriguez said. 

The problem is it would cost the city $1.6 million to lower those speed limits. And, Rodriguez said at the June 11 council meeting, it might not make much of an impact. 

Residential speed limits in Palm Coast are set to 30 mph. On average, people are driving within the a 10 mph range on those roads. 

 If the city decided to change the speed limits on residential roads, it would be required to change it on all residential roads. Council member Theresa Carli Pontieri said it did not seem like a lot of change would come from installing 25 mph speed limits for such a hefty price.

"There's a balance to strike," she said. "When I'm looking at a cost to lower speed limits, of ... $1.6 million as a rough estimate, I can't justify that to my residents. I can't do it, especially with all of the other expenses that we have."

Alternatively, Rodriguez said, the city can install traffic calming methods, like speed bumps, instead. It is also more cost effective, Pontieri said, pointing out that in a previous presentation staff estimated installing one speed bump cost only around $7,500. 

Vice Mayor Ed Danko, attending the meeting virtually, asked Fire Chief Kyle Berryhill what he thought about installing speed bumps. 

Berryhill said that any method that calms traffic for residents, will also slow down first responders. The council 

"You [the council] have to make the tough decisions about how you balance that," Berryhill said.

Addressing traffic concerns in Palm Coast is one of the city's priority items, and all of the council agreed that the data from the speed study will be useful in creating and eventually implementing a city-wide traffic calming plan. 

Council member Nick Klufas recommended the city try a pilot program of traffic calming measures to get more accurate data about how traffic calming measures  will actually impact traffic. Klufas said residents should have the opportunity to weigh in on what all the ramifications of traffic calming methods would be.

"I think we give our citizens an option and education about how [these methods] will reduce speed, but will also increase pollutant generation and things like this, and we let them make the decision for themselves, live with the outcome," Klufas said. 


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