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Traffic Calming Program receives some interest in first few months
traffic calming pic
Residents who are concerned about speeding in their neighborhoods, like those who live on Paseo Entrada near Pitman High, and want a speed bump installed, now have a process they can follow to get City approval for the traffic calming measure. - photo by Journal file photo

Responding to numerous requests to slow speeding drivers in neighborhoods across Turlock, the City Council adopted the city's first ever Traffic Calming Program in September. Since its adoption, nine residents have requested information about the new program, which provides a way for traffic calming measures like speed bumps to be installed on city streets at the expense of the requestor.  Seven of those requests came from residents in the north area of town and two in the southeast, according to Development Services Director and City Engineer Mike Pitcock, who gave an update on the program to the City Council earlier this month.

Despite the requests for information on traffic calming measures, no one has gone past the first step in the process, said Pitcock, which is getting approval from the Turlock Police Department's Traffic Safety Unit.

When the Traffic Safety Unit receives a Traffic Calming Request Form, a police officer will evaluate the request and may provide a short-term solution such as targeted enforcement of speed limits, temporarily setting up a radar speed trailer or sampling speed and volume data for the area.

If after a continuous, targeted enforcement period of at least 30 days the Traffic Safety Unit notes there is a persistent speeding problem, they will then forward the application to the City Engineering Division.

The costs start with a $400 application fee that is used as a deposit for City staff to conduct necessary studies and on-site evaluations.

The Engineering Department will then make a determination if a traffic calming measure is warranted. There are four pre-approved traffic calming devices, speed bumps or lumps, a radar feedback sign or a median island. By State law, stop signs cannot be used to control speed.

If an application makes it through the Engineering Department, then the applicant needs to submit approval signatures from at least 75 percent of property owners adjacent to the area in question. A public hearing will then be held.

If after all that the project is approved, the applicant will then need to submit payment to the City for the estimated cost of the project and find a contractor to complete the work.

Pitcock was able to provide cost estimates on the installation of the approved traffic calming measures, which included $4,000 for a solar-powered radar feedback sign that alerts drivers of their current speed, $10,000 for a median island and $11,000 per speed bump.

For more information about the Traffic Calming Program, contact the City Engineering Department at 668-5520.