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Richland County Development and Services Committee votes to adopt more efficient speed reduction policy

According to Richland County, this new policy will now likely be voted on by Richland County council at their next meeting May 2, 2023.

RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. — The Richland County Development and Services committee met Tuesday night to discuss a new traffic calming policy that addresses speeding through residential neighborhoods.

These neighborhoods typically need a speed limit of 25-30 mph to meet the criteria. 

Traffic calming means the intentional slowing of traffic in residential areas by installing something like a speed hump.

The hope of this committee meeting was to move progress along, that is, when it comes to requests from neighbors to slow speedy drivers traveling past their homes. 

Richland County council member Chakisse Newton tells News 19 speeding is one of the top complaints council members and the Richland County Sheriff's Department gets from constituents. 

She explains a formal public policy for traffic calming needed to be created. 

"So that we can make the process faster, so that we can make it more efficient, so that we can use fewer resources and also ensure that we're really working closely with our neighborhoods so that we can address their issues," Newton said.

Initially the internal process was a neighbor calls about speeding, they are placed on a list, then Richland County comes out to see if they meet the criteria.

Now, the neighbor makes a call, and an initial review is done faster by Richland County to make sure folks meet the criteria.

County engineer Shirani Fuller tells News 19 her department looks at where intersections, driveways and drainage is. They track if average daily traffic is more than 500 cars, and they also assess line of sight to name a few criteria. 

"We're really looking at geometry of the road, horizontal and vertical curves. So you want when you're traveling to have a good line of sight. So if you're traveling a road that has a lot of hills or severe curves, you wouldn't want to place something where someone didn't have a very clear visual as they're traveling up to it to know to slow down," Fuller said.

Moving the process along is something Gans Wilson, Forest Acres resident likes the idea of. 

He explains people often go 15 or 20 mph over the speed limit down the road in front of his house, in which he tells News 19 he's seen several narrow misses of cars nearly hitting children. 

"If it's a process that actually moves forward and has actions behind it and somebody actually comes out here and gets raw data from the speed of these vehicles and puts an action into place, there's going to be a lot of happy residents in this community because I think everybody's concerned," Wilson said.

According to Richland County, this new policy will now likely be voted on by Richland County council at their next meeting May 2, 2023. 


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