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Mission Hills considering speed calming device to prevent sliding cars on wooden bridge
An incident in which car traveling above the posted speed limit of 15 miles per hour slid over a wooden bridge and through a stop sign last month is prompting the Mission Hills City Council to consider installing a traffic calming device on the stretch of Indian Lane that runs downhill toward the intersection with 66th Street.
Though no accident nor injuries resulted, the incident caused alarm among some on the City Council. The bridge, said Mission Hills City Administrator Courtney Christensen, has brought in calls of concern from residents since it was installed around four years ago.
“When it went in we got calls – especially from cyclists — who said is was slick when it rained and was icy,” she said. “The engineer who installed it had never had problems with wooden bridges before — but they’d also never had a wooden bridge right before a stop sign.”
Those initial complaints led to the city treat the bridge with a process that uses diamond sand to score the surface, creating better traction. But the near-miss last month has the council convinced that more needs to be done.
“We know that if you’re traveling the posted speed limit, you’re not going to have any trouble slowing down,” Christensen said. “So we want to find a way to get people to travel 15 miles per hour before the come to the bridge.”
Initially, the council was considering installing a traffic sign that flashed motorists’ speeds as they descended toward the bridge. But concerns about aesthetics and effectiveness tabled that idea.
“It’s like the Benton Curve in Kansas City where it flashes how fast your going,” Christensen said. “At first you might pay attention, but after a few times, you know how fast you can take the curve and don’t pay attention to the flashing speed.”
Instead, the council is now considering the installation of a speed cushion or speed table. Cost to install either would likely be between $3,000 and $4,000. Christensen said the city was likely to take it up for discussion at is April City Council meeting.
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