Speeding is bad, except when it’s not.
And not a dime more than $15,000 will be spent addressing it in Tillicum.
Since the bulk of the $100,000 earmarked, designated and otherwise promised to be used solely for traffic calming is now being redirected (robbing Peter) to underwrite curbs, gutters and sidewalks (to pay Paul).
A next-day email following the Tillicum Woodbrook Neighborhood Association (TWNA) meeting of this just recent May 1, declared the “perception of speeding along Portland is higher than studies show.”
Portland Ave. is the one-mile stretch through the interior of the neighborhood of Tillicum to which Camp Murray employee traffic was redirected a year ago following the relocation of the primary ingress/egress into the Washington Military Department’s facility at Camp Murray.
Some 2,800 cars a day now enter and exit the new gate at Camp Murray, approximately half traveling on what has become – if not a speedway – at minimum a thoroughfare on which a lot of speeders speed just a little.
“We have done several tube studies,” writes Desireé Winkler, Transportation Division Manager for the City of Lakewood, “and they consistently show 85% speeds around 31 MPH… all day long.”
As tubes don’t distinguish between those traveling over them as commuters or local citizens, who these mini-speeders are is unknown.
What is known is that the speed limit – that is “the maximum speed legally permitted on a given stretch of road” beyond which speed speeding occurs and is therefore illegal, as in unlawful – along approximately half of Portland Ave. is a posted 25 mph.
The other half of the main drag into Camp Murray – posted any number of times and bisected by a diagonal white-stripe-painted school crosswalk which also doubles as a table-type speed bump, as in a bump to lower speed, and which also serves as a major playground route – is 20 mph.
Twenty-miles an hour from 7 A.M. to 5 P.M. five school days a week.
If not in the summer.
In defending the issuance of traffic tickets in school zones even when kids weren’t there, Lakewood claimed “a free lunch program brings enough children into the area during the break.”
And “all day long” – somewhere along Portland Ave. – of the far-and-away majority of vehicles using that stretch, “85%” are – shall we make it a fine-point – speeding.
The going rate – not even as a rule of thumb, it’s the law – for “a person found to have committed any infraction relating to speed restriction within a school or playground speed zone shall be assessed a monetary penalty equal to twice the penalty assessed under RCW 46.63.110. This penalty may not be waived, reduced, or suspended.”
So don’t even.
And that’s “any,” as in “any infraction.”
Not ‘any’ as in ‘not a lot over the speed limit’ but ‘any’ as in anything above the speed limit.
Which 85% of those traveling Portland Ave. apparently do.
“All day long.”
But since people are driving fast but not that fast, the city was not slow to suggest another use for the $100,000 mitigation funding from Camp Murray.
However, according to Right of Way Permit 11192 (p.7 of 11, XIV; Permit Application Date: August 25, 2011):
“The Applicant (Camp Murray) shall pay to the City $100,000 which shall be set aside for the specific purpose of making adjustments in traffic calming measures in subsequent years as may be deemed necessary. The City may only use these funds for design and installation of traffic calming measures in the Tillicum community.”
The city’s revised version might read as follows.
Whereas a majority of motorized vehicles speed all day long, it’s only a little over legal, and;
Whereas the minimal amount the lot of them speed is less than what parents of little children using the crosswalk on their way to school or the playground thought, and;
Whereas the money that had been set aside for the express written purpose of keeping traffic on the streets – and the people that live along them – calm, and that money could be used better, i.e. gutters, than implementing further safety measures let alone enforcing existing law,
Now therefore the City will use 85% of the one-hundred grand “to continue extending curb, gutter, (and) sidewalks on Union Avenue.”
You don’t suppose that was the plan all along do you?
Nah, me neither.
Irene Poshtkouhi says
This article addresses one of the major concerns of the people who opposed the reassignment of the gate. Portland Avenue now has more traffic, traveling at unsafe speed, endangering pedestrians, many of which who are children, than ever before. There needs to be speed bumps installed and more police monitoring. I travel to Tillicum 5 days a week, and I have seldom seen a police car monitoring traffic speed, especially in school zones. I cannot believe extending curbs and gutters are more important than children’s safety.