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Reader: Forget Speed Bumps, Install Refuge Islands

NORWALK, Conn. – Community activist David Marcus has a blog, Livable Norwalk, "dedicated to making Norwalk a better place to walk, bike, take a train and catch a bus." He posted this opinion there:

The Daily Norwalk today had an article about the speeding problem on Camp Street in front of Tracey Elementary School. Unfortunately, it follows the typical cycle of inaction:

(1) Residents complain about speeding; request speed bumps;(2) The mayor says no to speed bumps for a variety of reasons (snow plow hazard, emergency vehicle access, too bumpy...);(3) More "enforcement" is offered, in the form of the occasional police officer driving down the street;(4) Nothing changes.

It doesn't have to be this way. There are lots of alternatives to speed bumps – options that narrow the roadway, improve aesthetics and lead to big improvements in safety for all road users.

In the particular case of Camp Street, given the importance of safe crossings for schoolchildren, pedestrian refuges at crosswalks would be one natural solution. Pedestrian refuges not only calm traffic, but also simplify crossing the street by having children cross one direction of traffic at a time.

Safety improvements like these should be standard features of our community. It would be great to see Norwalk's DPW taking the initiative to respond to residents' speeding concerns with their own proposals.

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