A bump in the road? Richmond DPW hopes traffic projects will slow drivers

8News Digital Exclusive

RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — A bump in the road –typically– is not a welcome sight for drivers, but city hall hopes a controlled and purposeful bump, here and there, will make drivers slow down.

The Richmond Department of Public Works is installing ‘traffic calming devices’ across the city; recently in the Museum District where ‘speed tables’ and curb extensions are new along Grove and Crenshaw, and Grove and Auburn Streets.

“We’re looking at bringing, and narrowing the street down with the curb and also with the vertical deflection with the table should be a better measure than just a speed table by itself,” said Travis Bridewell, the DPW traffic engineering operations manager.

8News spoke with multiple pedestrians in the city’s Museum District, most did not wish to be sourced, that said they noticed more drivers stopping in advance of crosswalks where new speed tables are located.

“We have a house of blind folks two houses down, and I think that, you know, if they’re trying to head that way (south) toward Cary Street it might make it easier for them,” Museum District resident Robert Sesco said.

Speed analysis, engineering studies and neighbor complaints are factors, DPW indicated, in determining what areas may need traffic calming projects.

The fiscal year 2020 budget included around $200,000 for a dozen traffic calming projects city-wide, Bridewell said, around the same amount allotted for prior years. Despite the cited benefits of these projects, parking spaces are being taken away in some instances.

“It’s a few parking impacts, for this one on Grove, yes it is two to three spaces at each point. When you’re building out the curb, of course, you’re taking away the space,” Bridewell said.

DPW provided 8News a list of recently completed traffic calming projects, which are listed below.

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