Speeders in some Arvada neighborhoods will be getting a message from the sun. Complaints about speeders in Arvada neighborhoods have caused the …
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Speeders in some Arvada neighborhoods will be getting a message from the sun.
Complaints about speeders in Arvada neighborhoods have caused the city’s traffic division to install solar-powered signs that project motorists’ speeds on streets with the worst offenders.
A total of six signs have been purchased so far. Two signs, one per direction of traffic flow, have been installed at each of three locations. The signs are installed only in residential neighborhoods, and only after the traffic division has received complaints from residents in the area.
The signs do not photograph speeders, and no tickets can be issued from the signs’ readings.
”The signs’ purpose is to inform drivers when they are speeding and encourage them to drive at the speed limit,” said Patty Lawrence, traffic engineer for Arvada.
The division chose solar-powered signs because they will cost less to operate over time. In addition, the city does not need to install underground power lines to operate the signs, and they can be moved easily.
Before placing a sign, the city conducts a traffic study to determine the volume and speeds of cars traveling through the area. The data is then analyzed by the traffic division, and staff determine if there is a need for a radar sign.
Each sign costs $2,500. The first two were purchased in April from the traffic division’s operating fund. Later the division made a request to City Council to purchase additional radar signs. The council approved the request, and the last two signs were purchased last week.
The first two signs, which are permanent, were placed on Independence Street, south of 52nd Avenue.
”That location has had a recurrent speeding problem,” Lawrence said.
The next two signs, temporary for now, are on W. 81st Drive. There is a sharp curve in the road, where several accidents have occurred over the years. Residents are hoping the signs will encourage drivers to slow down before the turn.
The last pair of signs was recently placed on the 8400 block of Chase Drive. These signs are also temporary.
Before the radar signs were used, the division would inform the Arvada Police Department’s traffic patrol of problems at specific areas, and an officer would go to the location to enforce the speed limit.
Now Arvada, and several other cities in the country, are using the signs to enforce the speed limit to save the police department from having to dispatch a unit.
According to Sgt. Mark Nazaryk, Arvada Police Department public information officer, the department’s mission is to reduce accidents.
”I don’t think anyone conscientiously goes ripping through a neighborhood,” Nazaryk said. “They are just trying to get from point A to point B.”
He said police are looking for voluntary compliance by using the signs, making speeders aware of how fast they are going so they adjust their speed accordingly.
“I think everybody pretty much wants to do the right thing,” he said.
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