Speed bumps out, speed ‘cushions’ in for Planterra

Tue, 05/15/2007 - 5:04pm
By: The Citizen

Peachtree City staff is proposing to replace the nine speed bumps in the Planterra Ridge subdivision with less intrusive “speed cushions.”

One benefit of the speed cushions is that the city’s fire and rescue trucks with their wide wheelbase will be able to avoid the obstacle entirely. They will still force ambulances to slow down, “and come almost to a stop as we do now,” particularly if a patient is being transported, according to acting Fire Chief Ed Eiswerth.

The city’s police cars will negotiate the speed tables better because of their stronger suspensions, according to the city’s stormwater manager, Mark Caspar, who is overseeing the project.

The speed cushions only reach three inches in height at their center, with long ramps leading up to and down from that level. Three of the speed cushions would be installed at each location to create gaps in-between for the emergency vehicles.

A decision on the matter is expected at Thursday night’s meeting of the Peachtree City Council.

The speed-bumps were installed in 2006 after Planterra residents complained about speeding and other problems resulting from vehicles using the subdivision as a cut-through.

The city and the Planterra Ridge Homeowners Association will split the cost of the materials and installation for the speed cushions. The city estimates it will cost just over $18,000 in city funds, coming from the public works operating budget.

According to the company that offers the “speed cushion” design, the seven-foot long devices slow cars to about 15-20 mph.

Part of the reason for the recommended change is in response to traffic studies conducted in September 2006 and January 2007, according to Caspar. Both studies showed that traffic volume was reduced to an average much closer to the traffic counts done in 2001 prior to construction of the Wal-Mart and the widening of Ga. Highway 54 from two to four lanes, he said in a memo to council.

Council is also expected to consider appointing a task force to look into the development of an 88-acre tract along Ga. Highway 74, just north of Hwy. 54 and west of the recently-annexed 380-acre parcel owned by John Wieland Homes. Wieland also owns the 88-acre site but its request for the city to consider putting 335 townhomes on the site was rejected earlier this year.

The 88-acre parcel also is the home of the Peach Pit landfill, which has come into question in recent weeks with reports of a liquid-filled barrel being found on the site, which was reportedly used in the past only for construction debris.

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