DIY Traffic Calming
"Some people are paying attention, and most people have been driving slower," Tower says. "One woman pulled over and thanked me, and kids wave a lot ... I'm going to do it until somebody does something. At my age [seventy-four], I don't care if I look like an idiot."
The city started taking traffic calming applications again when the new fiscal year started in July; Tower resubmitted her petition immediately. Because an AAPD traffic study found that more than 15 percent of the traffic travels at over thirty miles per hour, Covington is a good candidate for speed humps, raised crosswalks, or extended curbs. But there are still political speed bumps to cross on the road to traffic calming. "First we get a tentative plan and then we have a meeting with the residents where we walk the neighborhood with them and get feedback," Cawley explains. "Then we refine the plan and have a second meeting with the residents and walk the neighborhood again. Then we send out a survey card to every household on Covington. We need to get 60 percent of those back and they need to have 60 percent approval."
Cawley estimates that about 70 percent of all petitions make it through this process. But with two other streets in line ahead of Covington, calming is likely to be years away. For now, all the city has done is to install a speed-limit sign at the Scio Church end of the street in June.