Crime & Safety in Seattle>Question Details

Cynthia, Other/Just Looking in 98032

Any secrets to getting speeders to SLOW DOWN on private streets in an HOA-run neighborhood full of kids?

Asked by Cynthia, 98032 Tue Jun 26, 2007

Our speed limit is 10, signs are posted and in newsletters we constantly remind people to slow down but it doesn't seem to affect the repeat speeders. We can't fine them b/c without owning a speed "gun" to actually document their speeding we don't have a case. So, any good ideas??

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just because the neighborhood is HOA run doen't mean that the streets are also HOA run...BUT...many years ago a client of mine showed me how an old kids bike placed in the street,a bit off to the side, would bring traffic to a crawl...everyone just assumes a kid is nearby...he would put the bike out in the morning and bring it in in the evening. a baseball bat was also used (laid in the street, not across someones windshield) people recognize kids toys and slow down. i've done it myself and it works.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 5, 2008
A recent change in the Washington State Law under Title 46 allows police officers to run traffic enforcement operations on private roadways upon the writen application of the home owners association. There is certain criteria that must first be met such as no speed limit may be below 15 mph and of course signs must be posted and approved.

I do not recommend speed bumps for liability reasons. Emergency equipment is slowed by them and this can lead to a lawsuit. Even violators who have lost control of vehicles have successfully sued.

If you want a more gentler approch rather than a lot of costly tickets, there is a local company that offers speed enforcement for local developements. They are Federally licensed for highway RADAR and instead of giving you a ticket, they give out information to the driver and a written report to the home owners association who sometimes decide to take further action, even by token fines.

The first offense results with the violators license plate being placed on the web site for 30 days along with their speed. second is a picture of the violator (offenses are videotaped as they occur) along with the plate. It is called the Hall of shame.

If you want more information on that company, email me. They service a large area in Washington-Oregon but I'm not sure the exact locations. They also perform these services on city streets for school zones with the schools permission.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 5, 2008
We have thsoesmall lime green flourescent plastic children with a flags that say "slow" all over here, and I do think they really work. They are an outright obvious statement of the parents and homeowners asking neighbors and visitors to take it slow. It seems to be more impressionable when it is a direct request from a neighbor, perhaps that's why these signs work.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 17, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
MVP'08
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Speed bumps are a pain but they are the only thing that really works if you want drivers to slow down. We have tried slow signs , signs showing kids at play etc but most people don't pay much attention. You might try "the threat" of speed bumps first and if that doesn't work then put in the bumps in the worst places..
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 27, 2007
Kaye Thomas, Real Estate Pro in 90266
MVP'08
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I have seen small lime green flourescent plastic children with a flag in hand that says "slow"they seem to work when I asked one homeowner. She said he husband purchased it off the internet. They put it on their lot next to the road and it really stands out for speeders.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 26, 2007
Where I come from in Australia they have gone away from speed bumps and are putting is "shackains" that's not how you spell it but it is how it is pronounced.
It is basically a garden on the left side of the road and then a garden on the right side of the road that turns the 2 lanes into 1, some even combine it with a speed bump to make it more effective.
I would temper the suggestion with the fact that not everyone will be pleased with this solution.
Another option would be to request the police to frequent the area with speed traps....but first you should find out who owns the roads and the legitimacy of the speed limit and who has the charter to enforce it....communities can post speed limits that do not conform to state and county regs and may not be enforceable....they may simply be "advised" speed limits.
Good Luck, I have kids and want to keep them safe aswell, but my answer is to provide them a place to play and tell them not to play on the street.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 26, 2007
In my gated subdivision (private roads etc.) it clearly states in the CCRs (Deed Restrictions) that the speed limit is 25 MPH. Local law also states that police, sheriff, constables, etc do not patrol on private property like ours UNLESS the offense is egregious. That rules them out.

Since speeding is a violation of the CCRs, just like not mowing your grass or painting your front door pink, it can be enforced like any other deed violation. We are not under the "State's Radar Gun Operators'" code so, for all pratical purposes, my 10 year old can shoot radar and issue a DEED VIOLATION. NOT a ticket to be paid in court.

It doesn't take a professional landscaper to see if a yard needs mowing to declare it in violation nor do we need professional painters to determine if a front door is indeed pink. Likewise, we don't need a certified trained radar gun expert to shoot rader. In fact, our CCRs state that the POA will enforce CCRs via "it's agents".

Little green men, bicycles in the road, calling the cops? Really? I don't want my subdivision looking like Fred Sanford's junk yard.

Read the CCRs. I'll bet you have more control then you think.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 9, 2012
I have a solution to slow speeding traffic which is used effectively in Seattle; park both sides of the street. It's simple and you can do it today. Work with your neighbors to park several cars in a row on each side of the street. By narrowing the lane of travel, even slightly, drivers automatically slow down. We had terrible speeding traffic on a neighborhood street which allowed parking only on one side. When the city allowed parking on both sides of the street, the speeding traffic slowed down considerably. There are two other traffic calming devices that work to curb speeding; traffic circles at intersections and speed humps at mid-block. The speed humps are inexpensive, and can be painted brightly which makes them stand-out. Speeding traffic is a serious problem, but the strategies I've listed worked in my community. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 27, 2012
Hi Ray - I live on Bellevue on a fairly quiet street, except in the morning and after work. There is a high school on our street and a bus that comes on the street, maybe hourly. Currently there are lines on the street so we're unable to part ont the curb. Do you know if there are any laws with needing a lined street when it's a bus route? I totally agree with you that if we're able to remove the marked lines and park on the street, the traffic will slow drastically!
Flag Wed Mar 26, 2014
The answer is simple. First make sure all traffic control devices (speed limit & stop signs) etc. fully comply with the MUTCD. This is required for all roads and streets to assure maximum safety. Even private HOA roads have to comply. This means that you must set the speed limit(s) , and erect stop signs in accordance with the standards/ methods in the MUTCD! Doing so will set speed limits that most drivers will comply with, and also reduce the potential for accidents. Doing this is difficult because these requirements are often counter-intuitive to what appears to be common sense. Also check with your insurance company and your HOA attorney about the liability of not complying.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 28, 2012
I'm not sure even having a speeding "gun" would give the legal right to issue a speeding ticket. That is reserved for uniformed officers. However, the issue of speeding card through a neighborhood is a serious question. Communities have confronted this issue with increased police patrols, speed bumps, decreased speed limits and changes in roadway configuration. I would suggest contacting the person or persons responsible for traffic control in your city or town. If the area is unincorporated, then approach the county or state road engineer.

I hope this has been helpful to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 11, 2011
The city might try these round-abouts that are popular here. We also have streets with speed bumps. The offenders ultimately choose a different route. If it's a neighbor, go talk to them and remind them that the speed limit is 10 mph. If they persist, then bring the matter up with the HOA.

It sounds like you actually have what could be considered a driveway. Many people post signs of their own. The effectiveness is anyone's guess. I slow down as a matter of courtesy to the sign posters - not that I'm a speed demon anyway.

If it's a younger driver, try asking teens to apply some peer pressure. There is nothing worse than getting a rep as a jerk among that age group.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 2, 2011
Eggs. JUST KIDDING.

You probably know who the offenders are. Some one from the HOA should approach them individually and remind them of the hazards. It can be expensive to install bumps and difficult to get stop signs, but painting the road to LOOK like a speed bump with little "buttons" that make a noise may help. The HOA would have to vote on it.

I love Mike Ford's suggestion. It is important to make it a move-able obstacle otherwise people will eventually ignore it, just like the speed notice signs.
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 2, 2011
If your signs say go slow or slow down, that probably isn't enough - if there are children in the area, however, you should have a sign saying, "drive slowly - children at play" or something similar. If there are handicap people in the area, especially if someone is blind or deaf, have a sign that says something about this to drivers. I have seen similar signs in certain neighborhoods and people generally respect those type of signs. It not only makes them slow down, but when I see a sign like that, I also look carefully for any person who might not see or hear me coming.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 2, 2011
I have a client whose sister is a Realtor in Spokane Coldwell Banker who puts up caution children playing signs that attach to the mail box. She has gotten most of the neighbors to take one and they have her name, company name, and phone number. It gets advertising and people to slow down. However, my take on it is that people look at it as a sign to not buy there because of the busy street. People have slowed down, but be a little cautious of that. If you want her contact information so you can get some of these let me know and I'll get you her email address. Short of having the police department sit there or put a dummy car on that street, you may have to resort to that - and you advertise yourself as well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 13, 2008
HI Cynthia -

That is a tough one - I have seen this situation before and it is so important in keeping those kiddies safe! Calling the police is really the very best thing to do because there is no way to really enforce this yourself without hiring an in house type of patrol.

Speed bumps might be another idea, but then that could potentially open you up for some kind of liability, so I would say have the police come out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 5, 2008
All of the answers about contacting the police are the BEST answers. Being a Law Enforcement type myself for a while, I can tell you "you should call us" but I gotta respect the TAKE THE LAW INTO YOUR OWN HANDS CROWD SOMETIMES.

Here is what we did. There was this Bank. Now I am not going to name the Bank. But if I was, it would be Bank of "the Country that I live in." Well this Bank had about 500 employees at this one center in Tampa. this Bank was very strict about employees arriving on time and the employees were equally strict about following the rules. The Bank's rules, not so much the Traffic Rules. This meant that my little road had early morning traffic that was going about 60 and 70 miles per hour.

So I went to Said Bank...Somewhere in AMERICA and had a little talk with the nice folks who worked in the bank. They nicely asked me if I Owned the Road? They had a point, I didn't own the road.....Hmmm What to do...What to do...?

Now this road was constructed in such manner that you couldn't see the end nearest the Bank from the other end of the road. So one morning we had a vehicle break down right there in the middle of the road. Damn big vehicle. Blocked the entire road. Imagine that....!

Then we (as a group) approached the bank. This did some good and they listened. Those folks who where present and they promised to "look into it" Uhhh OK.

Now remember, I was working in Law Enforcement at this time and I was still having a hard time getting the locals out there to run a Motorcycle traffic stop.

Next we had a car hit and some damage to a lawn, so we sent a letter to the bank letting them know that they would be party to any lawsuits that were filed if a child or pet was hurt.

This got us about a year of no speeders, but then of all things....people have some short memories. Which brings me to the final resolution. Park on the street. It is amazing how slow folks will go when they have to navigate through cars that are "randomly" parked on the street narrowing the "track" to 1 car width + a few inches on either side. Eventually the folks kinda get the message and stop using your street.

It works and by the time the traffic team gets to you, the problem is solved.

Good luck and let us know how it works out for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 5, 2008
Hi Cynthia - We had the same issue with private roads.
--We asked for the police to come out more and they started doing so. The presence slowed people down.
--10 MPH is tough. It might actually help to raise the speed limit to one that they are more likely to abide by eg 15.
--We added stop signs. They couldn't pick up too much speed unless they plowed through the stop sign. Like speed bumps, this is not always popular.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 5, 2008
Some of the neighborhood moms like the green flags with children and cones work really well. Sometimes the city will do a survey and speed bumps work too.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 17, 2007
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in San Ramon, CA
MVP'08
Contact
Go to the city and get suggestions. You may be able to apply for a change in the road, such as round abouts, or some other obstacle that would force drivers to slow down. If there have been any accidents, bring that information with you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 17, 2007
Neighbors may want to try assembling a Block Watch program as well. They can call the police when they noticed speeders. It's sad but true, it takes more calls to the police in order to have your neighborhood patrolled more often for things like catching speeders. (I've talked to our local Police Officers when I'm at Tullys getting my coffee).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 29, 2007
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