Use Of Radar Speed Signs In Saugatuck Discussed
The city of Saugatuck could be looking into installing solar speed-limit radar signs along Center Street to rein in motorists who drive over the speed limit.
This comes following long-time resident Neil LeFort’s request to do so.
“I am looking for a way to control the speed that people are going on the street,” he told council during his brief presentation at Monday’s Saugatuck City Council meeting about his research into solar-powered radar speed signs.
He and officials share the concern Center Street could be made safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, particularly during the summer season as visitors head to or from Oval Beach, Mt. Baldhead, yacht harbors, or rental places.
And like LeFort, city officials say they are cognizant of the challenges the street poses: it’s narrow with a lot of curves, limited visibility, property lots very close to the roadway, and no sidewalks.
A large portion of that stretch of street has a 25 mph speed limit, from Campbell Road to Perryman Street, which leads to the Oval Beach parking lot entrance. North of Perryman Street the speed is reduced to 15 mph.
There are signs along the road to warn motorist to slow down, including 25 mph speed-limit signs with a red reflective underline and signs that read “hidden roadway entrance,” “do not pass,” and “slow children at play.”
Nevertheless, those features have not dissuaded some motorists from exceeding the limit. Saugatuck Council Member Jeff Spangler who lives along Park Street, said he has seen cars drive 60 mph.
Street bumps are not a good fit for the street and increased police enforcement is not an option due to limited resources, said LeFort.
Radar speed signs can “grab people’s attention” and can function 24/7, he said.
“Speeders will slow down up to 80 percent of the time when alerted by a radar sign” and “overall compliance with the posted speed limit will go up by 30 to 60 percent,” according to the online company radarsign.com.
At the low end, radar signs cost about $2,000, according to LeFort.
“I think it’s (the installation of solar speed-limit radar signs) a good idea,” said Spangler.