West Malone Drive may see a reduced speed limit and the addition of several speed humps following a request from District 5 Councilwoman Debra Randall that the issue be addressed at the next Regular meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 20.
Randall’s request came at the Special meeting April 6, after Council tabled action on the item at the March 16 meeting, pending the possible institution of a petition policy for citizen requests such as speed humps or lowering the speed limit.
“You guys had asked that you wanted a petition,” Randall said. “Well, it needs to be a policy because it seems that every time District 5 has a problem, it has to become policy before anybody will allow District 5 to have anything done.”
Lieutenant Chris Andrews reported at the March 16 meeting that the Police Department did not observe any vehicles speeding during a recent 10-hour traffic study on Malone Dr. At that time, Mayor Cory Thompson suggested that concerned residents petition for City intervention.
At the April 6 meeting, he asked what the policy should be if residents disagree with the results of a traffic study.
“We discussed doing a petition with like 50 percent of people, 50 percent of the homes I guess, residents or addresses on that particular street that’s asking for [action],” Thompson said.
City Attorney Tom Cate said a petition could help Council gauge residents’ feelings, but that any decisions made had to be based on something objective.
“You couldn’t say, ‘Well, it’s 50 percent, let’s do it,” Cate said. “It has to be based on something that’s objective, not subjective. That’s, again, why we have the traffic study.”
Thompson clarified that that meant Council couldn’t pass an Ordinance triggering automatically if a petition reached 50 percent and Cate agreed, explaining that would constitute Council delegating its legislative authority to residents.
“So I can’t ask the citizens in District 5 to sign the petition for the speed humps?” Randall asked.
“You can get them to sign the petition, and that’s going to give you some idea of how people feel out there,” Cate said. “But you still need to make your decision as a Council not based on that petition…that would just be one factor that you would consider.”
As the agenda item about the subject specifically called for consideration of a policy to reduce speed on City streets, no action on actually lowering Malone Dr.’s speed limit or installing speed humps could be taken.
By Marly Davis