Traffic Mitigation Plan
Traffic issues often change based on the surrounding environment. As new developments enterRichmond Heights, and as the Missouri Department of Transportation update Interstate 64, new traffic concerns and needs will likely arise. Whenever there is a traffic complaint, there are a variety of potential solutions depending on the nature of the problem. The solution may be through traffic calming procedures or through increased police enforcement.
This plan is not meant to preclude any citizen involvement. In fact, the goal of the program is to allow community involvement through a more accessible decision-making process. This program will also allow for an efficient allocation of resources in response to traffic safety issues by reducing the need for traffic enforcement and improving road designs.
The Traffic Problem Notification Form and the Restricted Parking Petition Form can both be found at the City Hall and at the Department of Public Works.
In order for the process to begin, a traffic complaint must be registered with the Traffic Committee. This complaint can be submitted by a city resident, city employee, or elected official. While a written or electronic complaint would be the best form of submission, any method of notifying a member of the Traffic Committee (fax, online, phone call, or person-to-person discussion) is acceptable. In addition, the members of the Traffic Committee can take it on themselves to submit a given situation. This submission form is easily accessible both in City Hall and on the web.
The Traffic Committee (TCOMM) is comprised of three members: the Fire Department Chief, the Police Department Chief, and the Director of Public Works. The Committee meets once a month to discuss potential traffic issues and any submissions. If there is no pressing business, the Committee does not formally meet, although it is responsibility of it's' members to ensure that there are no immediate concerns.
The Traffic Committee's response to a complaint depends on the nature of the complaint. The various types of complaints are:
Concern about speeding through residential areas is likely the most common traffic complaint. When a speeding concern is submitted to TCOMM, the Police Department's initial response is the placement of a "speed trailer" in the area. The placement of the "speed display trailer" in the area is to educate drivers. Another option is the placement of signs warning drivers that they are being monitored. After which, they send an officer from the Traffic Detail to monitor the area over the course of two weeks (as well as to enforce the speeding ordinances in the area). If this enforcement illustrates a potential problem, TCOMM then has a few possible solutions at its disposal, and it can decide upon a tactic using majority-rule, although a decision by consensus is preferred. There are also various other approaches depending on the nature of the street. The Committee monitors the area over a two month period until the speeding problem is mitigated.
Stop Sign, Lights, and Crosswalks.
If a complaint is submitted requesting a traffic sign or some other form of traffic calming devise (median strip, crosswalk, etc), the Traffic Committee first inspects the area. Then, the Committee makes a recommendation. After which, the recommendation is then submitted to the Council. Stop Lights as a matter of rule are never granted, because the cost is prohibitive. The Council can then approve or deny the recommendation of the Committee. This change may also have to be approved by the County if the road is County-owned.
No Thru Truck Traffic and other signs.
In Richmond Heights, trucks can only drive through the main arterial streets. The other streets in the city do not permit truck traffic, although there is often no signage to this effect. Therefore, a citizen can request a "no thru truck traffic sign." However, in order to maintain the visual appeal of the city, these signs cannot be placed on every street. Other signs that may be requested are time-of-day or directional restrictions. If these signs require a change in city ordinances, council approval is necessary.
Another possible traffic request is for restricted or permit parking in a given neighborhood. For this request to be processed, 2/3 of the neighborhood's homeowners or renters (one per home) must sign a petition requesting the parking restrictions. This petition can be found at the City Hall (1330 S. Big Bend Boulevard), and/or at the Public Works (8108 Elinor Ave.) or on the website. If this petition is completed by 2/3 of the residents (with the names verified by Public Works), the Police department will talk to the residents in the community to ensure that they are aware of the consequences of the restricted parking. When this process is completed, or after the petitions have been submitted, the Traffic Committee will submit the request to Council, who will then vote on the proposal. If the Council votes in favor of the restrictions, Public Works will put up signs in the neighborhood and the Police Department will enforce the new parking restrictions.
Other traffic complaints.
A variety of other complaints relating to traffic, but not covered previously may be submitted. This recommendation is then be submitted to the council, who can choose to accept or modify the Committee's recommendation.
When reviewing traffic mitigation/calming complaints and suggestions, the Traffic Committee must take into account a variety of factors. These include:
- Vehicle safety
- Pedestrian/bicycle safety
- Neighborhood desires
- Emergency response time
These variables affect a number of potential solutions. For example, speed bumps are not possible in the city because they dramatically decrease the response time for fire trucks and ambulances. Traffic decisions are often made while dealing with a number of factors other than mere residential desires.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact City Hall at 314-645-4595.