City removes some speed cushions on Ash Street

An outline on the road surface shows where a speed cushion was installed and later removed on East Ash Street in Fayetteville. (Flyer photo/Todd Gill)

Drivers have likely noticed some changes to a traffic-calming project on East Ash Street in Fayetteville.

Four sets of speed cushions were installed earlier this year along Ash after residents petitioned the city to help slow traffic on the stretch of road between Rayview Drive and Old Wire Road.

Ash Street has a speed limit of 25 mph, but city traffic data showed an average speed of 33.4 mph, which helped qualify the road for traffic-calming measures. Once the cushions were installed, however, traffic slowed to about 19 mph, which city officials said is too slow.

“We are trying to get speeds closer to 25 mph for the whole street,” said Dane Eifling, the city’s mobility coordinator.

A crew removed two sets of cushions in September, and now the plan is to gather more data. Eifling said it’s possible more cushions could be added if the data shows speeds are back over the limit.

“We may put a third set back in on the west end once we do another speed study,” he said.

The City Council’s Transportation Committee approved the cushions in April as part of a new traffic-calming policy that provides residents with a process to help slow traffic in their neighborhoods.

The city’s new traffic-calming policy includes a points-based system, with the above components.

Source: City of Fayetteville

At least 70% of residences on a street where traffic-calming measures are requested must agree to initiate a traffic study, and if the neighborhood meets the proper threshold, 60% of the households must approve the proposed solution.

A threshold for change is determined by adding data points based on speed and daily volume of vehicles on a particular street, whether a sidewalk is present, accident history, and how close a road is to a school.

The minimum threshold for consideration of traffic calming is 35 points. In addition, locations with 85th percentile speeds greater than 35 mph are eligible regardless of the score, and locations with speeds not exceeding 5 mph over the posted speed or below 25 mph are not eligible.

Public Works Director Chris Brown in April said during discussions, there was some concern about installing speed cushions on a street like Ash that has a high volume of traffic, but the city’s recent move to bolt-down cushions allows for some flexibility.

The modular cushions are unlike speed bumps or tables made of concrete.

“They are able to be moved around, adjusted or even taken out if necessary,” Brown said.

Seven sets of speed cushions were installed on East Oaks and Kantz drives last year in east Fayetteville, and the committee in September approved a proposal for cushions on Stubblefield Road, Harold Street and Sang Avenue.