Resident raises concern about safety on Colonial Parkway

Drivers unfamiliar with a section of Colonial Parkway by the Colonial Park Golf Course are having trouble with the curve, and a resident is concerned about the possibility of accidents sending vehicles careening into citizens' front yards and bedrooms.

During the Clovis Public Works Committee meeting Wednesday morning, resident Richard Rowley said a dip created for drainage along the curved street exacerbates the potential for speeding drivers to lose control of their vehicles, and asked the city to look into a speed hump. — which is built like speed bumps on private property, but with a smaller raised portion.

The committee took no action during the meeting, but directed City Engineer Justin Howalt to report on the situation at the February meeting.

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks

A car approaches a dip Wednesday on Colonial Parkway between Lakeview and Diamondhead in front of the city's golf course. Homeowners in the area say its a traffic hazard.

A few years ago, Rowley said, a driver lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a resident's bathroom. Just a few months ago, Rowley said a driver from Muleshoe lost control at the dip and took out a series of bushes before coming just a few feet from hitting a child's bedroom.

The dip is located on a stretch of Colonial Parkway between Diamondhead Drive and Lakeview Terrace, and carries a posted speed limit of 30 mph. Rowley said residents of the area navigate the street with appropriate caution, but people unfamiliar with the street speed through with no idea the dip is coming, and increased traffic over the years only creates more potential for accidents.

"We're sitting ducks over there," Rowley said. "We need to have something out there, or somebody's going to get killed. That's the long and short of it."

Howalt said the city put in a speed hump policy last year, with the following steps for residents who want a speed hump.

The policy requires:

  • A $400 application fee
  • A traffic count
  • A speed study
  • Temporary use of a city speed trailer, a standalone device which informs motorists of speed with no officer present
  • A speed study following use of the speed trailer
  • A signature-gathering process with area residents
  • City funding of the speed hump with overwhelming consent of residents, or permission for a privately-funded speed hump if enough residents objected.

Howalt said the policy was intentionally laborious and required neighborhood buy-in so the city wouldn't constantly install speed humps when a handful of residents asked for one, only to remove them when other neighbors complained.

Additionally, Public Works Committee Chair Len Vohs said there was no guarantee a speed hump wouldn't further exacerbate accident potential.

Howalt said the city has installed signs to warn people of the dip, and there are plans to use the speed trailer down the road.

"We'll see if they adhere to the dip signs," Howalt said. "They're not adhering to the speed limit signs."

Commissioner Randy Crowder also suggested the city look into whether it's a better idea just to alter the street to reduce the severity of the dip while maintaining drainage capabilities.

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