MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — “We actually use to call it the Savannah Ridge drag strip.”
The need for speed was something Tony Bennett could find right in his own neighborhood.
“We’ve had residents to tell us the cars had to be going well over 60 miles an hour,” he said.
For years Bennett has lived in the Savannah Ridge neighborhood, dealing with speeding cars.
“We have a lot of people that don’t live here,” he said. “They cut through here. So in reality unless you really know them, you don’t know if it’s somebody passing through or a resident that’s flying down this road.”
Eventually neighbors got fed up and decided something needed to change.
“Finally at one of our annual meetings we asked the board please meet with the city and see what you can do,” he said.
Michele Emerson is the City Engineer for the City of Murfreesboro.
After getting numerous complaints about neighborhood speeding, the city decided to implement a new traffic calming program a few years ago.
“It’s the longer straighter roads that have the speeding issues,” she said.
The process is no easy task though.
Neighborhoods must apply, submit a petition package, along with acquiring signatures of support from 30 percent of neighbors that goes to Emerson and her team.
“About 30 percent of the people that we have studied or the roadways that we have studied based on the petition packages…only about 30 percent of them have a speeding problem,” she said.
Alexander Boulevard was the first neighborhood to be approved.
The city decided to install speed cushions, another method to slow traffic speeds down to around 15 to 20 miles per hour.
“We have noticed that the speeds have gone down,” said Emerson. “We did a post speed study and the volumes and the speeds did go down within the tolerance that we have.”
Savannah Ridge was the next neighborhood to apply and be approved for the program.
“Majority of neighbors say it’s been wonderful,” said Bennett. “It’s really slowed down traffic and everything.”
Bennett and Emerson say they have heard from neighbors that don’t want the speed humps.
But after a year, Bennett feels they’ve help turn the Savannah Ridge drag strip back into a normal street again.
“You can’t please everyone, but I think the majority of our residents are very appreciative and said they do feel safer,” he said.
Emerson says since the program launched the city has spent over $100,000 installing speed cushions in approved neighborhoods.
The city will be installing their next set of speed cushions in the Stevens Bend neighborhood in mid September.
See how communities are cracking down on drivers who treat neighborhoods across Middle Tennessee like race tracks in News 2’s Neighborhood Speeders special report.