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Community solutions to traffic/speeding problems?

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R Totale's picture
R Totale
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Jun 30 2020 13:49
Community solutions to traffic/speeding problems?

There's a conversation going on among some of my neighbours about the problem of speeding in our area, the unwillingness/inability of the council to do anything about, and what if any action we can take as residents about it. I'm really glad it's happening, but don't really have any solutions to propose - anyone have any thoughts? Are there any relevant tactics from the anti-roads protest era/RTS, or indeed the IWCA or anything, that anyone can suggest? I mean obv if we all had a big street party in the road it would reduce the number of cars driving down it in the short term but that's not much of a permanent solution. Anyone?

Fozzie's picture
Fozzie
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Jun 30 2020 17:11

Realistically and not very anarchistically the simplest solution is to put pressure on the council to introduce traffic calming measures. Or speed cameras but fuck that really.

One way of doing this is to get a protest of local residents together as a photo op for the local paper. With loads of kids and old people. Always stress public safety. “Somebody will die” etc.

You could precede this with some door to door stuff or a survey.

Depending on numbers and militancy you could make the demo more or less confrontational with traffic.

The hard work is making the jump from a small group who know each other to a larger one. Are there already established groups of residents associations or a school PTA?

Fozzie's picture
Fozzie
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Jun 30 2020 17:13

Some ideas here might be useful
https://playingout.net/

R Totale's picture
R Totale
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Jun 30 2020 18:46

Thanks, that does look useful. The feeling seemed to be that people had been complaining to the council about this issue for years and they hadn't done anything then, so were unlikely to be any better or more generous with money when everyone's teetering on the edge of a massive recession, which seems fair enough imo. There's been a survey done already and this was the result of people discussing it, I get the impression that there's already a fairly well-organised residents' association-type core and then a number of newer people (myself included) who've drifted in through wanting to do covid mutual aid stuff.
So far we've had:
-It'd be good to encourage people to park in the road rather than the pavement to make the pavement more usable and narrow the road down to make people careful
-Could use big planters to put plants in to make it impossible for people to park on the pavement, and also look nice
-A few years back parents at one of the local schools experimented with dressing up traffic cones like children and using them to block an area where people were doing dangerous parking/drop-offs
-Could try using planters to block through-traffic completely on ***** ***** - so residents can still park outside their house but no-one can speed down the whole road. We could try doing it for one day, or a weekend, to see what happens and whether we could live with it long-term, and accompany it with signs explaining the experiment and asking for feedback.

So basically it sounds like my neighbours are incredibly well-organised and full of ideas and I just don't have that much to contribute, beyond being available for heavy planter-dragging duty.

Fozzie's picture
Fozzie
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Jun 30 2020 22:12

That all sounds pretty cool!

R Totale's picture
R Totale
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Jul 1 2020 18:09

Yeah, I've been really impressed by it all. There's also a community garden project emerging out of the same local mutual aid group.

sherbu-kteer's picture
sherbu-kteer
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Jul 2 2020 12:44

The local council stopped speeding in a few hot spots in my area by putting up speed humps on the major hooning roads. Worked pretty good though they are kind of annoying now and scrape the underside of lowered cars which pisses a lot of people off.

Possible alternative to getting council involved -- chip in and buy a speed bump of your own off ebay, install it yourself (seems you only really need a hammer drill and a mallet), see what happens. Probably wouldn't be as effective as the proper concrete ones but it might have legs as a stunt to pressure the council at least

Red Marriott's picture
Red Marriott
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Jul 2 2020 13:14

Good idea in principle if the council do nothing, though you would leave yourself open to legal action for criminal damage if the council could pin it on named persons. Then again, they might happily turn a blind eye to 'pro-active citizens' doing their work for them.

sherbu-kteer's picture
sherbu-kteer
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Jul 2 2020 15:37

Other idea: install a big one outside the council leader's house in the den of night.

You're right that council could just spin it like "look at these good upstanding citizens doing our work for them" but in my experience councils kind of get territorial if they feel like they're being undercut or made redundant, it's an attitude like "hey that's our job" but I admit this varies council-to-council and would depend on the politics of each and so on