Mesa’s Transportation Advisory Board on Tuesday will consider slowing traffic in the city with driver feedback signs in some locations and in other places by using flashing lights. The driver feedback signs feature electronic displays of driver speeds, which are intended to remind speeding drivers to slow down.
Mesa is looking to install signs that show drivers' speeds in the hopes of slowing traffic on roads where neighbors oppose speed cushions.
Also to slow traffic, the city is considering flashing lights in school zones where speed limits drop during school hours.
The driver feedback signs use radar and a large LED display to show how fast drivers are going, and they have become popular in other Valley cities recently. Mesa has a pair of those signs at Rhodes Junior High School, but Mesa wants to test them more extensively to see if they slow traffic on collector streets where residents complain about speed but don't want speed cushions. The solar-powered signs cost about $6,600, slightly less than a speed cushion.
"We're trying to have something else to offer where they've got a perceived speeding problem yet the speed cushions aren't the way to go on that particular street," said Derrick Bailey, a senior transportation engineer for Mesa.
The feedback signs have reduced speeds by several miles per hour in most other communities that have used them, according to a Mesa survey. The city does want to study speeds after the signs have been in for some time to see if drivers ignore them, as was the case on a four-lane road in Phoenix. A study showed speeds dropped initially, but the city removed them after noticing speeds returned to their previous levels.
The signs are being considered at Hermosa Vista Drive between 64th Street and Power Road, McLellan Road between Val Vista Drive and 40th Street, McLellan Road between 40th Street and Ogden, and Redmont Drive between Recker Road and Raftriver Street.
Mesa's Transportation Advisory Board gave support to the idea Tuesday.
Also, the city is considering a project to add flashing lights at places where the speed limit is reduced during school hours. Five schools now have these lights attached to speed limit signs, and studies have shown drivers have slowed 3 to 5 mph once the flashers were put in. The proposed additional lights would go at the remaining eight schools in Mesa that have reduced speed limits during the school day. Those locations are:
- Fremont Junior High School
- Smith Junior High School
- Highland Junior High School
- Mountain View High School
- Dobson High School
- Mesa High School
- Desert Ridge High School
- Skyline High School