Residents fed up with motorists speeding through their Londonberry neighborhood met with Sandy Springs Police and City Council member Karen Meinzen McEnerny, during a public meeting last week.
Over a three day period of monitoring drivers, police say 85 percent of the cars were traveling at 47 miles per hour or less on the residential street. The speed limit is 30 mph.
John Heinen said that with teenage drivers at home, he and his neighbor are concerned about collisions with speeding motorists along the curvy road.
“What we keep worrying about is we’re going to have a terrible situation because of that curve,” he said. “And some of these people are brazen. You wave at them to slow down and they flip you off.”
Residents said even the school bus speeds along the road.
Police believe the culprits are mostly students from the surrounding schools. Londonberry is a cut through street south of Mount Vernon Highway, from Long Island Drive over to Powers Ferry Road.
During a study of the traffic flow, Sgt. Dan Nable, commander of the Traffic Unit, found that at least half the motorists were at 40-45 mph or lower, and 80 percent were traveling at more than 30 mph.
“We cannot use laser or radar to make a speed enforcement case unless they are going more than 10 miles over the speed limit,” Nable said.
In addition, Georgia law states that police must be visible from 500 feet and the road grade must be less than seven percent to run radar, which is difficult on parts of Londonberry, Nable explained.
Alex Hofelic, traffic engineer in Public Works, presented residents with options for physical changes in the roadway, such as speed humps.
“In order to make a driver change their behavior you’ve got to change the road,” Hofelic said. “You’ve got to give them an obstacle to go around. A speed hump is the most common, the most popular. If you go over it too fast, it makes the drivers uncomfortable.”
Speed humps or speed cushions would require a petition signed by 90 percent of the neighborhood.
For now, the residents requested edge lines along the road to make the street appear more narrow. It would reduce the speeds by a few miles per hour, Hofelic said.
Public Works will also add race pavement markers [reflectors] along the center of the road, which will both slow down drivers and keep them on their side of the street.
“[It] really works,” said Nable. “It causes the brain to perceive that you are going faster than you really are.”