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The Tumwater Traffic Team is a resource to assist in addressing traffic safety, pedestrian safety, and speeding issues in the City. Members of this multidisciplinary team include staff from Community Development, Public Works, Police, Fire, and the Executive Department. The team was built on the research that residential speed control is best addressed with a combination of Enforcement, Education, and Engineering—we call these the 3 “E”s.
Sometimes a neighborhood speeding problem is caused by a single individual on his/her way to work or school. Targeted patrols by the Police (i.e. enforcement) are the best way to address this problem. Increased law enforcement presence may encourage motorists to drive at the posted speeds in order to avoid a traffic infraction. This approach is effective when consistently high levels of enforcement are implemented; thus it is a costly response to the problem.
Sometimes people tend to drive too fast because the street is wide and lacks any obstacles. In those cases, engineering solutions like traffic bumps, circles or chokers (road narrowing) might be the way to encourage drivers to slow down. Engineering, however, is also a very costly solution to traffic problems.
Public education can be an effective tool to help change driver behaviors. Education addresses the possibility that residents of the affected neighborhood are not attentive to their driving speeds and that modifications to their own behavior may solve the problem. These efforts are fairly cost-effective, but sometimes only provide short term solutions.
Some educational efforts that can be used include:
Digital readout speed sign
Other traffic signage
Traffic safety newsletter
If you have a significant traffic concern in your neighborhood, email Transportation Manager Brandon Hicks, or call (360) 754-4140. The Traffic Team will research the issues involved and recommend or implement the best solutions.