By William Moore
SALTILLO – While the speed tables have only been in place on Kellum Drive eight weeks, they have worked well so far.
Complaints about speeding traffic on the street that connects Mobile Street (Highway 363) with the Saltillo Elementary School area forced city officials to take action in early December. To help slow down vehicles, work crews installed a pair of speed tables. The traffic devices are similar to speed bumps, just much wider. Instead of being about 2 feet wide like a speed bump, the tables are 22 feet wide.
“It has really helped tremendously,” said Kellum Drive resident Craig Sanders. “When they first put them in, nobody slowed down and you would see sparks flying as the cars bottomed out.”
He estimated that as many as 18 buses and 300 cars travel the narrow, two-lane road each morning and afternoon during the school rush hour.
“It used to be like a race track. Now, it’s like a drag strip between the two (speed tables),” Sanders said. “But there are usually enough people going slow during the busy times to slow most of the traffic down.”
City officials agreed the speed tables seem to be working – the number of calls about speeders has dropped off.
“We haven’t gotten any complaints in a while,” said Police Chief Grant Bailey.
“I look at it as no news is good news,” said Mayor Rex Smith. “You can’t go over something that big speeding and maintain control.”
Since Kellum Drive is a through street, most of the speeders did not live in that neighborhood. So the city paid for the speed tables to figure out a baseline for both effectiveness and cost. The city hopes to take what they learned and use it to control traffic in other areas of town.
For closed subdivisions, the residents of the neighborhood would be asked to pay for the speed tables.