Columbia residents may soon be able to borrow city radar guns to monitor motorists who speed through their neighborhoods.
The city Public Works Department is considering whether to make three radar guns available to residents as a way of measuring traffic patterns and identifying trouble spots. Traffic engineer Lee White said the department will consider requiring residents to leave a $200 deposit to borrow the devices.
The Columbia Public Works Department next month will propose a new system for determining if traffic enforcement measures are needed on city streets, and it will include giving residents radar guns to find speeding motorists and measure traffic volume, The Columbia Daily Tribune reported Wednesday.
Richard Stone, an engineer with Public Works, said the city currently makes traffic calming decisions by responding to requests as they come up and then asking the Columbia City Council to approve measures to control traffic in those neighborhoods. Under the new system, all of the requests received by the department would be included in an annual report and the council would vote on which projects should be funded.
Stone said the city currently has a backlog of about 40 requests dating back to 2006 for 100 city streets that are in various stages of review by the department. When approved, the city can take such steps as lowering speed limits, installing speed bumps or narrowing streets by allowing parking on both sides.
The city makes $75,000 available each year to fund measures to increase traffic safety.