LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Communities often look for ways to get drivers to slow down in residential areas.
But people living in one La Crosse neighborhood have spoken up and put a city effort to do so on hold.
The original Board of Public Works plan was to install five speed tables – similar to speed bumps but have a ramp and a flat top – down 33rd Street.
The board said they're now compromising with opponents, who said the tables will hinder traffic flow, by trying other speed reducing options first.
In 2011, the city ran a speed study that determined 85 percent of traffic on 33rd Street drives above the speed limit.
"There may not be any accidents now, but we certainly don't want one," said one concerned neighbor.
So the city proposed to use federal dollars to build speed tables to slow down cars.
"(There's) more and more families with young children, so again, the idea is to make the streets safer," said Mayor Tim Kabat.
But not everyone likes the idea.
"The vast majority of the residents of the city of La Crosse just don't want these things. So just, don't do them," said a neighbor against the proposal.
Even emergency responders voiced concerns about the speed tables.
La Crosse Fire Chief Gregg Cleveland said the neighborhood is already a distance from a fire station, adding speed tables would increase their response time.
"When you add another two minutes onto a response time, there's a lot that can change in those two minutes," Cleveland said.
City engineers said the plan would put five speed tables on 33rd Street near Bentwood Place, Solaris Lane, Levy Lane and Peace Street.
But before that happens, city council president Dick Swantz said he's willing to try other, less intrusive options.
"We should have been able to answer the question that I was asked a lot which is essentially, 'What have you done to address this issue short of speed tables?' And it was difficult for me to come up with a lot of answers," Swantz said.
Swantz proposed installing raised intersections at 33rd and Juniper Streets, and 33rd and Peace Streets.
The resolution also included adding all-way stop signs at 33rd Street and Levy Lane, and 33rd Street and Bentwood Place.
Plus, the board would install speed indicator signs where the city traffic engineer deemed necessary.
The board approved the plan Monday. But if traffic doesn't slow down in a year, the discussion of speed tables will be put back on the table.
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