People living along Sandpiper Avenue in Royal Palm Beach seen speeding cars for years.
The speed limit is just 25 miles per hour on the narrow road with single story houses lining it just off of Royal Palm Beach Boulevard, but locals say most drivers ignore the signs.
Mike Gershberg saw a driver exceeding 50 miles per hour lose control and smash into two of his parked vehicles, he told the Royal Palm Beach Village Council last week.
He’s often calling the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office telling them about speeders and he won’t let his daughters into the street.
“I have a high school daughter and a junior high school daughter … and what they cannot do is ride a bicycle, ride a skateboard or roller skates because they never learned how because we live on Sandpiper Avenue,” he said.
Help may be on the way.
The Village Council passed an ordinance Feb. 16 to establish a process for residents to get traffic calming on their streets.
Now, anyone can circulate a petition to ask for a traffic study. If they get a majority of voters on the street, the village staff will study the street traffic. If it hits specific benchmarks for speeding and cut through issues, the council can vote to install speed bumps, raise the road or crosswalks or narrow roads.
The village also circled four streets that could use traffic calming right away. In addition to Sandpiper, they looked at Sparrow Drive, Ponce De Leon Street and La Mancha Avenue.
Though the process now gives residents a way to possibly take the safety of their neighborhood into their own hands, Lori McHale said Sandpiper needs traffic calming now.
“What is it going to take for this (council) to realize we have a serious problem?” she asked. “We don’t have time.”
Another resident suggestion was for law enforcement to be aggressive in these areas, always issuing tickets not warnings.
“You gotta give out tickets,” said Richard Becher, who lives on La Mancha. “If you’re going to go speeding, you’re going to get hit with a ticket.”
Mayor Fred Pinto said he agreed with the residents that someone needs to be done about speeding in the village, and he believes the new ordinance will be a big step in that direction.
The village has to make sure that the majority of the residents on the street even want traffic calming because there are pros and cons to each of the measures.
“We want to solve this. Believe me, I want to see it solved,” he said. “I want to see something done, but we have to do it the right way.”