Royal Palm Beach will not install measures meant to slow drivers along a busy residential street after a petition failed to gain enough support.
A report from consultant Simmons and White found La Mancha Avenue is eligible for traffic-calming measures.
However, per the village’s policy when it comes to installing devices including speed humps and speed tables, more than 50 percent of residents along a stretch of road must be in support of traffic calming. Only 30 percent of residents supported installing speed tables on La Mancha from Royal Palm Beach Boulevard to Madrid Street, while nearly 29 percent supported speed tables on La Mancha between Bilbao and Madrid streets, the village’s survey shows.
A new petition to have the village slow traffic along La Mancha cannot be processed for five years, meaning residents can again request a study in May 2023, according to village policy.
While many residents did not respond to the survey, village engineer Chris Marsh said that is not necessarily a sign of apathy of lack of awareness. “They knew that if they didn’t vote, that it was a no vote,” he said.
Royal Palm officials worked to let residents along La Mancha know about each step of the process, he said, from sending letters to homeowners to holding a public meeting. “There wasn’t a whole lot more we could have done short of knocking on doors,” Marsh said.
At the April 26 public-input meeting, the majority of residents said they did not want traffic-calming along their street, an indication that the village’s policy worked as planned, Marsh said. “It really needs to be a neighborhood decision,” he added.
The village’s traffic-calming policy sets forth criteria a street must meet before it can be considered for speed tables or other measures. If a street is eligible, the village then has a public meeting and sends out the petition.
“We’re comfortable with the plan and we’ve had it go both ways,” Marsh said, referring to the recent speed humps installed along Sandpiper Avenue after residents there successfully rallied their neighbors. “The residents there are happy with it,” he said.