Columbia Star

South Kilbourne gets answers to questions about streets


Part of the criteria for speed humps is a speed lmit of 25 miles per hour and less than 4,000 vehicles per day traveling the road.

Part of the criteria for speed humps is a speed lmit of 25 miles per hour and less than 4,000 vehicles per day traveling the road.

As the speed humps continue to be installed throughout the Rosewood Neighborhood, residents still have questions about the streets in their neighborhood. They got some of their questions answered at the South Kilbourne Neighborhood Association meeting Thursday, November 7.

South Kilbourne Road and Beltline Boulevard were the two main roads in question. Both throughfares were turned down for speed humps, but residents would like to see some traffic calming measures.

Lori Campbell, the district traffic engineer for the South Carolina Department of Transportation, said the process to get a speed hump must start with the neighborhood. Residents must make a request to city officials who will then send in an application to the SCDOT. Those applications must fit some criteria, but for the most part, they are approved.

Some of the criteria that most affects South Kilbourne Road and Beltline Boulevard are the speed limit for speed humps must be 25 miles per hour and less than 4,000 vehicles per day can travel the road.

Robert Hall and Lori Campbell answer questions at the South Kilbourne Neighborhood Association meeting.

Robert Hall and Lori Campbell answer questions at the South Kilbourne Neighborhood Association meeting.

With roads like South Kilbourne and Beltline, reclassification can be an option.

DOT has an official who coordinates with the Metropolitan Planning Organization. The organization evaluates the case for declassification and looks at such criteria as volume, and then makes a recommendation. For the reclassification to happen the recommendation must get approved at the federal level. Campbell said DOT is not opposed to reclassifying Kilbourne Road, but the volume of vehicles may be the biggest issue.

The discussion turned toward guard rails for Beltline. Campbell said the biggest issue with guard rails involves funding, where there is no annual funding source. There is an annual contract for maintaining existing guard rails.

At the end of the year, if there is any funding left, then building new guard rails will be considered. However, for the particular stretch of Beltline discussed, a slope and state utilities would have to be worked around for a guard rail to be considered, much less built. There is also a guideline that guard rails have to be set back a certain distance from the road so drivers won’t be tempted to merge closer to the middle of the road to avoid hitting the rails.

The funding that might be available from the annual maintenance contract would not provide enough because of those external factors. The funds that would be available are for sites that would just require the rail to be installed.

Hall said one of the best options for both South Kilbourne and Beltline is to explore putting sidewalks on the streets to give them a more neighborhood feel.

The newly installed speed humps have also drawn some criticism for their look and installation as some residents feel they causes more problems than they fix. Campbell said she heard city officials would work on the existing speed humps.

Residents even questioned having the roads under the city’s jurisdiction instead of SCDOT to help address the issues. Campbell said DOT is not opposed to those changes. Usually the process involves a negotiation between SCDOT and the city. The city will agree to the maintenance, while DOT agrees to fix the road/overlay. Campbell said the switch doesn’t normally change anything as in most circumstances the city holds to DOT standards and usually just works toward maintaining the road.

One last question asked was about mirrors installed on trees to help motorists enter the road while avoiding oncoming traffic. Campbell said DOT will not install the mirrors and doesn’t permit them in the right of way. However, if a resident can come to an agreement with the neighbor and it is not in a right of way, DOT more than likely would not say anything about it unless it becomes a hazard.

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