After a concerning number of cars speeding down Dexter St., on the city’s East-side, Kate Cole knew she had to do something for the safety of her neighborhood. “Kids and pedestrians were at risk.”, said Kate Cole, resident leader of the Traffic Taming Task Force, which is a grassroots effort to reduce traffic speeds in residential areas, respecting law and life, helping keep Flint streets and neighborhoods safe.
The group is now two years old and finally getting their voices heard. Two radar signs have been purchased to record driving data. They can be turned on, for the drivers to see the speed, or turned off in covert mode, so the drivers don’t necessarily know they are being clocked. In both cases, all information is recorded and stored as data.
In partnership with the Crim Fitness Foundation, Neighborhood Engagement Hub, and Flint Neighborhoods United, the task force received grant funding to help purchase the radar signs, to reduce traffic speeds in residential areas. The city of Flint is well aware of the speeding problems and is addressing the situation. “We’re getting exposure now from the data we’ve collected through the radar signs and are really starting to see results,” Kate told us.
“The taskforce began when I started going to different meetings, one in particular, at Flint Neighborhoods United. I brought up the speeding issue in my neighborhood, wanting to keep people safe on and off the road and everyone agreed with the city’s speeding problem,” said Kate. “Recently on Miller Road in a 35-mph residential area and with our radar sign, we clocked a car going 107 miles an hour!”
The Traffic Taming Task Force not only measures speed but also if cars travel at medium or high-risk speeds. When a car is going five miles over the speed limit, it’s medium risk. Ten miles over the speed limit is a high risk. The data shows that a majority of the drivers in these residential areas are at high risk.
“In the city of Flint, statistically we are more likely to be killed from being hit by a car than a violent crime,” said Cade Surface, Crim Fitness Foundation Active Communities Manager and Traffic Taming Task Force Member.
Distracted Driving is another issue of the same concern. University of Michigan researchers, using Michigan State Police traffic crash reports, concluded there were 5,237 accidents, including 23 fatal crashes, caused by drivers who were using some sort of electronic device in 2017. Even more alarming, the preventable crash cause tallied twice as high as drunk driving incidences across the state the same year.
“The data that has been collected through the radar signs is finally getting our voices heard. Our goal is for residents to respect the law, and respect life,” said Kate.
At the Crim Fitness Foundation, we recognize that health is influenced by many factors. Everything from whether you own a bike to the number of working street lights in your neighborhood can shape your health and wellness opportunities. That is why the Crim’s Active Communities team works to create safe, healthy, and equitable communities through long-term interventions of policy, systems, and environment change. We partner with groups like this one to make sure the streets are a safe place for drivers and pedestrians and will continue to focus on this work to make sure that Genesee County is a destination for safe, active living.
For more information on getting involved with Traffic Taming Task Force, you can contact Theresa Roach at firstname.lastname@example.org.