City manager brings fresh ideas to Council

By Chris Eversole, Contributing Writer

Speeding through neighborhoods is the No. 1 complaint the City of Mustang receives, and City Manager Tim Rooney has an idea to help – speed tables.
Unlike speed bumps, speed tables have a beveled edge and run up to 25 feet before easing a vehicle down on the other side.
The city has a longstanding policy against installing speed bumps.
“They’re not allowed for good reason – because of the potential liability for damage to vehicles,” Rooney said.
“Speed tables encourage traffic to slow down without being jarring. We need to move beyond putting stop signs at every intersection.”
At Monday’s special meeting, Rooney presented a staff report on traffic-calming devices, including speed bumps, speed tables and increased speed limit signs, that nine other Oklahoma cities use.
Five of them use traffic calming devices – Broken Arrow, Edmond, Norman, Owasso and Tulsa. The four that didn’t were Yukon, Midwest City, Oklahoma City and Moore.
Council member Josh Leete embraced speed tables, noting that up to 40 children play in the street near his cul-de-sac.
“I’m very happy to see this,” he said.
Vice Mayor Jess Schweinberg was skeptical about how the public would respond. He noted that many people in his neighborhood were against a discussion several years ago to have speeding patrols.
“You’d be surprised at how many people opposed it,” he said. “Once the police told people that 90 percent of the speeders would be people from the neighborhood, they said ‘forget it.’”
The survey of other communities yielded the following results:
—The cities required approval by 60 to 75 percent of people in a neighborhood before installing speed tables or speed bumps.
—The traffic calming devices generally were placed only on streets with speed limits of 25 miles per hour.
—Edmond was the only city that required residents to pay part of the cost of traffic calming devices.
Rooney said he plans to develop a speed table proposal for council to consider later.
Flexible Rates for Newcomers
Rooney also recommended creating more flexibility in the initial sewer rate charged people moving to town.
In general, sewer rates are calculated based on water use during the winter months – December, January and February – based on the assumption that people aren’t watering their lawn then.
The present policy is that all new accounts are charged for 7,500 gallons of usage. This is adjusted once new customers have a winter water use record.
Households of one or two people complain about being billed for sewer initially at the 7,500 gallons rate, Rooney said.
“They feel like they’ve been ripped off,” he said. “People who work in utility billing get beat up quite a bit on this.”
Rooney proposed creating three tiers billing – possibly 3,000 gallons for a single person, 4,000 for a household of two and 7,500 for other households.
“Small households use considerably less than 7,500 gallons,” he said.
Rooney said the Utility Billing Department will flesh out a proposal to bring back to council.

5 Comments

  1. Deborah Jansak on May 11, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    I Love BOTH ideas brought forward by Mr. Rooney.

    Speed tables – PLEASE, if you are looking for a “test neighborhood” consider Owen Drive. Folks Fly over the “hill” (which happens to be blind) and speed to HWY 152.

  2. Travis Ridinger on May 11, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    The speed tables are a fine idea, but let’s not forget that if speeders don’t follow speed limits, then they will do what they can to avoid the bumps. In Midwest City, where I graduated high school , the city installed speed humps and kids were driving through yards and leaving tire marks and ruts. It got bad enough and enough people complained, they were removed. So the money the city spend was wasted.

  3. Maria on May 12, 2017 at 3:23 am

    Has a homeowner on a busy residential street in Mustang, I am thrilled to see a proposal that will help ensure the safety of our children in our local neighborhoods!

  4. Sharon Billing on May 12, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    I would like to have speed tables on our street. We live around three school and the parents speed down the street to and fro from the school, But the biggest offenders are the school buses. They speed from school to school with no regard to the speed limits. I can put up with the line of waiting cars around our blocks but the school buses have no excuse for their rudeness. Mustang area.

  5. Nanette Ruddick on May 12, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    I have been single since the 90’s and have lived here for decades. I have always paid more than my Sis who has a family of 6 and lives in the city. I cannot afford to water my lawn. Between showers, laundry, and a dishwasher for 1 it is over $50 a month. Plus I don’t make a lot of money and I get paid once a month on the last day of the month. That makes my bill late every month. No one can get any special dispesation or nothing.

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