Brownwood council addresses Coggin Park speeding complaints

By Steve Nash / Brownwood Bulletin
Brownwood City Hall

Brownwood City Council members took up several items Tuesday morning, including a discussion on what to do about speeding and other activities in the Coggin Park area.

See Friday's edition and for additional details on the council.

The meeting agenda did not authorize action by council members, who heard statements by Brownwood Police Chief Ed Kading before discussing the options Kading presented.

According to the agenda briefing sheet:

The Brownwood Police Department has received numerous complaints about activity in and around Coggin Park from park visitors and residents in the immediate area. The complaints include excessive speed, exhibition of acceleration (spinning tires), and loud music coming from vehicles.

The police department's immediate response was increased marked police car presence and traffic enforcement. The command staff also discussed the following options to enhance safety around Coggin Park:

• Education and Enforcement: This two-prong approach utilizes increased traffic enforcement and public education. The Brownwood Police Department and the City of Brownwood could produce short PSA’s about traffic safety concerns, request compliance and provide information on action to promote safety around the park.

• Speed Trailer: The speed trailer is currently located on Austin Avenue in front of Coggin Park. This tool provides driver feedback and promotes the ability for drivers to be conscious of their speed. Advantages include an immediate prompt for drivers to slow down, deployment of the trailer is relative low cost, and violation alerts do not impact the flow of traffic. Disadvantages include temporary effectiveness, space required for set up, the trailer is subject to vandalism, and some drivers may use the device to register high speeds.

• Increased Signage: This option provides a physical written notice to be aware of the importance of traffic safety, reminding motorists of increased pedestrians and children in the area of the park.

• Radar Speed Limit Signs: Studies have shown that slowing traffic reduces the chance of fatal accidents involving pedestrians. Radar speed limit signs (pictures provided) are a traffic calming solution to raise speed awareness of oncoming drivers. A two-year study showed that when alerted by a radar sign, speeders slowed down 80 percent of the time. The average speed reduction was 10-20percent  and overall compliance with the posted speed limit increased 60 percent.

A 12” sign for speed zones under 45 miles per hour costs $3,350. This includes solar panels, the sign, radar unit, Bluetooth, and data. A radar speed limit sign could be installed on both Parkway and Roselawn alerting drivers of their speed travelling from Austin Avenue.

• Speed Bumps: Speed bumps could be installed on both Parkway and Roselawn. While effective, historically they are a subject of numerous citizen complaints and could detract from the visual aesthetics of the area.