Columbia street gets speed tables to slow down traffic

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COLUMBIA - Every weekday around 3 p.m., parents start to line up outside of Russell Boulevard Elementary School in Columbia, waiting for their children to be released from school. As these parents begin to arrive, the traffic on College Park Drive, adjacent to the school, begins to pick up.

This traffic is one of the reasons the City of Columbia began installing "speed tables" in three places along the road this week. Columbia Public Works crews installed the first speed table on Wednesday, and the project is set to be completed by September 30. 

According to the City of Columbia, speed tables are "raised intersections with a flat section in the middle and ramps on the ends." Speed tables are essentially larger speed bumps, that take up an entire intersection.

"Speed tables have become a pretty popular solutions the engineers are using to reduce speed because if you don't slow down you're going to ruin your bumper," Public Work Information Specialist Steven Sapp said.

The $24,000 project is part of the city's "traffic calming" efforts. Sapp said traffic calming refers to projects that the city takes on to reduce speeding, traffic and congestion in neighborhoods around Columbia. 

He said Public Works receives concerns from people that live on a particular street or in a neighborhood of Columbia, and then they hold information meetings for residents to discuss these concerns. Then, engineers come up with potential solutions to the problem and present them to City Council. 

However, Sapp said Public Works is always having to prioritize these projects, because there isn't enough money or resources to fund them all.

"A lot of the time we don't have the staff to tackle all those issues at the same time," Sapp said.