Raised crosswalks recommended on Harper
Lenoir’s Committee of the Whole heard a proposal from Lenoir police about the possibility of adding raised crosswalks on Harper Avenue behind the Alden Starnes County Building.
LPD Chief Scott Brown said his department recommended the raised walkway, similar to those in front of Caldwell Memorial Hospital, because of an increase in foot traffic coupled with the need to reduce speed along the roadway.
LPD Crash Reconstruction Specialist Chris Bumgarner compiled a study of speed along Harper and determined that about 24 percent of the traffic on that street was traveling at least 35 miles per hour — 15 mph over the posted speed limit of 20 mph. Speeds ranged from 10 mph to 114 mph and averaged 24.5 mph.
Brown said there were two vehicles clocked in excess of 110 mph, but he said there was an issue with wind, and those readings were not at all accurate.
To compile the speed data, LPD used a system called StealthStat, which has a much lower profile than the Smart Radar system that is more visible to drivers, causing them to slow down. Bumgarner’s report said the SteathStat device offers a more accurate representation of traffic speeds because it’s mounted on poles and is nearly unnoticeable by drivers.
The system was deployed over a four-day stretch from Wednesday, Sept. 5, through Saturday, Sept. 8. A total of 12,686 vehicles traveled Harper in that time with 522 of them traveling at speeds between 35 and 49 mph. Seven were clocked by the system going between 50 and 69 mph.
The raised walkways also would serve as speed bumps to slow drivers on that thoroughfare.
LPD's proposal will be discussed at a future meeting of the Lenoir City Council.