Ronda is looking to crack down on drivers speeding through town.
At Tuesday night’s town hall meeting, Ronda Mayor Victor Varela and the Board of Commissioners discussed adding speed bumps or rumble strips in town as part of an overall effort to enforce speed limits in town limits.
At February’s meeting Ronda, resident Jeff Hoots asked the board to install the bumps as a way to cut down speeding in the 25 mph zone he lived in. Other members of the audience agreed.
In response to the public urging Ronda officials contacted Carter and Kirk Paving, which is currently working for the town on a separate project, and requested an estimate about adding speed bumps to the original job.
Carter and Kirk’s estimate ranged from $250 to $400 per speed bump. Rumble strips were not available from the company. The town could purchase and install rumble strips privately if they chose. The strips would be identical to the rough pavement on the side of major highways to prevent drivers from running off the road.
Several in the audience cited damage to vehicles as an unwelcome side effect of speed bumps. Varela said he had contacted the North Carolina Department of Transportation, and they had recommended against using speed bumps for liability concerns attached to vehicle damage.
Varela voiced support for rumble strips. An audience member commented that the town would need to buy one of the varieties of rumble strips that do not make audible sound outside of the car to prevent the strips from becoming a nuisance to the neighborhoods in town.
Varela said in the meantime the commissioners would look at increasing signage to prevent speeding. He and others in the audience admitted the efforts would be a temporary fix, comparing the signs to “scarecrows that birds would get used to and ignore.”
Kevin Reece suggested contacting the Sheriff’s Office to increase patrols through Ronda.
Varela said he spoke to the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office after February’s meeting and told the office he wanted more patrols done through town.
An additional step the board discussed was to increase fines for those charged with speeding. Varela said the town could legally regulate its own speed limits but was not sure if it could also regulate the amount of fines.
One man in the audience said “we have been through this before,” alluding to a previous attempt by Ronda to install and maintain speed bumps in town limits. That effort resulted in damaged vehicles and the eventual removal of the bumps, with some of the audience blaming improper installation as the culprit, he said.
Varela said he hopes that this time they’ll have a variety of options available for the public to view and comment on.
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