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High Point City Council passes new traffic calming policy

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HIGH POINT, N.C. --Monday night, the High Point City Council passed a new traffic calming policy for the first time in more than 10 years.

Mark McDonald is the city's transportation director and says the old policy left many neighborhoods unable to get the speeding control they needed.

"We've done an awful lot of different studies in different areas and where the policy seems to break down is when we get to the point where it's time to pay," McDonald said.

Under the old policy, neighborhoods had to fully fund any kind of traffic calming project they wanted and many neighborhoods just couldn't afford it. In the new policy, the city has designated $100,000 for projects and will rate proposals from neighborhoods based on a set of criteria.

"Using the system that allows us to score and prioritize projects so that we will use that funding in the best way possible," McDonald said.

The system looks at things like speed, traffic volume, crash history and pedestrian activity on a given street. The project is then given a score, the higher the score, the higher the project will be on the city's priority list.

Coralle Cowan lives in the Johnson Street Historical District.

"When people go blowing through the street as fast as they can it really does kind of detract from the peacfulness of the neighborhood, of any neighborhood," she said.

Cowan says she could see her neighbors getting together to submit a proposal for a traffic calming project.

"It still would be nice I think to see a lower speed limit where people would slow down and maybe have a little stronger enforcement too of the traffic laws," she said.

The policy also allows neighborhoods who contribute money to their project to get a higher score and move the project up on the city's priority list.