LINCOLN – Radar information gathered by the Lincoln Police Department in response to citizen complaints of speeding indicates drivers are mostly complying with the speed limit in at least some parts of town.
The Police Department posted Bluetooth radar trailers on Lonsdale Main Street and Briarwood Road after residents appeared before the Town Council last month urging action against speeding drivers in their neighborhoods.
A group of residents recently petitioned the town for a speed bump on Lonsdale Main, noting “excessive speeding and traffic signal avoidance” in the area.
The trailer gathered information on the one-way Lonsdale Main Street for 21 days. The posted speed limits there are 25 mph and 20 mph. Even when the digitized sign is not displaying a message to motorists, the radar trailer continues to collect data on passing vehicles.
The extended speed summary reveals that the average speed of drivers on Lonsdale Main was 14.23 mph.
The 50th percentile speed (the speed at which half of the drivers were traveling) was 13.46 mph. The 85th percentile speed (the speed reached by 85 percent of drivers) was 20.4 mph.
The lowest recorded speed on Lonsdale Main was 5 mph, with a top speed of 44 mph. The road saw about 909 cars daily.
Diving further into the data; out of a total of 19,094 cars, 189 violated traffic laws. That’s about one percent of the traffic in violation.
Out of more than 900 vehicles on average passing through every day, an average of nine topped out over the speed limit.
Police placed the trailer on Lonsdale Main for 22 days in response to the citizen petition calling for a speed bump. During a council meeting last month, Lonsdale Main residents said the lack of traffic enforcement has created a safety hazard.
Police Chief Brian Sullivan said the radar data collected on Lonsdale Main confirms that the road is being used as a cut-through, as-seen by the sheer volume of cars passing through every day. He said the volume of cars going beyond just resident drivers.
Councilor Bruce Ogni asked Sullivan whether it’s typical for residents to over-exaggerate claims of speeding.
“I’d agree that most of the time the speed isn’t as high as residents, or someone standing out there, would believe,” he said. That’s why the Police Department relies on radar technology instead of assumptions based on their observations.
Ogni said drivers traveling the wrong way up Lonsdale Main has been an issue, and asked Sullivan to start ticketing offending drivers.
Residents of Briarwood Road have shared their own concerns about traffic on their street, which connects School Street to Timberland Drive.
The posted speed limit on Briarwood is 20 mph.
According to data collected by the town’s radar trailer, drivers traveled at an average speed of 22.77 mph. The 50th percentile speed was 23.44, and the 85th percentile speed was 28.37.
The slowest driver was traveling 5 mph, while one outlier hit an alarming 139 mph.
On average, Briarwood saw 365 cars every day, and a total of 8,042.
Of the 8,042 vehicles, 738 were in violation, or 9.2 percent. Broken down by day, out of 374 drivers on-average, about 34 were in violation.