Rumble strips added to wake up drivers

Published 10:14 pm Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Drivers are sure to get a jolt as their tires cross over a new series of rumble strips on Crittenden Road, but that’s exactly why those strips were placed there in the first place.

The rumble strips were placed on the road about a month ago to remind drivers the speed limit slows from 55 miles per hour to 35 through Hobson.

Suffolk traffic engineer Robert Lewis said one of the road’s residents called his office because he was concerned people were speeding through the residential area.

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“We were addressing his concern about folks not recognizing the speed change,” he said. “It was a solution we decided to give a try before it became a problem.”

Although a study hasn’t been conducted to analyze whether the strips are working, Lewis said, he thinks they are doing their job.

“I think they tend to gently remind drivers that something’s changing,” he said. “I believe they’ve probably had a positive influence.”

Lewis also said he thinks the strips are having an effect because the calls about people speeding through Hobson have stopped.

“In the case of what we do, the lack of negative is a positive,” he said. “The positive is that we have not received any follow up information that is negative that people don’t like the rumble strips out there.”

Rumble strips are not the only solution for warning drivers about changes in traffic patterns, but Lewis said his department found it to be the most appropriate and cost-effective answer for Crittenden Road.

“We could never put anything like a speed hump out there (because of the high speeds),” he said. “The idea of the rumble strips is just to wake people up.”

In addition to the ones in Hobson, there are rumble strips on several other roads in Suffolk, including on Sleepy Hole and Bennett’s Pasture roads before they intersect with King’s Highway and on King’s Highway as motorists enter the village of Driver.

Lewis said there are also small strips on the double yellow lines on Nansemond Parkway as the road weaves toward Wilroy Road.