A new initiative will help Frederick police and city staff coordinate efforts to fight speeding in city neighborhoods.
The city unveiled its Operation Safe Speed, which will combine officers from the Frederick Police Department and engineering staff in the city’s Public Works department to analyze complaints of speeding around the city.
The change allows police to designate officers on each patrol shift as traffic safety specialists, who will be responsible for conducting proactive traffic enforcement during their shifts whenever calls for service allow it, said Cpl. David Golden, who will be leading the initiative for the department.
Golden said they’d already gotten several online forms submitted at frederickmd.gov/trafficconcern since the program was announced Monday morning.
“The community is definitely getting involved,” he said.
The forms had previously gone to the engineering staff, who would use them to design ways to calm or slow traffic in problem areas.
Now, police will use the information from the forms to try and create more focused enforcement by prioritizing areas where complaints are coming from, Golden said.
Golden said he will be doing a full analysis of complaints about speeding from the city’s Neighborhood Advisory Councils, a key source of information for locating potential problems, in the coming days.
Identifying speeding drivers can sometimes be an issue of perception.
Unfortunately, people often believe that motorists are driving at an unsafe speed when they are actually going only a few miles over the posted speed limit, Golden said.
The city and the police department have received many complaints about speeding in parts of the city, with many coming from the area of Monocacy Boulevard and Christophers Crossing, according to a city release.
Residents of the Clover Ridge neighborhood on the north side of the city have complained that a section of Christophers Crossing that opened in June has led to increased speeding by drivers through the area.
The 1,850-foot, four-lane segment connects the end of Christophers Crossing in Clover Ridge to a roundabout at the intersection of Walter Martz Road and Poole Jones Road.
There was also concern about a straightaway that runs from Opossumtown Pike to the new traffic circle, which creates another worry.
“It looks like a drag strip. And that’s how it’s going to be treated,” Clover Ridge resident Laura Rigsby said when the stretch of road opened.
The city raised the speed limit in the neighborhood from 25 mph to 30 mph shortly before the new road segment was opened.
Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor said speeding through neighborhoods creates a quality of life concern that requires a variety of responses.
The data collected from traffic enforcement, speed boxes and crash data will help the city adjust its services as needed, the request said.
Frederick Police Chief Jason Lando said the new program provides an important first step in addressing feedback from residents and officers.