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HEED THE SPEED
 
 

HEED THE SPEED
Chris Lydon, Chair 
 
 
August 2017 Article (Written by Guy Kriske, Board Member)
 
The Heed the Speed Committee has been active for over a year working to plan short term and long term actions to address roadway safety in our community. These plans have included education, communication, and interface with local government to effect behavior change. We owe a special thank you to Chris Lydon and his committee for working to make our streets safer.
 
Unfortunately, we are all victims of continued unsafe driving going on within our neighborhood. Unfortunately, our community serves as a cut-through for many non-resident drivers. However, much of the observed unsafe driving is a result of resident behavior. People are running stop signs and speeding down our streets. I was recently at a stop sign, came to complete stop, and was honked at and treated to an obscene gesture by an impatient and obnoxious driver. Drivers have been seen attempting to pass other cars while on Chimney Springs Drive.
 
A few easy, short term, no cost things we can all do to make our neighborhood streets safer include:
  • Have a discussion with drivers within your home and pledge to always drive 25MPH in our neighborhood and stop at stop signs – NO MATTER WHAT!
  • Talk with your neighbors and guests about the importance of driving the speed limit and stopping at stop signs.
  • Look at the vegetation on your property from the view of a driver. Trim back any vegetation that can impede the view of oncoming traffic or pedestrians.
  • When walking, use sidewalks where they are available. Where no sidewalks exist, walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.
  • When riding a bicycle, ride in the same direction as traffic and obey all of the traffic laws including stop signs. Note: only those under 12 years of age can legally use bicycles on sidewalks in Georgia.
 
Register with the Chimney Springs website at www.chimneysprings.org to receive eblasts and electronic newsletters.
 
Sign up for the Chimney Springs, Heed the Speed Facebook page to join the effort and keep up to date on progress. 
 
June 2017 Article
 
We have had three inquiries to Heed the Speed concerning radar trailer placement.  I have requested that Cobb DOT to place them on Smoke Rise Lane between both Chimney Springs Drives by Fox Hound Parkway and in the following month, on Chimney Springs Drive by Hunting Hound Lane.  I also requested Chimney Springs Drive on the west side by the entrance path to the Lake.
 
I have noticed a lot more drivers and residents hugging to the 25MPH Speed limit and coming to a stop at stop signs. It truly has an impact!  I have noticed that when I stop at a stop sign and another vehicle is there or approaching, they will stop for that extra 1/2 second because I did. Lead by example, you are making an impact!
 
A little math for you. It is about one mile from Bishop Lake to Oak Lane.  At 25 MPH, that drive will take two minutes and 24 seconds.  At 30 MPH, that drive will take exactly two minutes. This does not include time at stop signs. So in summary, watching your speed will only delay you by 24 seconds! I think we can all spare 24 seconds for safety!
 
May 2017 Article
 
The Heed the Speed Committee met on Wednesday, April 19 to discuss the goals and steps for the committee going forward. Here are a couple of the important decisions made by the committee.
  • No meetings for May, June, or July while school is on summer break. We will resume meeting in August.
  • We will be asking Cobb DOT to place the portable radar speed trailer in a couple locations over the summer. If you have any recommendations on location, please email us at heedthespeed@chimneysprings.org. Cobb DOT will try to place it around that area but will need a clear line of sight for proper placement. They will face it in both directions over a few days.
  • More to come on possible permanent radar speed limit signs. Cobb DOT is still working through the backlog of neighborhood evaluations. 
Have a safe summer – remember the kids are out of school, riding bikes, and walking in the neighborhood. Slow down and come to a full stop! You don’t want to become a statistic!
 
April 2017 Article
 
I want to thank everyone for the great turnout at the Town Hall Meeting held by our Cobb County Commissioner, Bob Ott!  Please read the President’s article on pages 4-5 in this newsletter for the recap.  

The primary impact we all can make is to drive 25 mph and stop at stop signs. This is a great example to set for neighbors, your kids that are or will be drivers, and for drivers cutting through.

As an example of setting a good example for our kids, a resident who was a physical therapist in a hospital trauma care center, shared an unsettling experience of seeing kids hanging out of car windows. This was noticed on several occasions going to and from Tritt Elementary. Let's set a good example for our kids and lead by example in using and stressing the importance of safety while driving in the neighborhood and using seat belts consistently.  
 
We are continuing to reach out to trash contractors that serve our neighborhood with the intent of continuing the application of the KKAD25 yellow stickers that you've seen on quite a few trash cans. Special thanks to Guy Kriske who has personally applied these to many of the approved trash cans in the neighborhood especially along Chimney Springs Drive. 

Our next Heed the Speed Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday April 19 at 7:00pm at the Clubhouse. Agenda items include:
Discuss next goals and steps for Heed the Speed going forward.
Discuss next location for radar speed trailer location requests.
Discuss messaging and communication in newsletter.
 
March 2017 Article
 
I want to say thank you to all the residents that have placed a renewed priority of driver and pedestrian safety in our neighborhood. One the most impactful ways to influence how people obey the speed limit, how people stop at stop signs, how courteous drivers are to pedestrians and bikers is to modify your own behavior and the behavior of those in your household. How do you do that? Well, it is pretty simple:
  • Make a conscious effort to drive 25MPH in the neighborhood. That is the posted speed limit! It is safer and will pace other cars using our streets as a cut through.
  • Make a conscious effort to stop at stop signs.
  • Coach, guide, and monitor your student drivers on proper driving habits.
  • Be considerate of pedestrians, bikers, and pet walkers and give them a cushion of space to walk when you pass.
  • Put yourself in the spot of those on foot and bike and ask yourself, “How would I want to treated out on the road?”
  • We each play an important part, so consider your habits and how you can set a good example.
Here are a few of things that the Heed the Speed Committee has done over the last couple of months:
 
  1. Had the speed radar trailer placed on Chimney Springs Drive (CSD) many times. We will continue to request its placement at a new location each month.
  2. Petitioned our Cobb County Commissioner, Bob Ott and Cobb DOT to consider extending sidewalks on CSD. The Board has worked with Bob’s office and a Town Hall meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 14 in the Clubhouse at 7:00pm. 
  3. Learned that permanent radar speed limit signs have been approved by Cobb County. Chimney Springs in on the list of neighborhoods to be evaluated for that technology. No word yet on how they are funded, installed, or maintained. More to come as we learn about it.
  4. Many more KKAD25 stickers placed on approved trash cans. We will continue to press other trash vendors for approval.
  5. Posted information graphic showing proposed sidewalk extension and location of bus stops in the neighborhood on the Heed the Speed Facebook page. See associated map.
More to come. Thanks to all the residents that attend our Committee meetings. We will not have a March meeting as the Town Hall meeting is on March 14th.
 
February 2017 Article
The Heed the Speed Committee meeting has been rescheduled for Wednesday, February 8 at 7:00pm in the Clubhouse. This meeting be a combined meeting for January and February. 
 
We will have an update on:
  • Speed Radar signs
  • Cobb Stop sign evaluation
  • Trash can stickers
  • Rescheduling speed trailers
  • New contacts for Cobb County
January 2017 Article
 
Winter months provide unique challenges to roadway safety. Daylight is shorter, temperatures are markedly lower, and hazards exist that are not present during other times of the year.
 
When temperatures drop, it is particularly important to be aware of road conditions.
 
  • Black ice can form quickly when temperatures drop below 32 degrees. Black ice is a thin, extremely transparent film of ice that can form on a road or sidewalk surface that is difficult to see. It can cause sudden loss of traction for both tires and footwear. This can cause loss of control for cars, and slips or falls for pedestrians.
  • Decrease driving speed when roads are icy or slick. Posted speed signs are suggestions for the most ideal driving conditions.
  • Allow for extra stopping distance, especially when conditions are less than ideal.
  • Be aware that even when the majority of roads in Chimney Springs are clear and dry, we live in a neighborhood with many trees. They shade the road and patches of ice can be present for a long time after the rest of the roads are clear.
  • Put driving first. When operating a 1,500-pound machine traveling down the road, driving should never be a secondary activity.
  • Keep sidewalks clear where they exist.
  • Use sidewalks where they exist.
December 2016 Article
 
The holiday season is upon us. It is a time to be thankful, to spend time with family and friends, and to be particularly careful whether you are traveling on foot or by vehicle. A few tips to help make our holiday season safer:
  • There tends to be many gatherings during this time of year. With that comes more vehicles on our roads. Watch for parked vehicles when making turns or coming around curves.
  • Look for oncoming traffic when driving around parked vehicles on your side of the street. Yield to those oncoming vehicles.
  • If parking on the street, park on the correct side of the street (with traffic) and as close to the curb as possible.
  • Watch for increased pedestrian traffic as schools are likely to be out longer, and visitors might not be familiar with the neighborhood.
  • Daylight hours are shorter this time of year, so we are more likely to be walking in the dark. Wear light clothing, preferably with reflective properties.
  • When walking in the dark, use a flashlight or head lamp.
  • Walk on the same side as oncoming traffic, so you can see the traffic as it approaches you.
  • Whether walking or riding a bike, watch for leaves. They can retain moisture that can be slippery or frozen.
You probably have seen some of the trash can stickers being deployed in the neighborhood. Many more will be deployed over the coming weeks, starting with the busiest streets. This is one of the efforts by the Heed the Speed Committee in conjunction with our primary trash collectors. In addition to the stickers, we have been providing information for the newsletter that includes safety tips.
 
The HOA has recently approved a letter to be shared with the HOA’s in adjacent neighborhoods. Our intent is to expand the scope of our awareness programs from neighborhood to community wide. We have received great support from the local police and county engineering departments, and look forward to more success next year. To keep current, check out the Chimney Springs – Heed the Speed page on Facebook.
 
November 2016 Article
 
The Heed the Speed Committee is proud to announce a partnership between Chimney Springs and two of our trash removal companies: American Disposal and Waste Management. Our trash removal partners, in conjunction with the Chimney Springs Heed the Speed Committee will be rolling out the next highly visible phase of our roadway safety plan beginning in November 2016. We have adopted the “Keep Kids Alive / Drive 25” decals from a national campaign to get the message of obeying the speed limit across to drivers using roads in Chimney Springs.
 
American Disposal and Waste Management have endorsed and authorized the Chimney Springs HOA to apply decals with the message to all of their company-owned trash and recycling receptacles in Chimney Springs. One of the receptacles with a decal was displayed at the HOA Annual Meeting in October. The HOA has approved purchasing a limited number of decals to begin the rollout. Installation will begin on the busiest streets first. One decal will be applied to each receptacle on opposite sides. When placing your receptacles out on trash day, please help the program by arranging them with the decals visible to oncoming traffic.
 
The next phases of communication and incorporating neighboring communities is in the planning phase. We are also actively working toward bringing the other trash removal companies in our neighborhood on board. The Heed the Speed Committee is researching and evaluating numerous programs and activities to help make Chimney Springs’ streets even safer for our residents. Join the Chimney Springs – Heed the Speed Facebook page to keep up to date on developments. There will be no Committee Meeting in November.
 
October 2016 Article
 
Please take a minute and read a very compelling article about the long-term effects of unavoidable accident. The article was written for the Heed the Speed Committee by one of our own residents. Click here for a "Driver's Side Impact."
 
ABOUT THE HEED THE SPEED COMMITTEE
 
Here are a few great examples of easy, short-term, no-cost behaviors that we can enact right now to start making Chimney Springs safer for everyone.
  • Have a discussion with drivers within your home and pledge to always drive 25MPH in our neighborhood and stop at stop signs – NO MATTER WHAT!
  • Talk with your neighbors and guests about the importance of driving the speed limit and stopping at stop signs.
  • Look at the vegetation on your property from the view of a driver. Trim back any vegetation that can impede the view of oncoming traffic or pedestrians.
  • When walking, use sidewalks where they are available. Where no sidewalks exist, walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.
  • When riding a bicycle, ride in the same direction as traffic and obey all of the traffic laws including stop signs.
Register with the CS website at www.chimneysprings.org to receive eblasts & electronic newsletters.
Sign up for the CS, Heed the Speed Facebook page to join the effort and keep up to date on progress. (search “Heed the Speed Chimney Springs” from Facebook)
 
Soon to a trash receptacle near you!
The CS Heed the Speed Committee in partnership with American Disposal and Waste Management will begin applying safety decals to trash and recycling receptacles. Starting with the main thoroughfares, the Committee will be applying “Keep Kids Alive – Drive 25” decals to the right side of the recycling and left side of the waste receptacles. Once yours have these decals, please place your receptacles so the decals are facing traffic. These decals are part of the ongoing effort to make the streets of our neighborhood even safer.          
 
September 2016 Article
 
There has been quite a bit of activity going on to improve roadway safety in Chimney Springs.
 
We have been in contact with Cobb County, and in the next several weeks, they will be placing temporary Radar speed trailers at two spots on Chimney Springs Drive. One will be near Chimney Springs Court and the other will be near Chimney Sweep Lane. They will be in place for three to four days in each location and will be reversed during those times to alert drivers in both directions.
 
The Committee has mapped out all of the speed limit and stop signs in Chimney Springs. Cobb DOT is initiating an evaluation of their placement and will make recommendations for additions or relocations as necessary. Three of the five entrances to Chimney Springs do not have speed limit signs as you enter the neighborhood.
 
We have begun an awareness campaign that began with last month’s newsletter and will continue. We have contacted Tritt Elementary and have confirmation that speeding and stop sign reminders will go to parents. Other planned contact points include the Catholic Church of St. Ann and Mt. Zion United Methodist Church. Please share any other local organizations you think we should be contacting. If you have an existing relationship with one of these organizations, please volunteer for the committee!
 
We are evaluating existing speeding and stop sign campaigns from other parts of the country to leverage existing efforts.
 
Don’t hesitate to report speeders or stop sign violators. If possible, get the license plate number, make, model, and color of the vehicle and report it to Cobb County at: https://cobbegov.org/index.php/traffic-complaints.
 
We received a very exciting piece of news! As part of the 2016 SPLOST budget, a sidewalk along Chimney Springs Drive connecting Revere Circle to Bishop Lake Road has been approved. There is no scheduled date for construction yet as there are several large projects slated before this one. The project has a $1 million budget for this project alone.
 
The county uses citizen input when determining where to place sidewalks. If you want your voice to be heard in favor or opposed to sidewalks, please contact District 3 Engineer Karyn Matthews at karyn.matthews@cobbcounty.org and let her know your opinion about sidewalks anywhere else in Chimney Springs. Your opinion counts!
 
Finally, sign up for our Facebook page at Chimney Springs, Heed the speed to keep up to date on progress.
 
Want to know more? Want to help? Attend the next Heed the Speed meeting on Thursday, September 22 at 7:00pm in the Clubhouse.
 
Remember, a safer neighborhood begins with each of us! We set the example for our families and visitors to our neighborhood. Follow the speed limit, obey all traffic signs whether in a car or on a bicycle, and discuss roadway safety with our families.
 
Our Committee is taking this matter very seriously and is working steadfastly on short term and long term efforts that can have an impact on your safety and the safety of your children and pets!
 
August 2016 Article
 
The Heed the Speed Committee held its kickoff and input gathering meeting Wednesday, July 20 at the Clubhouse. The meeting was attended by 17 residents representing various parts of the neighborhood. Lively discussion ensued with several takeaways that will be useful for finalizing the plans for short term and long term actions to address roadway safety in our community. These plans will include education, communication, and interface with local government to effect behavior change.
 
A few easy, short term, no cost things we can all do to make our neighborhood streets safer include:
  • Have a discussion with drivers within your home and pledge to always drive 25MPH in our neighborhood and stop at stop signs – NO MATTER WHAT!
  • Talk with your neighbors and guests about the importance of driving the speed limit and stopping at stop signs.
  • Look at the vegetation on your property from the view of a driver. Trim back any vegetation that can impede the view of oncoming traffic or pedestrians.
  • When walking, use sidewalks where they are available. Where no sidewalks exist, walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.
  • When riding a bicycle, ride in the same direction as traffic and obey all of the traffic laws including stop signs. Note: only those under 12 years of age can legally use bicycles on sidewalks in Georgia.
 
Register with the Chimney Springs website at www.chimneysprings.org to receive eblasts and electronic newsletters.
 
Sign up for the Chimney Springs, Heed the Speed Facebook page to join the effort and keep up to date on progress. 
 
Want to know more? Want to help? Attend the next Heed the Speed meeting at the Chimney Springs Clubhouse on Thursday, August 25 at 7:00pm.