Councilman Chuck Grayeb

As the clocks fall back, it is time to look to our future.

The Council must settle the EPA lawsuit and carve out a responsible spending plan to carry our City forward. The budget should fund what YOU want. One of my predecessors spoke often of the primacy of core or basic services. Councilman Sandberg even opined that most folks don’t mind paying taxes if they can see a palpable and meaningful difference in their neighborhoods and lives. I agree wholeheartedly.

As we move forward with the balancing of the budget, we must look to public safety first. Police, Fire, and Public Works absorb most of the money, as you would expect. But building and environmental codes, IT, and all ancillary support positions are vital as well. Our City has shed hundreds of jobs over the past decade. The City is making do with less. But… we dare not jeopardize lives by cutting the basic services any deeper.

Soon the ice and snow will return. Make no mistake about it — those big yellow trucks which fight the elements and rebuild our infrastructure are critical as well.

I have long felt that I was fortunate to be a Peorian and I feel the same now. I have had a great deal of confidence in most budgets we have carved out in my seventeen years on the Council. I will fight hard to reflect your values and work for a budget which has a human face— a budget which does not stop all the progress WE have made together in District Two.

An additional issue of great concern to me is the amount of litigation still unresolved, which existed when the City was  self-insured. A successful wrongful imprisonment claim can make our 7.9 million dollar shortfall look like a picnic in the park.

My other great worry is the action of a malignant player which often cannot be predicted. Our police work hard to preempt criminal conduct but no one knows when the next outrageous act will be committed. This uncertainty extends throughout our troubled world. As your Councilman, I am working with our authorities to identify threats in the neighborhoods and shutter malignant properties before they damage us. Our Neighborhood Service Unit is designed to preempt problems and alert property owners of their responsibilities under our laws.

We will continue to rebuild our West Bluff and our City, and I remain cautiously optimistic that the Brownstone Development on Moss is viable and will be great for all of us. I hope all of you have a great Thanksgiving as we enter a beautiful holiday season. See you soon.


Annual Holiday Party – 2017

President’s Message

November is here and soon we will embark upon a 6-week venture thorough the holidays of friends, family, parties, and an excessive amount of food.  Food is closely tied to almost everything we do these days.  The fitness industry counts on use over eating during this time.

However, there is a large segment of our population that goes hungry – daily.  Here are some disconcerting figures about Hunger in the Peoria area from the Peoria Area Food bank:

  • 90 percent of individuals served in the Peoria Area Food Bank service area are “food insecure,” meaning they lack regular access to safe and nutritious food
  • 32 percent of the members of households served by Peoria Area Food Bank are children under the age of 18 years old
  • 90 percent of individuals served by Peoria Area Food Bank have a high school diploma or higher education
  • 87 percent of individuals served by Peoria Area Food Bank report purchasing the cheapest food available, even if they know it’s not the healthiest option

Hunger affects people we see daily.  Some are recognizable, most are not.  We once considered those who earned low wages as individuals most likely to suffer from hunger but that has changed over the years and now affects people from all walks of life.

As it relates to children, the Peoria Area Food Bank states:

  • Research shows that children who experience hunger face significant stress and challenges that can have a lasting effect on their physical, cognitive and behavioral development.
  • Hunger affects a child’s ability to learn and perform well at school. Children who experience hunger come to school ill-prepared to learn, are more likely to have trouble focusing in class, and may struggle with complex social interactions and adapt less effectively to environmental stress.
  • Children who rely on free and reduced-price school lunches are at even greater risk of hunger during evenings, weekends, extended school breaks and other times when school is out. For many, the meals they receive in school are the only regular meals they can count on receiving.

We have a number of resources available to us to help curb the problem of hunger, many of which are close to or in our neighborhood.  Here’s a quick list of Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens close to us:  WestMark Food Pantry, Sophia’s Kitchen, Salvation Army, Bread of Life Food Pantry, Southside Mission and many larger institutions including Peoria Area Food Bank, Midwest Food Bank, Heart of Illinois Harvest.

Take a moment, not only this holiday but every day, to consider helping those who are hungry – through donations of food, money or time.  Make a difference in the lives of those who need help.



Councilman Chuck Grayeb

At recent meetings on the West Bluff, I realized the great change in conversation as various developments are announced and indeed go forward.

On the Bradley University anchor side of the West Bluff, we have a 100 million dollar school project and investment which will forever change us. The new Business/ Engineering Convergence Center is a huge legacy project for one of our top community employers. Bradley’s academic atmosphere adds so much to the West Bluff,  and the students and faculty contribute much to our local community. Town/ Gown Relations have never been better.

At the Hale Memorial Church, much work is occurring under the Yaku Cultural Center banner. This development is potentially transformative and is near our great hospital and medical school anchors.

We are also blessed with a great Renaissance Park Community Association with its members’ great civic engagement on West Main.  Add to this mix a potential Brownstone Townhome Development across the street from the thriving Buddhist Temple, and one begins to see another sign of great and continued prosperity for our neighborhoods.

Millions of dollars have already been spent repairing the West Bluff infrastructure, with even more work coming with the soon to be rebuilt Douglas A. MacArthur Bridge.

As Thanksgiving approaches, we have much to give thanks for, as we continue to work on the preparation of our 2018 and 2019 biennial budget. This will be my 17th budget process as your City Councilman. I am reminded of the late Councilman Gary Sandberg’s admonition:  a community’s budget is oftentimes the embodiment of a community’s values— or at least the values of those sitting around The Horseshoe at that time.

I can assure all of you that, wherever I go, I am hearing that we must continue the rebuild of the heart of our City and dare not reverse course. Property values are rising once again and energy is returning to the heart of our City.  It is the place where our young people and

Creative Class want to live. I will not acquiesce in ruinous cuts which will detract from the resurgence in our neighborhoods. We have fought too long and too hard to turn back. We will cut unnecessary spending and look for a revenue source that will be helpful to all of us. We cannot spend or tax our way out of the current 7.9 million dollar deficit. We must work with scalpel like precision to forge a new biennial budget.

I hope to see all of you soon. Thank you, Councilors Jensen and Ruckriegel, for helping me deliver for District Two— a district second to none!


Reminiscences: 1834

William Moss, brother of Lydia Moss Bradley, came to Peoria in the 1830’s. In 1843, William and his father Zeally built and occupied a small brick house at 901 Seventh Street, now Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, that came to be called Peoria Mineral Springs. Three large springs and an underground cavern behind the house soon became a major source of water for Peoria.  About 1858 the City developed other sources and the huge output of the springs flowed into the lowlands, forming Goose Lake. The lake was drained in 1867 for home sites and the spring water then went into the Peoria sewers, as it still does.

In 1847, Lydia and her husband, Tobias, came to Peoria and lived with William until their new home at 802 Moss was finished.

Lydia’s father, Captain Zeally Moss, came to visit them often until he died here in 1849. The old house was marked by the Central Illinois Landmarks Foundation in 1979 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.


It’s Time to Hang the Holiday Greens – Saturday, November 18th!

The holidays are fast-approaching which means it’s time to Hang the Greens!!  Please mark your calendar for the date and note the details below.  We all look forward to you joining us.

  • Saturday, November 18th, 9:00 AM
  • Meet at Ed & Joanne’s house: 1705 W. Moss Ave.
  • Please bring work gloves, and a sturdy ladder if you have one!
  • Trucks are also needed for delivery of greens and bows.
  • Luncheon for all volunteers served afterward at the Tarbuck/Bannon home.

We’re looking to expand our ‘experienced’ volunteer base with some younger and agile helpers.  Come to meet a few neighbors and decorate our neighborhood for this beautiful season.


President’s Message

On Sunday, August 20th, over 50 people gathered for a special meeting of the Moss Bradley Residential Association to hear developer Scott Lewis, outline his plans for the proposed development of the property at Moss Ave. and Union Hill.  Mr. Lewis, his son Christian and his daughter Jordan, presented those in attendance with their vision of building high-end townhomes on the currently-vacant property.  Through site plans and photos, the Lewis team conveyed what they envisioned this residential development could be.

There was plenty of discussion and numerous questions between Mr. Lewis, neighbors and city staff.  Overall the feelings expressed were positive about this proposal and the possibilities it holds for our neighborhood.  There were some reservations stated, and I think that lie in each of our minds, as we reflect back to what transpired with the development of Main Street Commons.

Mr. Lewis and his team still need to appear before the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) for approval of those elements of his development which fall under the HPC.  They will also be back in front of us at our October membership meeting, providing us an update and look at some of the proposed materials and color renderings of the development.

There are a number of items that are noteworthy about this development.

It is the first new significant construction in the neighborhood outside of the building of Westminster Presbyterian Church.  It is being developed on land that in general would be hard to develop.  This is due to the creativity of Mr. Lewis’ team developing a creative site plan and using the natural contours of the property as either building or green space.  As this development fills with residents, the taxes add to the city’s revenue base and the values of the townhomes help increase the comparable values of properties in the neighborhood.

There are a number of “positives” to this proposed development.  I am certain there are some neighbors who look at this with a jaded eye and question certain elements of the proposed plan.

As an organization and as a board, we have conveyed to Mr. Lewis we are willing to work with him to ensure this comes to fruition at the benefit of the neighborhood.  We have also noted to Mr. Lewis, as have Council members Grayeb, Jensen and Ruckriegel, that we will be supportive but very attentive to what is proposed and what actually is planned and constructed.  Knowing the quality of work performed by Scott Lewis Construction, we feel confident this will be the best solution for a problematic location.

I strongly suggest your attendance at the October 4th membership meeting as we follow up on the development of the Union Hill property.  The meeting will be held in the Fellowship Hall at Westminster Presbyterian Church.  Doors open at 6:30 PM with the meeting beginning at 7 PM.

See you there!


Councilman Chuck Grayeb

Next year one of the worst bridges in the State will be rebuilt. I want to thank those of you who participated in the three Douglas A. MacArthur Bridge colloquia which the City sponsored. Our new gateway bridge will continue to be iconic and will retain the Art Deco finials and will have sidewalk and bicycle lane.

A potentially exciting new project may be built on the vacant lot across the street from the Buddhist Temple in the 800 block of West Moss. I have insisted that any zoning be R4, single family residential, as this development contemplates townhomes. Scott Lewis is the potential developer. The Historic Preservation Commission must issue a Certificate of Appropriateness, and any new development must be approved by The City Council.

I have asked President Buralli to allow Developer Lewis to become much more specific about this project at the next MBRA Meeting in October. I am thrilled that a historically compatible development may replace an unsightly lot which has been a code enforcement challenge for some time.

Bradley University is continuing to build the new Convergence Center which will house the schools of Engineering and Business. As one of our top employers, Bradley continues to promote our West Bluff and regional economy.

We are continuing to work on our next city budget. We need to produce a balanced budget which does not set our neighborhoods back and which has a human face.

Happy Autumn and I look forward to seeing you soon.


City of Peoria Neighborhood Banquet and Awards

On Wednesday, November 1st, the City of Peoria will host the 2017 Neighborhood Banquet at the Peoria Civic Center from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. This annual event celebrates the accomplishments of neighborhood associations and community advocates who have worked diligently with their neighbors, the City of Peoria, and the community at large to improve the quality of life in their communities.

The banquet is a time for neighbors from all across the City to gather and share the things that make us all “Appreciate Peoria”. Please join us for an evening of music, food, and fun to celebrate local leaders who work hard to improve our community.

The Moss Bradley Residential Association will be purchasing up to 4 tables to this event.  If you wish to attend as our guest, please notify us via email or by calling 309.369.2037.




President’s Message

What Goes Around, Comes Around.

I was recently reflecting back on a “Thru the Windshield” Marge Klise wrote in 2015 and noted a number of items that have particular relevance today.

In her musings, her first statement, “We have lost many of our beautiful large trees in the last few years,” is appropriate as MBRA continues to promote our tree replacement program which was instituted in 2016.  If you are in need of replacing a tree, you can still take advantage of the program.  Details can be found here.

Marge went on to state, “Have you noticed the presence of new young families? Children out playing? We need your fresh ideas….and your strong bodies.”

Yes, yes and yes! We continue to attract young people, who find the entire Moss Bradley area to be a wonderful place to raise a family and live a rich, full life.  Her final statement in that phrase is key…”we need your fresh ideas.”

As the neighborhood continues to evolve we need to have the input of our newest neighbors and encourage you to actively participate by becoming a member, if you are not one already, having a voice at our membership meetings, and being an active participant with events and activities.

One of her final observations was about the lot at Union Hill and Moss and having it progress into an inviting entrance to our neighborhood.

If you attend the special membership meeting on Sunday, August 20th, you will hear of plans by a residential contractor to develop the property at Union Hill and Moss with historically appropriate townhomes.  More details are certain to follow in the coming weeks and we will work to communicate with all of you as the plans go before the Historic Preservation Commission and the city of Peoria  We will share email information and make it an agenda item at our September Membership meeting on Wednesday, September 6th.

Marge was a wise, insightful person, who obviously was clairvoyant.

What Goes Around, Comes Around.


Councilman Chuck Grayeb

I hope all of you are having a wonderful summer. Much is happening.

It looks like there is bipartisan support to reject any attempt to close the Science Research Lab on North University. This is great news as this lab helps contribute 100 million dollars per year to our local economy. The Bradley University Convergence Center work is ongoing. This is a four year, 100 million dollar investment in District Two by one of our top employers. Much development continues on West Main.

As I write this, we have high hopes that the Central Illinois Ballet will occupy the Foster/Jacob Building with anywhere from 60 to 100 students, six days a week. The Renaissance Park Association continues to do great work along West Main, with the flowers and colored pots their latest initiative.

Much work will be coming to West Main as we work hard to ink a CSO agreement with the EPA.

Other business expansion on West Main is in the planning stage. Prodigious efforts continue with the Western Avenue Greenway and it is looking good! All in all, things are looking great in the Moss/ Bradley area. The gas station at Main and Sheridan is now associated with the Mobil Oil Consortium and looks better. The Monster Pawn folks exceeded their authority, as of this writing, and I have asked Staff to continue to review what rights and permissions we as a City have as it pertains to this project in the West Main Form Based District.

Lock your cars up. There has been an epidemic of car crimes, City-wide.

On a positive note, the congregants of the Buddhist Temple have done fabulous interior work and would like any of us to visit and meditate.

I wish all of you the best and I am privileged to be your Councilman.


Best to all!


MBRA Tree Replacement Program

The Moss Bradley Residential Association Board of Directors is pleased to announce the continuation of the Tree Replacement Program.  This program is designed to replace street-facing trees that are diseased have been damaged by storms or removed by city crews due to disease.  This program is intended to continue the beautification of our entire neighborhood.

Guidelines are as follows:

  • Property owners who plant trees in the parkways or in an equivalent front yard space adjacent to and inside the sidewalk will be reimbursed for part of the cost of the planting. MBRA members can be reimbursed up to ¾ the cost, non-members up to ½ the cost, with a maximum reimbursement of $375 per tree and 2 trees per property.
  • Owners may be reimbursed for both the cost of the tree and installation costs if done by landscaper/nursery personnel.
  • In selecting a tree, check the mature height and width of the tree to ensure it properly fits the planting area. Be aware of power lines, street lights, sidewalk, street site lines and the potential for a mature tree to impact these items.
  • Installations on all streets within the Moss Bradley neighborhood boundaries are eligible for reimbursement.
  • Property owners who choose to install trees are responsible for contacting utility locating services to make certain the proposed locations will not put underground utility services at risk.  To do so, please call JULIE by dialing 811.
  • Property owners who choose to install trees should educate themselves on proper planting methods including staking the tree for only one year, soil amendments, mulching, watering frequency and general maintenance including pruning.  Resources for planting and care of your trees can be found at any local nursery or online.
  • This program will be in place during the fall planting season of 2017, until available funds are exhausted.  Trees can be planted until the ground freezes solid.  Owners considering installing trees and seeking  reimbursement should contact MBRA Treasurer, Sid Ruckriegel, at 309.303.0083 or email him at to check availability of funds and to indicate an intent to plant trees.  Owners will be informed if the number of planned installations may exceed the funds available in 2017.
  • Owners who install trees should recognize the importance of watering their new trees for at least the first year after planting.
  • Owners seeking reimbursement should send a copy of the paid invoice to MBRA Treasurer, Sid Ruckriegel at 1230 W. Moss Ave, Peoria, IL 61606.



What I Did On My Summer Vacation

by Mary Ann Armbruster

A friend offered a suggestion almost a year ago – England in August.  “Quilts and Treasures of England.”  What? I can hardly thread a needle to sew on a button…but wait,I don’t have to be a quilter and I don’t need to sew…I can just go and instead of the grand finale at the Birmingham Quilt Show, I can go see Pre-Raphaelites and The Staffordshire Hoard at the Birmingham Museum of Art!  I can hang out with my good (quilter) friend, Melissa and visit Stratford Upon Avon, Cambridge, Bletchly Park.   OK, sign me up.

We’re met at Birmingham airport by the Treasures group leader, Martha, and 21 other “mature” women, along with Collie, Martha’s husband, and Darren, the Coach driver – two very daring and patient men.

The group is excited to be in England, land steeped in history, art, music, architecture.  So, first things first (after the restrooms): Cadbury’s Chocolate World.  Well, ok, mildly excited about hundreds of variations on chocolate bars, including hats, teapots, animals, and any other thing you can think of, made of chocolate.

On to Stratford Upon Avon, and the beginning of ten days featuring a grand tour of English homes through the ages, plus two cathedrals, the University of Cambridge, and Bletchley Park, interspersed with rolling hills, charming villages, lots of sheep and cows, wining and dining  in tea rooms and pubs and including a canal boat dinner cruise and a lavish meeting of The Pudding Club.

The homes ranged from the relatively humble Shakespeare’s birthplace and the cottage of his wife, Anne Hathaway, to Blenheim Palace, home of the Duke of Marlborough and birthplace of Winston Churchill.  In between some cozier ones were the charming Hemington Grey Manor, home of children’s author, and quilter, Lucy Boston.  Her daughter-in-law still lives there and gives tours and manages the garden.  Another impressive cottage was Sulgrave Manor, ancestral home of George Washington built by our first President’s “5 times” Great grandfather who became wealthy in the wool business and put his home in the midst of fields of sheep.

Oxburgh Hall is a 16th century moated manor out in the middle of nowhere, filled with paintings and books, and includes  a “priests hole” a very secluded hiding place for the persecuted Catholic clergy during the reign of Elizabeth I.

Two celebrations of the Pre-Raphealites and the Arts and Crafts movement are the Wightwich Manor and the William Morris childhood home at Waltenstowe which now offers an impressive exhibit of the work of Morris and his company.  Wightwich is the Tudor style  home of Theodore Mander, a partner in a successful family business making varnish and paint, who built it in the late 19th century for his second wife, Flora, and is full of furnishings, art and decorative elements from the Arts and Crafts movement.

Our three hour walking tour of Cambridge University was undeterred by a few morning showers.  We toured the beautiful Queens’ College dining hall, resplendent with William Morris tiles and stained glass windows and tables set for a wedding reception with bouquets of white roses.  We ambled about Trinity College, famous for Henry VIII and Stephen Hawking,  the Walnut Court, the mathematical bridge, watched students and tourists punting on the Cam, and in the town visited the oldest church, St. Benet’s with its 1000 year old tower, and the Eagle Pub where the discoverers of DNA, Crick and Watson took nourishment daily, and where RAF and American flyers during WWII covered the ceiling with drawings and signatures, now historically “listed”, preserved by the British.

Our tour included another World War II site, Bletchley Park, the setting of the movie The Imitation Game about Alan Turing and hundreds of  code breakers who worked in secret to decipher German war codes.  The quiet village and countryside surroundings belie the intense work that was done in the huts of the Park.  Alan Turing’s office and the Bombe machine are impressive reminders of the work done there.

Equally inspiring and impressive is the 20th century Coventry cathedral built among the ruins of the bombed out shell of the old cathedral destroyed by a German bombing raid in WWII.  Our second cathedral tour was the ancient Ely Cathedral with the Octagon, a miracle of medieval engineering replacing a tower which fell in 1322.  It’s on the site of the monastery founded here in 673 AD by St. Etheldreda and a blend of old architecture and modern sculpture.  The Lady Chapel remains unrepaired after the damage done during the reign of Henry VIII when statues were removed, and figures in the alcoves beheaded.

Our tour ended in Birmingham where the huge

exhibition hall housed the Festival of Quilts.  Even a

non-quilter could admire the beautiful work done in a huge variety of styles, colors and sizes.  After a visit to the quilts which are so much more than just bed covers, I joined friends from the tour and took advantage of the very modern railroad transportation to go into the city of Birmingham and take a “Big Brum Open Top Buz” sightseeing tour, and of course, a visit to the Museum of Art and it’s amazing collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings and the exhibit of the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver ever discovered, found in 2009 in a field near the village of Hammerwich.


Fortunately, our trip,  involving 12 hours of flights from Birmingham to Amsterdam to Detroit and back home to Peoria, went smoothly, with good weather and plenty of in-flight distractions including snacks and movies. To quote our tour leader, Martha, “We will carry home with us memories of shared experiences, new knowledge and warm friendships, all stitched together like a quilt of many colors and textures.”


Peoria Symphony Orchestra 120th Season

The Peoria Symphony Orchestra’s 120th Anniversary season begins Saturday, September 23, 2017, at 7:30 pm in the Peoria Civic Center Theater with Reflections.  The concert features Bernstein’s Candide Overture, Brahms amazing Piano Concerto No. 1. 2017 and ends with Mussorgsky’s masterpiece Pictures at an Exhibition featuring projected images of the original artwork that inspired the music.

A first for Peoria!  Join us Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 7:30 pm in the Peoria Civic Center Theater and experience the original musical film LA LA LAND in Concert like never before. The audience will  see the complete film with the score performed live by the PSO.

On Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 7:30 pm at Grace Presbyterian Church, the PSO features Serenade for Strings, featuring Tchaikovsky’s famous and beloved Serenade for Strings. Pianist Orion Weiss returns to Peoria to perform Ernest Bloch’s hauntingly beautiful Concerto Grosso No. 1.

Winter Dreams is the title of the program on Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 7:30 pm in Riverside Community Church. PSO Concertmaster Marcia Henry Liebenow performs Winter from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Tchaikovsky’s rousing Symphony No.1 “Winter Dreams” opens the program followed by works fromMozart, Haydn, Vaughan-Williams, and more.

On Sunday, January 14, 2018 at 3 pm in the Peoria Civic Center Theater the popular innovative ensemble Time For Three performs with the PSO in a special matinee concert.  This groundbreaking, category shattering trio transcends traditional classification, blending classical, gypsy and jazz idioms in “mash-ups” that ingeniously combine Beethoven, Mozart, and Mahler with the Beatles, Lady Gaga, and others. “

Make a night of it with romance from around the world and two Peoria favorites! Join the PSO on Saturday, February 11, 2018 at 7:30 pm in the Peoria Civic Center Theater for our annual Romance concert. The popular local band, The BraziLionaires, enflame your passions with Latin rhythm in their symphony debut. After the concert, and back by popular demand, the Jim Markum Swing Band will perform in the lobby as we enjoy drinks and dancing at the Post-Concert Party!

On Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 7:30 pm at Grace Presbyterian Church the PSO presents American Classics. Three pieces by Barber; Adagio for Strings, Capricorn Concerto, and Knoxville, Summer of 1915 will be performed.

The Eternal City comes to Peoria as the PSO continues its Great Cities Series with Great Cities: Rome on  Saturday, April 28, 2018 at 7:30 pm in the Peoria Civic Center Theater. Rome comes alive in three masterpieces: Mendelssohn’s vivacious Symphony No.4 “Italian;”Martucci’s gorgeous The Song of Memories (La canzone dei ricodi) and Respigi’s inspiring The Pines of Rome brings the 120th season to a triumphant finish.

Individual and season tickets are available online at


Stop Speeding In Your Neighborhood

By HRG Engineering & Related Services


Municipal officials frequently get calls from their residents about speeding on local streets. People are worried that they or their children might get hit by a car, or a dangerous vehicle collision could occur. These are valid concerns that need to be addressed. Unfortunately, many residents think stop signs are the way to fix the problem, and they pressure their officials to post them on their street.

But stop signs do not reduce vehicle speeds. They are meant to indicate who has the right-of-way when traffic is coming from different directions, and state DOTs require municipalities to conduct a stop sign warrant analysis to make sure the intersection meets the conditions necessary to require a complete stop. If a municipality installs a stop sign where it is not warranted, it can present liability concerns, and studies indicate that stop signs are not effective for reducing speed anyway.

Drivers respond more to roadway conditions than signage – especially if they feel that signage is in conflict with those conditions. In study after study, drivers who come to a stop-controlled intersection with no other traffic in the area frequently roll through the sign, slowing down for a few seconds rather than coming to a complete stop. Then they often speed up more aggressively after moving through the intersection to make up for lost time.

A study conducted in Michigan by Richard Beaubien and published by the Institute of Transportation Engineers showed that placing stop signs along a roadway increased driver speeds, rather than decreasing them, and studies in Boulder, Colorado, and California have had similar results.

Lowering the speed limit below typical roadway safety standards is also ineffective because most drivers travel at a speed they deem typical for the roadway conditions, rather than constantly checking their speedometer against speed limit signs.

So what can you do to stop speeding on your local roads?
Institute a neighborhood traffic calming program that emphasizes community involvement and combines education and enforcement with engineering techniques such as speed humps.

Educate residents with a community awareness campaign
Studies and enforcement data history indicate that the majority of speeding on local roads is done by drivers who live in those neighborhoods, so a community education campaign that includes articles in the municipal newsletter or posters at community gathering places (such as schools, libraries, and recreation centers) can be very effective at increasing awareness and reducing speeds. Articles in the local newspaper or community magazine can also be helpful if the problem is significant enough to warrant it, and yard signs reminding people to slow down reinforce the point.

Back it up with enhanced enforcement
When educating the public about a speeding problem in your neighborhood, it’s important to tell them why you want to reduce speeds (including information on any crashes that may have occurred or the compromised safety of pedestrians). It’s also important to connect your education effort with enhanced enforcement by police and let people know that tickets will be issued. Education by itself will not deter speeders for long; the threat of fines is necessary to reduce speeding over the long haul.

Control speed with engineering devices, as needed
While education and enforcement can help reduce excessive speed in most situations, sometimes drivers need an extra nudge or reminder to slow down. A traffic engineer can help you install measures that will encourage or even force drivers to slow down such as speed humps, rumble strips, traffic islands, road narrowing, and pavement markings.

A comprehensive traffic calming program like this that combines education, enforcement, and engineering design can be very successful at eliminating speeding on local roads, but governing requires the consent of the governed. Therefore, the effectiveness of a traffic calming program depends most of all on how invested the community is in making it work. This makes community involvement from the earliest stages very important.

Many communities find it helpful to create a committee of residents to address traffic concerns in the neighborhood. The committee can provide information on speeding and other traffic issues and work with the municipal officials, their retained engineer, and police to devise a strategy to address them. All final decisions are made by municipal officials, but the committee plays a significant role in advising them and helping to determine a solution.

Working as a team, municipal officials, law enforcement, and residents can make roadways safer for the entire community.