Bellevue, Washington, Finds Radar Speed Signs a Valued Alternative to Speed Bumps and Other Traffic Calming Strategies

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City’s study says SpeedCheck displays from Information Display Company particularly clear to motorists, easy to repair and user-friendly

BEAVERTON, OR – Radar speed signs continue to be an effective means of reducing vehicle speeds – even eight years after first being installed, according to a final report issued by the city of Bellevue, Washington. The 2009 report, entitled “Stationary Radar Sign Report 2009,” provides a summary of the city’s experiences and recommendations concerning the use of radar speed signs as a traffic-calming solution.

Once used by the city only in locations where speedbumps, traffic circles or other physical traffic calming measures could not be installed, Bellevue now employs over thirty radar speed signs, in many cases, in locations where speedbumps or traffic circles would be feasible. According to the report, this change in policy is due to the popularity and effectiveness of the radar speed signs. Radar speed signs – an effective alternative to speed bumps.

Information Display Company is the leading manufacturer of radar speed signs. According to company president, Gary ODell, a growing number of communities across the U.S. are opting to use radar SpeedCheck signs as a preferred alternative to speedbumps, rumble strips or other more obtrusive traffic-calming strategies.

“Unlike speedbumps, radar SpeedCheck signs do not increase traffic noise, harm vehicles or impede ambulances and other emergency vehicles,” said ODell.

Following the evaluation of several radar speed signs supplied by various manufacturers, the Bellevue report also provides recommendations for choosing and deploying the displays. According to the report, radar speed signs manufactured by Information Display Company are easily repaired, provide user-friendly wireless downloading of data and display clear messaging to targeted motorists.

In more than one case, Bellevue transportation officials had problems with other signs and so they replaced them with those manufactured by Information Display Company.

“The City of Bellevue has several SpeedCheck brand radar speed displays permanently mounted throughout the city,” said Karen Gonzalez, manager of Bellevue’s Neighborhood Programs. “After a comprehensive review of several products and manufacturers, we have chosen Information Display as one of our preferred vendors due to the SpeedCheck sign features available as well as the exceptional customer service we have been given.”

The report’s recommendations for sign placement include:

  • Mount signs with a minimum distance of 300 feet of clear sight distance.
  • Consider the proximity of available power vs. the cost of installation.
  • If using solar power, ensure there are proper light levels at the sign locations.
  • Consider neighboring homes. Lights from the displays may prove intrusive.
  • Avoid locations where metal objects (including parked cars) may come between the radar sign and oncoming traffic.

When properly positioned, the city of Bellevue found that the radar speed signs were effective at significantly reducing 85th percentile speeds. Contrary to expectations from both city residents and staff, the radar speed signs continued to be effective years after first being installed. In some cases, average traffic speeds actually decreased over time.

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