City Scene: Respect goes a long way

By: Kerry Folsom, Folsom City Manager
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I recently met with a group of concerned residents who expressed frustration about commuters who cut through their neighborhood rather than using designated major thoroughfares. Their concerns echo those I have heard from residents in many other neighborhoods all over town, from Briggs Ranch to Prairie Oaks, Natoma Station and the Historic District. We would all like to enjoy the tranquility and safety of the residential streets surrounding our homes. No one wants to worry about high volumes of speeding vehicles that create potential danger for our families and diminish our quality of life. Many of us lead busy lives and it is human nature to look for shortcuts when traveling from point A to point B. We do not always take time to think of the potential unintended consequence of taking those shortcuts to shave a few moments off our commute time. I wanted to bring this to your attention and encourage you to be sensitive to the impact of your driving decisions on those who live on the residential streets you use. Please think about the families who live there and their concerns about children playing outside. Consider the joggers, walkers and bicyclists, as well as the noise and fumes your vehicle generates. Remember that our major arterial and collector roads are designed to handle large volumes of traffic traveling at higher rates of speed. Rather than cutting through a residential area, use our main thoroughfares — East Bidwell, Riley, Blue Ravine, Oak Avenue Parkway, Natoma, Iron Point and Folsom Boulevard for example. Since state law limits speeds to 25 miles per hour in residential neighborhoods compared to higher limits on major arterials, your shortcuts might not be saving as much time as you think. Our traffic studies show that what may seem like a significant time savings is typically no more than a minute or two. No matter what street you are using, please obey our traffic laws and regulations. When we are rushing or running late, or distracted by cell phones, we may be less observant of speed limits and traffic signs. No one wants to be responsible for causing an accident, especially a serious one that results in personal injury or property damage. During City Council meetings, Councilmember Kerri Howell frequently reminds us all of our responsibility to help ensure road safety for our families, friends, neighbors and visitors. She makes a point that is well worth repeating. Slow down. Obey traffic laws. Be considerate of others. Do your part to help maintain the wonderful quality of life we enjoy in our community. I welcome your comments by e-mail at Kerry Miller is the city manager of Folsom. His column is published the last Wednesday of the month.