Two weeks ago, construction was completed on Parkway Sorrento to eliminate the speed bumps and install three roundabout islands in the middle of the road. This was done in an effort to slow down speeding motorists along the residential street. Evidently the speed bumps did little to nothing to slow traffic along the length of this straightaway.
Now it appears that the $210,000 effort to slow traffic speeds is actually having the opposite effect.
According to local resident, Dr. Del Alt, "Drivers are actually speeding up and using our street like a slalom course."
Because the area has so many high end European performance vehicles, some drivers see the traffic circles as a challenge and are trying to game the quick series of turns as a challenge to their driving skills.
As a result, they actually take the section of the road faster than they would have with the uninspiring speed bumps.
Traffic officials measured vehicle speeds during a weekday in May and then another last week and found that average speeds actually increased a whopping 24% from 33 to 41 miles per hour.
"I had my best clocked time ever on Monday," said a Porsche 911 Carrera S owner who asked not to be identified. "I won't give you my exact speed in the middle of the traffic circle stretch, but does a mile a minute give you a hint?"
Another driver standing outside of his Maserati GranTurismo waiting his turn at the Calabasas Tennis and Swim Center entrance said, "We nicknamed the second traffic island G Force because you really get thrown hard to the right immediately after clearing the first island."
Residents have noticed, too. Said Dr. Alt, "I saw someone with a checkered flag and a stopwatch standing at the corner of Park Sorrento and Park Ora waiting for a driver to finish. Some homeowners are setting up lawn chairs to watch the races and their kids have lemonade stands along the street."
Calls to the Traffic Commission for comment have not been returned.
- Tony Stanol