Riverside’s first “speed table,” a traffic-calming device that’s an alternative to speed bumps, has been installed on a stretch of Lionel Road and will be tested over the next six weeks or so to see if it slows down motorists who use the street as a cut-through.

The high-impact recycled rubber “table” was placed on Lionel Road between Delaplaine and Miller roads on Oct. 9 in response to complaints from residents who say out-of-town motorists use Lionel Road as a shortcut during morning and afternoon rush hours.

“We received many, many concerns from residents about traffic there,” said Police Chief Thomas Weitzel.

Speed tables were among the traffic-calming measures recommended by the consulting firm that conducted a village-wide traffic study in 2017 and 2018. Other traffic-calming measures, such as striping to create parking lanes on Woodside Road, new stop signs and high-visibility crosswalks in key locations were implemented this summer. 

The decision to place the speed table between Delaplaine and Miller roads instead of between Delaplaine Road and Ogden Avenue, said Weitzel, was that there’s a stop sign at the intersection of Delaplaine and Lionel.

“From Lionel and Delaplaine, the next stop sign isn’t until Olmsted Road [a distance of about 2,000 feet],” Weitzel said. “We thought we’d put it on the longer stretch of road.”

The speed table, which when fully assembled weighs about a ton, comes in segments that slope to a roughly 2-foot long “table” that is about 3 inches high. The width of the speed table can be adjusted depending on street width, keeping the street gutters clear to allow storm water to flow freely.

The village purchased the speed table from Traffic Control Corporation for $7,500, said Public Works Director Edward Bailey. It will be installed within the next couple of weeks, as soon as the village takes possession of signage associated with it. 

After about six weeks – just before snow starts to fall – public works will remove the speed table for the winter. It’s unclear if it will return to that location next spring or move to another location.

Riverside police delivered notice of the speed table’s installation to Lionel Road residents earlier this week, stating it was a trial run for the device and that the goal was to analyze how motorists react to it.

Weitzel states in the notice that he welcomes feedback on use of the speed table and that resident comments “will be incorporated into any future placement of speed tables in the village.”

Bailey said that most streets in Riverside could accommodate the speed table, since its width is adjustable.

“I don’t see the speed table installed on sharp roadway curves, but other than that, one of the major influences of the installation location will be driveways,” Bailey said in an email to the Landmark.