Wildwood removing rumble strips on road, citing increase in accidents

WILDWOOD, MO (KPLR) - They’re designed to make highways safer for drivers. But, the city of Wildwood is removing rumble strips on one road because officials say they’re causing accidents. Laura Margolf lives in Wildwood and is the mother of two young boys. She said, “I’m just really concerned about the safety aspect of them removing the bumps from the road.”

She has worried about her children’s safety ever since Wildwood began removing the rumble strips on Fox Creek Road.

They were installed about three years ago to slow people down and keep drivers from crossing the center line.  But, city officials think they’ve done just the opposite.  Wildwood Mayor Jim Bowlin said, “What we found it’s resulted in a 400 percent increase in accidents on that road. It also has not in the least bit decreased speeding so the numbers don’t bear that and the citizens of Wildwood are at risk because of it.”

Crews recently began paving over the strips much to the dismay of local residents.  Laura Margolf said, “I just know they are peace of mind for me especially when there’s bad weather like what we’re standing in now.”

She fears when construction of a new bridge is completed traffic speeds will only increase.   The mayor said the rumble strips jar drivers and they react by turning the wheel quickly. Fox Creek Road is much too narrow for drivers to react fast enough so they can end up in the ditch or in a wreck.

Both sides agree they will watch the situation closely once the rumble strips are gone. Margolf said, “If there’s going to be a problem I’m going to be the first to call up and have my voice be heard along with the other parents.”  Mayor Bowlin said, “We’re always looking at ways to improve the safety for our citizens and will continue to do that.” He said one study he read showed the rumble strips make snowy and icy weather even more dangerous.