South Pittsburgh residents in the Mount Washington community are seeking a solution to slow speeding drivers on Grandview Avenue.
The city has allocated $50,000 of the annual budget to traffic calming initiatives for a problematic section of Grandview Avenue. The current plan is to use these funds to install seven speed humps approximately 250 feet apart.
“This is the first year we’ve had funding, so this is the first opportunity we’ve had to actually put something in place,” Municipal Traffic Engineer Amanda Purcell told the South Pittsburgh Reporter in “Speed humps may be used to calm Grandview traffic.”
Speed humps are mistakenly considered to be one of the less expensive traffic calming solutions, but as another Pennsylvanian community has learned, the costs don’t end at installation. Maintenance can be costly, especially in climates that deal with frequent snow, ice and salt on roadways. Also, personal vehicles can suffer damage when the humps are not constructed or installed properly. There are additional drawbacks:
- Expensive to install and expensive to maintain – Speed humps can cost up to $7000 each, including installation.
- Interfere with response times of emergency vehicles – Each speed hump costs fire trucks 10 seconds in response time.
- Reduce property values – Prospective homebuyers reject home sites near speed humps.
- Increase noise levels – Speed humps usher in a constant barrage of scraping cars and engines revving over the humps.
- Increase wear and tear on residential and commercial vehicles – Speed humps are a source of excessive wear on tires, brakes, suspension systems, shock absorbers and rattle dashboards.
- Expensive to remove – Municipalities, under pressure by citizens and enforced by the courts, have been forced to remove speed humps at great expense to taxpayers.
- Increase air pollution – On roads with speed humps, carbon monoxide emissions increase by 82 percent, carbon dioxide emissions double and nitrogen oxide increases by 37 percent.
- Reduce fuel efficiency and increase gas consumption – By forcing drivers to brake and accelerate repeatedly, speed humps will cause a car that normally that gets 58.15 mpg travelling at a steady 30 mph to deliver only 30.85 mpg.
While driver feedback signs from Radarsign reliably slow speeding drivers, they do not have the maintenance costs associated with speed humps. They are actually quite affordable and do not impact all speeds of traffic the way physical devices, such as speed humps, do. Radar speed signs are scientifically proven to be effective in the short and long-term.
So instead of this equation: 7 speed humps = $50,000, a community could be working with this equation: 7 radar speed signs = less than 50% of the budget, in this case.
Charlie Robeson: Radarsign® Co-founder & Director of Sales and Marketing