Six intersections on St. Louis’ Compton Avenue recently received an interesting solution to their traffic problems, but many are wondering if the solution is worse than the problem. To narrow the intersections, the city installed concrete spheres on what was previously drivable street surface.
Eleven days after workers from Yakima, Washington, installed speed bumps along North 53rd Avenue, they returned to rip them all out this is because residents were outraged about the problems that came with them. The disruptive bumps had been installed too close to driveways and on a steep hill where snow and ice accumulate. Additionally, “the city said they had to remove them because they weren’t doing their job of improving safety.”
Range Rover has taken the world’s most frustrating traffic calming device and made fun of it. It’s really the best! That’s because the truth is that speed bumps are notoriously problematic for everyday vehicles. And they are disruptive to the communities in which they are installed.
An Evaluation of School Zone Traffic Control Strategies conducted a comprehensive review of related transportation studies to provide insight on best practices for school zone traffic safety. The study revealed that the presence of radar speed signs not only decreased speeding, but also changed driver behavior which led to an overall increase in safety throughout the school zone.
Before the turn of the 21st century, speed humps were the go-to traffic calming solution for communities everywhere. However, much has been learned since then, and first responders are voicing their opposition to these disruptive devices.
After living with temporary speed humps for a year, one community said “no” to a permanent installation. Council members in Peters Township, Pa. recently rejected a traffic calming plan to install two permanent speed humps at a residential intersection.
In a recently released safety study, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) wrote, “Although speeding is one of the most common factors in motor vehicle crashes in the US, it is an underappreciated problem, involved in about 10,000 highway fatalities each year.“
SeaTac residents living on 51st Street are asking the City Council to address their concerns over increased street traffic volumes and speeding. The strained police force acknowledged that they do not have the staff available to write the necessary tickets and suggested speed bumps. The Deputy Mayor would like an alternative to “drastic” speed bumps because of the hazards they pose for emergency vehicles.
The Transportation Board for the town of Brookline, Massachusetts developed a plan to address traffic concerns on a primary roadway by installing eight raised crosswalks and two speed humps. Babcock Street connects many Brookline communities and serves as an initial fire department route more than a thousand times a year.
While speed humps have a litany of faults, most agree that their primary purpose is to protect the people outside of the moving automobiles: pedestrians, children and cyclists. Unfortunately, bicycles and speed humps don’t always go together. For cyclists, speed humps are jarring and potentially dangerous.