Residents unsure whether speed bumps solve their speeding problem

Thursday, August 20, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT
A boy bikes down Alexander Avenue Tuesday afternoon amongst the speed bumps installed on the street after years of resident calls for such measures.

Alexander Avenue residents have their speed bumps, but after a week, some residents are only partially satisfied.

After five years and two petitions, the city put in four new speed bumps Aug. 12 to slow vehicles and discourage traffic from those who don’t live on the street. Workers reinstalled two speed bumps that had been paved over and putt in a new bump at each end of Alexander Avenue.

The two original speed bumps “seem very effective,” said resident Ginny Chadwick, who helped with the first petition drive. “Now I’m concerned that the two new ones are going to be low like the first round of bumps. We were hoping for something more traffic calming.”

Cherith Moore, who spearheaded both petitions to the Columbia City Council, expressed frustration about the two lower speed bumps at each end of Alexander.

“I don’t understand why they would bother to come put in something so low,” she said . “After so much effort, it seems like a dead end.”

The Public Works Department, however, plans on going back and making the lower bumps a bit higher.

“There is likely another lift of asphalt needed,” said Scott Bitterman, supervising traffic engineer for the city.   

Some residents were hoping for more aggressive traffic calming on Alexander. Other solutions suggested included sidewalks, planters and taller trees.

“All the city said they could give us was speed bumps,” Chadwick said. “The ideal would be if the street was one way and had a walking and bike lane up the side of the street.”

Some of the residents said the street was being used as a cut-through by drivers looking to avoid traffic on busier streets.

“The purpose is to slow traffic on our streets and make it safer for us and our kids,” said Mary Stilwell, another resident who helped the neighborhood through the petition process.

“You should feel safe walking down the street," resident Chad Canfield said. "The whole idea is that it is a residential street. That is the way we want it to be."

Residents also hope to be a catalyst for other Columbia neighborhoods.

“As a street, we would like this to become a springboard for other streets,” Canfield said.

A number of other petitions are being considered by the Public Works Department.

“There is still more work to be done, more education to be done,” Stilwell said.

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Ray Shapiro August 20, 2009 | 4:01 a.m.

("Municipal Solutions«Speed Cushions
Speed Cushions:
Speed cushions are the newest available traffic calming device, and perhaps the most innovative. Speed Cushions have several distinct advantages. Designed as three small speed humps, speed cushions effectively slow cars down. However, the wider axle of emergency vehicles allows them to pass without slowing down. In addition, speed cushions are more affordable then speed humps or tables since they require less material.")
source and more:

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr August 20, 2009 | 4:03 a.m.

I gotta agree with Canfield some of our small side streets have become as bad ad road courses for the Grand Prix wannabee's in their medium and small sports cars all year long.

Taller speed bumps would help alot. Also do not put them straight across the road but angle them at 15 - 25 degrees off center instead.

(Report Comment)
King Diamond August 20, 2009 | 8:37 a.m.

low bumps do nothing to my car, I actually find myself being less affected by them at higher speeds than I do lower speeds. So if I see one, I actually rev up to pick up speed to get over and then slow down...speed up bumps?

(Report Comment)
Keith Politte August 20, 2009 | 1:23 p.m.

I like the idea of speed cushions as referenced by Ray in his post above. This might be an option for calming traffic on West Blvd.

(Report Comment)
Jenny Rogers August 22, 2009 | 8:16 a.m.

good work, Kathleen

(Report Comment)

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