Today's Question: How can the city slow traffic in residential areas like Alexander Avenue?

Thursday, August 20, 2009 | 7:56 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA —After five years and two petitions, the city put in four new speed bumps Aug. 12 to slow vehicles on Alexander Avenue and discourage outside traffic. Workers reinstalled two speed bumps that had been paved over and put in a new bump at each end of the street.

However, neighborhood residents are not convinced the measure was effective. .

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.”

The Public Works Department plans to raise the lower speed bumps.

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

Residents hope that whatever steps are taken are done so to promote the most caution possible.

“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."

What do you think should be done to reduce speeding on neighborhood roads such as Alexander Avenue?

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Ray Shapiro August 20, 2009 | 9:35 p.m.

Post signs that there are neighborhood watch speed spotters who will jot down license plates and bear witness that specific cars are driving dangerously down these residential streets.
If CPD can work with neighborhood watch volunteers regarding other crimes, this should be a cake walk.
(Another approach would be for concerned parents to take turns wearing a "crossing guard type" outfit to remind cars to take it a little bit more easy going down these residential streets.)

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr August 21, 2009 | 3:18 a.m.

I still like the idea of the speed bumps set at an off from center angle so the speeders when they do hit them makes them wake up to the fact they need to slow the hell down.

With the speed bumps set at a angle off center of 15 - 30 degrees that puts them at enough angle to drain water still but also at enough angle that the front tires hit those speed bumps unevenly to alert the speeding driver in question.

They do this alot on trailer courts as a serious way of cutting down on speeders.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking August 21, 2009 | 3:39 a.m.

The real issue is the street is so long and straight. If Alexander was being built today, they (P & Z) would insist on some type of feature to break the street up into shorter sections - an intersection, curves, or islands. I am glad the traffic department plans to raise the new humps - right now they may as well not be there.

It is unusual that our councilman specified dimensions for the new humps, which I hadn't heard of anyone doing before:

"Mr. Sturtz made a motion directing staff to restore the flattened speed humps on
Alexander Avenue, draft an ordinance to make Alexander Avenue a posted 20 mph speed
zone and install additional speed humps, which would be 14 feet wide and ramp up to 3
inches in height, within 300 feet of the intersections of Ash and Alexander and Worley and

From: p. 29

3 inches isn't much of a bump, unfortunately. However, I am glad the city has been so quick in responding to the needs of the street, and I look forward to the completion of the project.


(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr August 21, 2009 | 4:55 a.m.

Mark Foecking do those speed bumps stop before the curb and gutter or do they but right up to the curb and gutter?

The reason I ask is about the street drainage in heavy storm falls.

Angled speed bumps tend to direct water more efficiently during heavy rain falls if the street is sloped correctly. After living for several years in the South West and going through Monsoon Floods there is a huge difference in how you let that excess water flow on your streets.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking August 21, 2009 | 6:28 a.m.

We have concrete gutters, about a foot wide, along both sides of the street, Chuck. The bumps do not block them, so drainage is unimpaired. About half of the street is inclined downward toward the south, so we've never really had much of a stormwater problem.


(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr August 21, 2009 | 9:06 a.m.

Mark Foecking sounds like they did something right then. :)

(Report Comment)

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