Saturday, January 2, 2010

Speed Humps - more input

The speed humps on Kensington Ave have triggered much reaction. Everywhere I go in Plainfield, people are telling me that this is a good idea. One of the most interesting comments came from a Kensington Ave resident who was originally opposed to speed humps but who has come to appreciate their effectiveness in slowing down vehicles.

Recently I have heard from residents of Kenyon and Putnam Avenues who want these traffic calming devices installed on their blocks. To these residents and anyone interested in this subject I have a few thoughts to share:

1. Speed humps have an important place in Plainfield's overall traffic management strategy but they must be used selectively.

2. With our budget problems, we must be extremely careful about where we spend our tax dollars. Installing speed humps selectively and at the time of repaving is a cost effective way to go.

3. There are other traffic calming methods that are cost effective and must be considered. An example is stop signs. One or two well placed stop signs on Putnam could be even more effective than speed humps. This would create intersections with four way stop signs. Another approach would be flashing yellow or red traffic signals at the dangerous Putnam intersections.

4. When we do use speed humps, they should be used judiciously. Some have commented on the number of street signs that accompany the Kensington speed humps and that they do not have an attractive appearance. Perhaps we could have installed one or two fewer humps or used less signage. I trust we will use our experience on Kensington to inform our future actions.

A photo from Councilman Burney's blog

5. Not everyone favors speed humps. One of my best friends called me last month to ask me who was the idiot whose idea this was. I did take responsibility! Residents who want them installed will face opposition from police and fire officials and from skeptical neighbors. I strongly recommend to any advocate that a neighborhood petition be circulated to demonstrate support. This was done to good effect regarding other road problems by the residents of Thornton Ave and Cedarbrook Lane. In each case they got what they needed.

The bottom line is we have taken a good step forward in pedestrian safety. Again I thank Mayor Robinson-Briggs and Councilman Burney for leadership on this. I urge the 2010 Council committee dealing with roads to take this up for policy development.


olddoc said...

This may be a duplicate, if so I apologize.
Cory, you are right in that we must watch our tax dollars and that the "Speed Humps" need time to determine if they are the best method of traffic control.

I find 4-way stop signs as confusion creators especially in a community when traffic curtsy is rare, and when ignorance of the laws is quite common. Unless they (the Stop Signs) are monitored they will be ignored.

Better than wasting money on Belgian Block curbs instead of concrete, speed control efforts could be increased.

Anonymous said...

I think well placed stop signs are an effective way to reduce speeding. Any studies done to support having more stop signs in the various areas?

Anonymous said...


I think Kenyon Ave may need to be studied for possible speed humps--maybe just one or two. I see folks speeding like demons down that avenue all the time, especially the stretches between 9th and down to Stelle (the curve around the back of the high school), and then on the other side of Stelle all the way down--it's truly frightening.


Carol Davis said...

Eagerly awaiting speed control on Watchung Avenue. Any form will be acceptable. Interesting about all of the council members taking credit for the speed hump idea. My husband and I have been requesting them for years.

Michael Townley said...

There are a number of traffic calming measures that can be used to help slow traffic in residential areas. As I've commented on Councilman Burney's blog and written to the Mayor and Council, speed tables may be a more appropriate measure that speed humps. I urge Plainfield officials to thoroughly examine all traffic calming measures with the input of public safety personnel before becoming married to speed humps as the solution to speeding.

Anonymous said...

There are speeding problems all over. I drive around the area and invariably there is someone so close to my bumper it seems I am towing them. I guess "the old man" is not moving fast enough. I've had the unpleasant adventure of trying to navigate Kensington Ave with the "speed humps". Fortunately I don't have to use the street for travel.

Anonymous said...

Please put some reflective stuff on the poles of Stop signs, and repalce the faded ones all over town. And a direction sign to Routee 22 from downtown, so people dont stop and ask and tie up traffic, please.

Anonymous said...

Not so great for emergency vehicles

Anonymous said...

Ever see the fire truck bottom out on the speed hump auses damage to sensitive pumps and drivers it's also something to see when your working up a patient on the rig and try to run a iv line and hit the speed hump Oh sorry patient didn't wanna put that there

Highway said...

The effectiveness of Speed humps depends heavily on some critical dimensions: height and length of the humps, spacing, how many there are. It is disappointing that the evaluation doesn't provide any measurements of these critical dimensions. Also,success is evaluated by speed, or how often cars travel faster than the intended speed; this should have been observed and reported more carefully.