For the past decade, I have been “enjoying” very tiresome traffic calming in my neighborhood. But recently, I got a break.
For many years, municipal traffic management practices have focused on reducing or preventing driving. And, I think, make it less enjoyable. Traffic humps, reduced lanes, delayed maintenance – these all add up. Our policy drivers are now climate and pedestrian risk, not driving efficiency.
So, about ten years ago, speed humps showed up in my neighborhood. To get to collector routes, I need to drive across five humps in one direction, or three humps in the other. With a length of seven feet and a rise of three inches, my speed humps are designed to reduce comfortable driving speed to 30 km/h on a 50 km/h rated street. So, you can see the problem.
My car drives the speed limit over these humps quite nicely. No problem. But if the car ahead of me slows to 30 for the hump, we get tiresome traffic calming congestion. Even worse, many drivers slam on the brakes and slow to 10 km/h for the humps. With a third of the drivers at the speed limit, a third slowing to 30 and a third going down to 10, driving becomes frustrating and less safe.
And yes, I have actually monitored traffic for a few hours, so I am not making these numbers up.
What’s more, I notice that the slower drivers actually get more of a jolt than those going the speed limit. And, quite a few drivers speed between bumps trying to make up the difference in average speed. Sigh.
Tiresome Traffic Calming Relief
This summer, my municipalitiey finally got around to maintaining the route with five speed humps. This involved a lot of pothole repair and total resurfacing. And in the three months that followed, no crews have shown up (yet) to rebuild the speed humps. Relief and joy! We can now exit the neighborhood at the speed limit without the speed hump congestion.
I don’t know how long this will last, but enjoy it while you can!