Speed Humps and Traffic Calming

All the ways we move people and things: trains, planes, automobiles, biking, walking, etc.
The bill passed

Rachel Lippmann ‏@rlippmann
Got ahead of myself on @ChrisCarter3's traffic calming bill. Just passed 21 to 2.
quincunx wrote:
Rachel Lippmann ‏@rlippmann 56m56 minutes ago
Villa - this is going to spiral into something that makes our city unnavigable.

What, you mean like random, rampant street closures? Oh wait, we already have that.
Having lived in a city full of speed bumps and humps (in Pakistan) they were generally a negative experience. And I don't even speed.
And how would these affect a future street car track network (I can dream), bicycle movements, snow plows, storm water runoff etc etc?

I do think people who drive like maniacs deserve to have their momentum broken but in general if you have to resort to a speed bump to calm traffic, your street design may be faulty. either too wide or lacking interest like trees, buildings, street life etc.

Lets see how well these are implemented.
I haven't heard that the ones put in U City at Melville have caused any trouble.
I've never had too much trouble with the ones in Tower Grove Park. (Even though they're the fairly vicious older kind where you can bottom out quick if you're not careful.) Down in Cardondelet Park where the park trails cross Grand something is needed. I've been passed on the right at least once when stopped for a pedestrian in the crosswalk. (And countless other times when I was simply driving the 25 mph speed limit through what is often a crowded and fairly busy park.) Traffic calming doesn't sound like a bad idea at all. Street closures, sure. That's often a bad idea. But newer style speed humps, bump outs, textured pavements, and the like can be darn useful. Heck, if you used a broad speed hump as a crosswalk it could even (potentially) help to keep it dry.
Speed humps can and do work in major cities. I may have already stated this, but here in DC they are used extensively (especially in the residential areas East of the Capitol) and people have 0 issues. There are some wider, raised sidewalk style bumps as well near parks and they are fantastic for pedestrians and even dog walkers to use.

Any St. Louis politician who declares that they would be a negative is simply grasping at straws because they don't like change.
My only concern with Speed humps is whether or not they encourage reckless teens to attempt "getting air".
Maybe look at it as a way for STL to appeal to our future youths?
Not really against speed bumps per se. I think they are a poor substitute for good street design.
^ I think they can be part of good street design. The city desperately needs a holistic streets plan - or some of the criticism of this being haphazard with unintended consequences is probably true.
imran wrote:
I do think people who drive like maniacs deserve to have their momentum broken but in general if you have to resort to a speed bump to calm traffic, your street design may be faulty. either too wide or lacking interest like trees, buildings, street life etc.

In my neighborhood—North Kingshighway Hills (next to the old Tropicana)—people fly down Hereford 45+ mph. And that's a tight, narrow street with trees. Unfortunately, I fear I fatal accident one day. I don't think it's design in this case, it's plain old jackholes.

When I lived in Atlanta, the speed bumps (in North Druid Hills) were wide and shallow with broad, large white arrows painted on them. These worked really well, slowed you down without jolting the car.

(hmmm, just noticed I must like living in neighborhoods with 'North...Hills' in the name.)
I guess another part of the equation is that we need to stop annoying drivers with all the stupid closed streets. Maybe some of them speed out of frustration
#healthegrid :wink:
Good street design can help with or without speed humps. And we certainly need more of that. I can think of several places where a modern traffic circle could be useful and could probably be added with little disruption or encroachment on neighboring properties. I think the bumpouts along Grand between Arsenal and Utah are working nicely, but maybe more is needed where there are uncontrolled crosswalks, as at Humphrey and Connecticut. Pretty much nobody stops for pedestrians there. Maybe better lighting and markers and perhaps center of the street dividers. And of course enforcement . . . but something tells me that's not happening. (I'd so much rather see tickets handed out for reckless driving than for burned out lights or expired tags.) Anyway, I think it can all be a part of a unified plan. Obviously right-sizing streets helps. Narrowing them as appropriate. Our streets are about as non-linear as they come in an American city, which should help . . . but we still have a few too many racetracks. Even on race tracks sometimes you have to add a chicane.
StlToday - To make St. Louis safer, hundreds of streets were closed. What if that was a mistake?

https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/cri ... 0fe7e.html
Let's see:
How many car trips per day are extended by a blockage? 100,000?
By what average distance? 0.5 mile?

100,000 trips * 0.5 miles *365 days * 40 years * $0.58 per mile = $423,400,000 thrown away
Here is the paper for those interested: https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/2wext/

As usual for media coverage of academic papers, it perhaps suggests stronger claims than the paper actually makes. As someone with experience applying GIS to academic research, I admire what the authors are attempting here but unfortunately I don't think that crime data (as it currently exists) is granular enough to figure out exactly what impact the barriers had on a street by street level, though the paper suggests overall the it did not impact crime. Also, it is sort of alluded to but not all of the barriers were put in to stop crime, many residents simply wanted slower traffic, so it can't be said that all the barriers were policy solutions to rising crime either. Still, an interesting paper.
Surely speed bumps would've been the better alternative to just closing off the whole street if that's legitimately what their purpose was? I work by SLU and there's a whole bunch of streets that are annoyingly blocked off in the area, meaning I have to go out of my way to navigate sometimes. I get that some of those streets are residential and residents likely don't want the through-traffic, but geez. They could have at least made them look better than the big-ol Stalinist concrete blocks that they chose for a lot of them.
I really hope this issue continues to grow into a big talking point in city politics. I would vote for just about anybody with a strong platform for reversing street closures.
fascinating that the two lead researchers on the study both live on closed-off streets in gentrified Shaw. Obviously there was something that attracted them to the blocks they chose to live on that out-weighed the closed-off nature.
St. Louis: Where traffic flow is decided by curmudgeonly residents on a block-by-block basis.
While we're on the subject of traffic flow: is there any reason the city insists on still having timed traffic lights in a lot of areas rather than sensor-based ones? Seems like a lot of lights have timings for no real reason.
My guess is cash. To install sensors in the pavement, or even the little cameras up top, wouldn't be cheap on a large scale...especially putting sensors in the ground. That would involve quite a bit of road work if I'm not mistaken.
I'm sure it's very expensive, but I feel like it'd be one of those long-term investments that would eventually pay itself off.
I think that speed humps and traffic calming are better long term investments than sensors that shorten the time drivers have to wait at stop lights.
Good street design is often the factor that makes or breaks the street. The problem with St. Louis streets is that they are almost always too wide. Narrowing them with bigger sidewalks, bumpouts, stop signs, sensors and enforcement are nice, but are all band-aid solutions. For all the negatives that closed streets bring, at least they can be nice reprieves from automobile traffic for people, especially children.

I think a more permanent albeit novel solution would just be to privatize the center of the street. Free street parking would be eliminated, naturally. Give owners of property on the block a cut of the profits and maybe at least one out of ten times there'll be blocks where at least 50% of residents will agree to the idea. The center of the street could even just be privately owned, fenced off parking, and for a lot of streets even with each residence owning a space I bet there will still be more than enough parking spots. Obviously, this'll be a bare minimum short-term result but the hope is to eventually build more residences in the medians, which this approach makes possible. I live near Laclede and West Pine in CWE and these residential streets are monstrously wide (many sections of them already have grassy medians), and could benefit from such a solution: https://anunearthlyglow.com/median-buil ... clede-ave/. Many (I would say the majority of St. Louis non-arterial) streets could adopt this solution.

The only downside (aside from the obvious logistical implementation and social inertia ones) would be that emergency vehicle and truck design would need to evolve for them to move through the new streets. But a lot of these non-arterial streets are closed off and inaccessible to such vehicles anyway.