Speed Humps and Traffic Calming

All the ways we move people and things: trains, planes, automobiles, biking, walking, etc.
Forever speed bumps have been verboten on city streets. The prohibition caused a rift between Mayor Slay and Alderman French when French wanted to install speed bumps in O'Fallon Park.

French cited the bumps in front of the Zoo in Forest Park. But instead of adding bumps in O'Fallon Park, the city removed the ones in Forest Park.

The big beef about these things years has been twofold - 1) they would interfere with snow plows, and 2) cause damage to cars.

Apparently now those concerns have been resolved?

Either way, I'm glad to see the B of A takes steps to calm traffic. Now the question is where will they be installed and how to pay for them?
Another potential issue with speed bumps relates to emergency vehicles. I'm curious if that has been addressed as well since you wouldn't want to have a fire truck or ambulance to be slower in an emergency.
Board Bill No. 88 | Ordinance regarding Traffic Calming | Introduced by: Alderman Chris Carter

Yes, speed humps could cause some delay to emergency vehicles, but only if they're irresponsibly installed on arterial or major collector roads.
yeah, nobody is suggesting putting these on Gravois or Kingshighway or Grand...
snow plow thing is nonsense...you know who has snow and speed bumps and snow plows...Minnesota.
They have them in tower grove park. Shaw also has cobblestone strips that are a bit lower than the pavement and seem to serve the same purpose. I wouldn't mind putting in speed bumps if they got rid of some stop signs.
flipz wrote:
They have them in tower grove park.

Tower Grove Park has speed bumps, not speed humps. Big difference.
imperialmog wrote:
Another potential issue with speed bumps relates to emergency vehicles. I'm curious if that has been addressed as well since you wouldn't want to have a fire truck or ambulance to be slower in an emergency.


Completely disagree. As a former volunteer firefighter who drove both ambulances and firetrucks (engines, rescues, and ladders), I can tell you that this seems like a BS argument. Also, as a current resident of Washington, DC, I see emergency service vehicles driving over the speed humps daily without incident or vast slower response time. Anyone in St. Louis who uses this as an excuse has no idea how other cities approach the issue.
Northside Neighbor wrote:
The big beef about these things years has been twofold - 1) they would interfere with snow plows, and 2) cause damage to cars.

Apparently now those concerns have been resolved?


isn't the threat of damage to your car the entire point of the speed bump (or hump)? that's what makes them effective. that's what makes people slow down. if one takes a speed bump with enough speed to damage one's car then one has earned said damage. i don't see that as something to be resolved. it's a feature.
Yeah, the snow plow argument is BS. Chicago makes liberal use of the speed hump, and they have a lot more snow than we do.

I'm personally in favor of the humps. People drive like completely irresponsible maniacs in this city. There's constantly people going like 40 mph down my side street.

The humps are fine. The bump in the roundabout in TGP is a little extreme though. You have to basically stop and inch over it because it's so tall and narrow.
isn't the threat of damage to your car the entire point of the speed bump (or hump)? that's what makes them effective. that's what makes people slow down. if one takes a speed bump with enough speed to damage one's car then one has earned said damage. i don't see that as something to be resolved. it's a feature.

Actually, the interpretation has always been the opposite. The city feared lawsuits from car owners. Apparently, that concern has been put to rest.

My question remains the same: where and when will these be installed? By what approval authority? Some aldermen are already cautioning the rollout of these will be a sloooow process.

If neighbors want to raise the money to put them on their own block, can they do it? When? How much would something like this cost? Is the opportunity likely to lead to more CIDs? Even a one block CID? More information, please!
imperialmog wrote:
Another potential issue with speed bumps relates to emergency vehicles. I'm curious if that has been addressed as well since you wouldn't want to have a fire truck or ambulance to be slower in an emergency.



Wish this concern carried more weight in regards to blocking streets.
If you'd like to check one out go to Kingsbury and Washington at Melville in U City.
KMOX - Alderman Pushes for Speed Humps in Residential Areas

Alderman Tom Villa is against speed humps. He says they are annoying and bad for your car's front-end alignment.

"They're cumbersome. This is America," Villa says. "You should be able to drive down the street under posted speed limit regulations."

He adds that they are an absolute scourge and the only thing people have to do is drive the speed limit.


http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2016/06/23/ ... hborhoods/
NACTO on speed humps aka speed tables

http://nacto.org/publication/urban-stre ... eed-table/
Speed bumps are a pain when bike riding, especially the ones in Tower Grove Park. I am a fan of the cobblestone strips in Shaw and the Grove. Wish Alderman Villa was as concerned with excess wear and tear on car brakes because of the numerous stop signs he has allowed in our ward as he is with damage from speed bumps.
Still wonder how these will be paid for and how they decide where to install them? Will it be up to an alderman to make that decision on a block by block, ward basis? Or can neighbors band together to put them in on their own block? And what about cost? How much should one expect to pay to have one of these put in?

Here's a thought - how about forming a traffic calming, 501c3, nonprofit organization? Its mission to help improve the walkability and quality of life in St. Louis neighborhoods. Donations to the organization are tax-deductible, charitable contributions. The organization then works with neighborhoods to install speed humps.

Or even make it a program through Trailnet? Isn't Trailnet out and about promoting various traffic calming ideas? Maybe we already have a perfect home for this initiative?
Here's Trailnet's PDF full of info for neighborhood traffic calming:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bwr2hd ... ef=2&pli=1

(Average cost for speed humps is listed at $2725 each)
Thanks, but still wonder about approval authority.

When people want to calm traffic, they want it calmed NOW.

Will the city be issuing standards? Can you apply and get a permit and hire it to be done?

C'mon folks, let's get to the red tape of all of this.

I'll bet it will take years. Or, can our city get off the dime and make something happen? Like, with some urgency?

It would be wonderful to be proven wrong here and see these things start popping up all over town before the end of this year.

The price is certainly not prohibitive. On the average block, if everyone kicked in $100, you get TWO.
Here's the bill

BOARD BILL NO. 88 INTRODUCED BY: ALDERMAN CHRIS CARTER An ordinance requiring that requests for Traffic Calming, as defined herein, and related traffic complaints, received by the City of St. Louis be managed in accordance with a centralized process to be called the City of St. Louis Traffic Calming Policy; granting the Director of Streets authority to develop and promulgate the City of St. Louis Traffic Calming Policy, subject to the Board of Public Service approval; containing an emergency clause.


https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/c ... BBId=10535

I certainly like to see some of these techniques tried instead of blocking more streets. I'd like blocking streets to be the last most difficult to implement option.

A good place to start might be inviting Trailnet to your neighborhood to tell people about traffic calming techniques.
The bill directs the Director of Streets to create a traffic calming policy which would be subject to the Board of Public Service's approval.

As for paying for them, I'd figure ward capital funds could be used. Or when a street gets a once over speed humps, etc could be included.
The bill directs the Director of Streets to create a traffic calming policy which would be subject to the Board of Public Service's approval.
Once the clock starts it will be interesting to see how long it takes to get this policy approved. Anyone got an over/under for 200 days? What would be considered "good" in a case like this? 90 days? 150 days?
As for paying for them, I'd figure ward capital funds could be used. Or when a street gets a once over speed humps, etc could be included.
These funds are already stretched too thin, especially in wards with deferred maintenance...ahem, like all of them. It would be good for the traffic calming policy to lay out the procedure for neighbors wanting to fund their own work.

Likely cost in escrow + 50% bond, hiring city-directed contractors, adhering to the city's M/WBE contracting requirements.
Northside Neighbor wrote:
These funds are already stretched too thin, especially in wards with deferred maintenance...ahem, like all of them. It would be good for the traffic calming policy to lay out the procedure for neighbors wanting to fund their own work.


You got that right. Though somehow the funds are found to block streets, sometimes extravagantly.
You got that right. Though somehow the funds are found to block streets, sometimes extravagantly.
Which begs the question: What happens if the participatory budgeting process in some wards yields an outcome where residents vote to block more streets?
The bill didn't say anything about blocked streets. I think that means the process for that isn't changed by the bill.
Face Palm

Rachel Lippmann ‏@rlippmann
Villa - traffic calming is called enforcing the current speed limits. We already have too many stops signs, and the process is a lot of govt

Rachel Lippmann ‏@rlippmann 58m58 minutes ago
Villa - all you're going to do is force traffic onto the street with NO traffic calming. The policy is just bureaucratic nonsense

Rachel Lippmann ‏@rlippmann 56m56 minutes ago
Villa - this is going to spiral into something that makes our city unnavigable.

Check out https://twitter.com/rlippmann for more!