Speed Humps

Christian Yarnell of the Columbia School of Journalism had a conversation with me last month about speed humps. Here is his final article. It’s well worth the read. He manages to summarize pretty much the entire situation around these traffic calming devices.

Speed Humps face a Roadblod

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2 Responses to Speed Humps

  1. Pete Larkin says:

    What happens if, instead of a hump, it’s a shallow ditch? The ditch would have ‘at-grade’ bars for wide emergency vehicles, and snowplows would not be as negatively affected as with humps. Have any roadway agencies used something like a ditch before?

  2. Bill Ruhsam says:

    @Pete: I’m not aware of anyone trying this approach. Off the top of my head, it sounds like a good idea however I’m betting that it would difficult to construct. The nice thing about a speed hump is that it’s laid on top of existing pavement—No need to mess with the underlying base course. A speed divot/ditch (or whatever) would have to be a part of the pavement design of the road and would complicate (and add cost) to the construction.

    Fundamentally, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work, but it’ll almost certainly be cheaper to go with the hump. If nothing else, it’s easier to remove a speed hump than a speed ditch.

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