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Haruumph to humps

It would be nice if my neighbors would credit fellow citizens with having minimal intelligence and refrain from making statements such as the comment made last week that anti-speed hump people “don’t like humping, period.” As a matter of fact, I rather enjoy humping, but I am one of those who don’t want speed humps, even the elongated variety referred to as “speed tables,” installed on the two main thoroughfares of Point Dume. I submit that there are valid reasons for not installing them, to wit:

(1) There may not even be a need for any passive speed control devices — both speed surveys run (and paid for) recently by the city have produced no evidence either of excessive speeds or that very many cars are speeding.

(2) There are alternatives for passive speed control. The one I think should be looked at seriously, as an alternative to ugly humps painted with reflective stripes and warning signs, are small center islands at intersections. These can be made attractive with landscaping and are proven “traffic calming” devices.

(3) Other communities have found that humps and tables don’t work and are removing them (L.A. Times, 10/8/98). Problems include longer emergency response times and structural damage to fire trucks, lawsuits from property owners who object to the noise of motorists honking in anger and accelerating off the “humps,” and the fact that certain people don’t slow down in spite of the humps.

(4) I think that, in this community, on these roads, the devices will constitute an attractive nuisance. The few idiots among us will see how fast they can go over the things, try to get “air,” etc., with their cars or motorcycles, and someone will really get hurt.

I have noticed that many humping advocates reside where they won’t have to drive over them, or have ambulances or fire trucks laden with water traverse them. Fire departments everywhere are opposed to “humps,” and with good reason. A nonbreathing patient suffers brain damage after five minutes: a structure fire doubles in size and volume every five minutes. Any delay can be disastrous.

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Let’s consider alternatives, and not be “pro-humping, period!”

Don Maclay

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