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LA Considering Ban On New and Replacement Speed Humps

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Los Angeles is considering a proposal to ban all new and replacement speed humps (you know, like speed bumps, but humpier)--some officials are concerned that the traffic-calmers are an impediment to emergency vehicles and slow response times enough to be dangerous. The City Council's Transportation Committee asked for a report (pdf) on the matter, which came up for consideration this week. An alternative proposal would only allow new speed humps "if the project is financially supported by city budget appropriations or private interests that can fund all costs" and would require hump review by the LAFD and guidelines from the LA Department of Transportation. LA started its citywide speed humping back in 1994 and spent 15 years installing more than 3,700 humps at about 1,450 locations; in 2009, the hump budget was killed and the city pretty much stopped putting them in. Now it wants to make that official; the report "recommends prioritizing emergency response times as a citywide policy, therefore new speed humps should not be installed and existing speed humps should not be replaced when removed as part of street resurfacing or reconstruction work" (studies have found that emergency responders can be slowed by two to 10 seconds per hump). It also notes that "Although many residents welcome speed humps, others complain of the aesthetics, inconvenience, vehicle wear and tear, and increased noise level as cars pass each hump throughout the day."

Streetsblog LA is horrified at the plan, saying that the report "talks about the 'public health' issues created by speed humps without once mentioning the benefits of slower traffic for bicyclists, pedestrians, people playing in their front yards, people living in their houses, and pretty much everyone except the driver that wants to go faster." The Traffic Committee has put off a decision on the matter for now; it'll do more outreach first. [Image via Atwater Village Newbie / Curbed LA flickr pool]
· Blast from the Past? Report from "New LADOT" Looks at Benefits of Removing Speed Humps [Streetsblog LA]