Another idea to soften speed humps proposed

The in basket: Yet another reader has chimed in with yet another idea for making speed humps less harmful for cars and less painful for those with back problems.

Jim Matthews called to suggest leaving gaps maybe 10 inches wide  in the speed humps, too narrow to be sure of going through them if one’s speed is high, but wide enough for a driver to pass through at a slow speed without the jounce all our local speed humps provide.

I hypothesized that fear of accidents caused by loss of control from vehicles’ slipping sideways into the spaces, and the wide variety of wheel bases would make such an idea impractical, but I asked Kitsap County if its engineers had any thoughts on the subject.

The out basket: Turns out that Jim’s idea has actually been tried, according to County Traffic Engineer Jeff Shea.

“A device similar to what the reader is describing has been used in other jurisdictions,” Jeff said. “The device is not designed for the purpose of easing through the bump, but rather for emergency vehicles so they don’t have to slow down.

“The device has been referred to as a ‘Speed Pillow.’ They are not very popular and not widely used around here. They are difficult to build and even though they are designed for emergency vehicles, most cars can easily traverse through them without slowing down at all.  The ones I have driven over did not do a very good job of slowing me down.”

2 thoughts on “Another idea to soften speed humps proposed

  1. Dear Road Warrior,

    I am glad that Russell Johnson brought up the issue of speed humps. This has been a concern and “pet peeve” of mine for years.

    I understand that the idea of speed humps is to discourage drivers from exceeding the speed limit, but why punish those of us who drive the speed limit with a jolt that aggravates the pinched nerve in my neck, even when I am traveling the speed limit. There must be a civil engineer smart enough to design humps that are comfortable to cross at the posted legal speed, but will create an uncomfortable “jolt” at higher speeds, such as 10 mph higher.

    Larry Iversen, MD
    Retired Orthopaedic Surgeon

    1. Dr. Iverson,

      Are you so self-important, that you can no take a few extra seconds to properly slow down for a speed hump? Your discomfort could be avoided by taking an alternate route, or buying a vehicle with a suspension that is more “nerve damage” friendly!

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