Santa Paula Times

Modifications to the city’s speed hump policy hits some bumps

April 02, 2008
Santa Paula City Council

Proposed modifications to the city’s speed hump policy will undergo more study, after the issue hit some bumps at the March 17 City Council meeting.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesProposed modifications to the city’s speed hump policy will undergo more study, after the issue hit some bumps at the March 17 City Council meeting.Interim Public Works Director Jon Turner told the Council that there are differences in the pavement modifications used to slow traffic: “Speed humps” are “different from the traditional speed bumps” and speed lumps. The bump is “very damaging, very sharp and abrupt,” and the city only contains the more gentle-sloped speed humps, “more of a transition in elevation.” The lump is a “new thing out in the traffic community” being analyzed for potential impacts on emergency vehicles, already a concern with humps that slow response time.The city’s Traffic Safety Committee has been denying requests for speed humps, instead asking for more police presence and enforcement to slow traffic. Chief Steve MacKinnon is on the committee, and has been instructing officers to patrol problematic areas and work with residents on the issue.Turner noted that there are 72 speed humps in the city and if police enforcement is still a concern, after enforcement efforts a resident can again ask for a speed hump. Due to the department workload, a consultant’s study would cost about $800 - to be borne by the residents, who would also pay for the labor and material costs of more than $2,000. Residents requesting a speed hump would have to garner support from 75 percent of their neighbors living next to the proposed hump, and 60 percent of the neighborhood’s total residents.
Turner said that repaving on Richard Road and other roads was about to be launched, and asked for Council direction on whether or not to retain the speed humps already in the area.“More neighborhood involvement is a good thing,” said Councilman Dr. Gabino Aguirre, but Vice Mayor Ralph Fernandez said although he has never been a fan of speed bumps, “I do think they do a service to our community... it’s a safety issue, I think removing them is going backwards.” But he questioned the cost being borne by residents, as well as the neighborhood resident approval guidelines for installation. “I would like to see it taken out of the residents’ realm,” said Fernandez.City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz said a sense of what the Council preferred would help, as “this is a major change” in policy. “We’re just trying to right a wrong that’s been going on for a long time... 72 humps in this city is pretty extraordinary,” he noted.After more questions and Council discussion, they agreed the issue requires more study.