For long time now, we have been witnessing speeding vehicles within our community. As we all know, this may one day have a calamitous outcome. We had a very healthy discussion on why speed needs to be regulated as well as the pros and cons for different options. Obviously, the city does an initial study on the speeding on these streets but we should all be prepared to exercise our options.
I have discussed the compeling reason behind why speed needs to be reduced, how we are closer to having an accident than before, what are the options and also cited a statistically significant study that shows that installing speed bumps does not affect property prices. It is not a matter of personal choice. It is owning community responsibility preemptively, and not waiting for an incidence to happen.
In conclusion, Radar and Speed Bumps are the best options for controling speed. However, given the non invasive nature of Radar, they seems to be the best way to proceed, however, I would like to hear from you all. Please vote for the different speed calming options after reading this blog.
Getting it right –
Speed – Bumps, Humps and Cushion –
Speed Bumps: are narrow 6-8” wide long made either of durable plastic or concrete.
Speed Humps: Are wider than speed humps, you can imagine two bumps placed at 1’ – 2’ apart to make a hump. Speed humps are parabolic vertical traffic calming devices intended to slow traffic speeds on low volume, low speed roads. Speed humps are 3–4 inches high and 12–14 feet wide, with a ramp length of 3–6 feet.
Speed Cushions: A flat table that rises few inches and runs across for few feet, more than a hump.
In the United States, 32,719 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2013 (U.S. DOT, 2013). Young people have a higher risk for pedestrian fatalities (Committee on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention; American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009), but older adults are at most risk of dying if they are hit (U.S. DOT, 2012). This is mainly because older adults are more susceptibility to injury and medical complications and not an increased tendency to get into roadway crashes (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 2013). (US Department of Transportation –https://www.transportation.gov/mission/health/road-traffic-fatalities-mode)
Statistics speaks a lot, hit and run are directly related to three factors – the longer you stay on the road, the volume of vehicular traffic and the threshold the vehicles cross beyond stipulated speed limit. All these factors will affect incidence of traffic.
Pedestrian and cyclist fatalities are increasing nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Los Angeles and New York City have the highest rates of those deaths.
Hit-and-run crashes are increasing in many major cities, and hit-and-run fatalities are rising nationally as legislators in several states look to toughen laws to address this troubling “plague.” (Fatal Hit and Run crashes rise in US USA Today)
In a study conducted to understand the epidemic of Hit and Run, three factors were mainly identified. Number of pedestrians on the road, The amount of unauthorized speed above stipulated speed limit and the frequency of both these factors confluencing together. (Los Angeles faces Hit and Run Epidemic).
However, Life is more important than property prices, anytime. No one will disagree on this. If someone differ, they should voice it.
Psychology behind reduced speed
Typically, we are supposed to drive at 20 miles per hour in school zones, and there are many other locations—residential areas, for example—where kids are also vulnerable. Evidence suggests that kids are three times as likely to get hit by a car when traffic speed exceeds 25 miles an hour, since speedy drivers need more reaction time. (https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/full-frontal-psychology/why-kids-get-hit-by-cars.html); Hit-And-Run Deaths Increase (NPR)
No, Property value does not go down with Speed Humps:
Statistical research conducted by City of Pleasanton reveals exactly that. This study is especially relevant as it removes all inherent and implicit biases that confound our thinking that ‘speed bumps decrease property value’, (see attached link). This City of Pleasanton study revealed below observations –
1) When selecting speed humps, it cannot be demonstrated that installing speed humps will affect property values in any predictable way.
2) No trends are apparent. It is not evident that installing speed humps in a neighborhood will affect property values in any predictable way.
What should we believe?
Unbiased research are always insightful as they remove our preponderance to trust our personal preferences. City of Pleasanton provides that objective study removing that bias and establishes the fact that speed bumps don’t decrease property prices.
Google search will reveal data for and against speed bumps (and its association with property prices). It is normal for us to choose data that supports our observation. This is called inherent bias or selection bias. Let us not fall pray to our own biases.
While news links were shared on the Whatsup group showing an association between property prices and speed humps, veteran realtors strongly advocate that installing speed bumps increase the value of neighborhood as it decreases the chance of speeding and any eventual accident. Well, it is common sense to know these are selection biases. Either side uses data that supports their argument. The only way to resolve this is rely on a study that is based on statistical procedures that rule out any inherent bias. City of Pleasanton has that reliable data.
What are the different options for traffic calming?
Various speed calming methods are in use. Vertical deflections (speed humps, speed tables, and raised intersections), horizontal shifts, and roadway narrowing
- Stop Signs (not effectiveness)
- Radar Monitored (effective)
- Speed Bumps/Humps/Cushions (most effective)
- Road Diets (very effective)
Effectiveness of options –
Posting Speed Limit signs are ineffective
“Studies have shown that there are no significant changes in average vehicle speed following the posting of revised speed limits,” the city report says. “By and large, drivers choose their speed independent of the posted speed limit.” http://trafficalm.com/stop-signs-ineffective-traffic-calming/
Radar Speed Calming devices
Radar Speed Signs are considered Effective, Reliable and Affordable. Radar speed signs, also known as driver feedback signs, are traffic calming devices designed to slow speeders down by alerting them of their speed. They are being used across the country, and around the world, because they are effective at slowing speeding drivers down. Tests repeatedly show that:
- Speeders will slow down up to 80% of the time when alerted by a radar sign
- Typical speed reductions are 10-20%.
- Overall compliance with the posted speed limit will go up by 30-60%.
- Radar speed signs are particularly effective at getting “super speeders”—speeders driving 20 mph or more over the posted speed limit—to slow down
- Radar sign offers driver feedback signs that are attractive, easy to operate, and affordable. Our signs are constructed with a rugged design for durability, are weather and vandal resistant, and are 100% MUTCD compliant (https://www.radarsign.com/)
Another web site has more options – http://trafficalm.com/
Speed Bumps/Humps/Cushions – These are the most effective as they deter speeding vehicles. A slow vehicle has no impact.
“Road diets” are one approach to traffic calming. Road diets involve a reduction in the width or number of vehicular travel lanes and reallocate that space for other uses such as bicycle lanes, pedestrian crossing islands, left turn lanes, or parking.
US Department of Transportation has a web site with information on all different TRAFFIC CALMING OPTIONS –
City of Pleasanton Research on Speed Humps and Property Prices – (see below)