S.L. City Council to Review Speed Bumps

S.L. City Council to Review Speed Bumps

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John Daley ReportingFew things rankle people more than cars speeding on their neighborhood streets. But enough Salt Lake residents had problems with one traffic-calming measure -- more speed bumps -- that the city put the program on hold. Now it's up for review.

No one wants cars speeding on their street, but many drivers and some residents find speed bumps annoying. Salt Lake City is wrestling with how to find a balance.

Leave it to the activists to get fired up over abortion, global warming or gay marriage, but it takes a bread and butter issue like traffic and speed bumps to motivate a couple hundred people to come out to bend the ear of their local official, which is what Salt Lake residents did a year ago.

Richard Smith, Resident, Sept. 2002: "Those speed humps are very, very annoying to say the least."

James Williams, Resident, Sept. 2002: "Please believe me, Sherwood Drive is the Indianapolis 500. They come down that road so fast you can't believe it."

In response to the public outcry the city put its traffic-calming program on hold temporarily. Tonight the city council will take a fresh look at how the city decides which street gets traffic calming improvements and which do not.

Tim Harpst, Salt Lake City Transportation: "We work in a very definite priority order. We take every application that comes in and we go out and test the area and see what level of impact they are having. We use a combination of the speed of traffic, the volume of traffic, the number of pedestrians in the area."

Nancy Saxton, who represents the traffic intensive east-central district of the city, says the city needs more flexible choices, things like traffic bump-outs, circles and islands--rather than just speed bumps.

Nancy Saxton, City Council Member: "Well they push the traffic. I mean it's like not in my back yard. So it works on your street and pushes over to the other street."

It seems likely the program will get a restart because bottom line, city officials say the measures are proven to make the streets safer.

Myrle Dayhuff, Salt Lake City Resident: "I don't mind the speed bumps because they really do slow a lot of people down."

There'll be an opportunity for the public to comment on the city's traffic-calming program tonight at the city council meeting. That's at 7:00 PM in the council chambers at the City and County Building.

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