Ask for a Speed Hump — Not a Speed Bump — to (Quietly) Slow Traffic

Biking and walking is much more comfortable when motorist traffic is slower, plus safety is improved; lower speed reduces both the likelihood and severity of crashes. Sometimes motorists must be reminded to slow down — usually because the road design encourages them to drive too fast.

Changes to the road design that encourage slowing down to the speed limit are called traffic calming in engineering circles. These changes are often needed because roads are intentionally designed to encourage driving faster than the speed limit — by NJDOT policy, generally 5-10 mph above the posted limit. (This chart is on PDF page 19 in the state’s Roadway Design Manual.)

Residents concerned about traffice speeds may ask for speed bumps when talking to an engineer or public official. The response is often along the lines of “people always want speed bumps until we put them in. Then they want them removed because of noise”.

Try asking for a speed hump instead.

This is a speed hump, not a speed bump

A speed bump causes significant noise when hit by a vehicle, but a speed hump has an easier slope while still gaining the same elevation. It slows traffic without the noise.

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