Hump or no hump: That’s the question.
For years, motorists have encountered a speed hump installed on Peters Township’s Robinhood Lane in response to petition submitted by residents of the street requesting traffic-calming measures.
The hump has been reconfigured this year, much to the dismay of many a driver, including Robinhood resident Ann Shaner.
“Can it be fixed?” she asked at Peters Township Council’s Nov. 11 meeting. “Can you make it smaller?”
Her question prompted a lengthy discussion about local traffic humps in general, starting with an explanation by Mark Zemaitis, township director of engineering, about why the original on Robinhood Lane was replaced.
“The big comment we got on those was they weren’t effective enough,” he said about speed humps that have been installed in a 24-foot-long configuration with a table in the middle.
On Robinhood, which motorists use as a connection between Waterdam Road and the southeastern part of Center Church Road, the new hump is no higher than the old one.
“It’s more of like a parabola shape, so it’s an abrupt up-and-down,” Zemaitis said.
Whatever the case, Frank Kosir Jr., council chairman, said he has received complaints about what is in place now.
“I drove over it yesterday, too. I mean, you have to literally come to a stop,” he acknowledged.
Township manager Paul Lauer suggested that residents be asked again whether they still want a speed hump, and whether they would prefer the original or newer style.
Councilman Frank Arcuri, though, said that the choice should be limited to what currently is there or removing it.
According to Zemaitis, the cost of installing a speed hump is about $3,000, and removing one would carry a price tag of slightly less.
“We’d still have to mill out the hump and then repave it flat,” he said.
As for speed humps around the township, Councilman David Ball commented on their effect on law-abiding motorists.
“They are 25-mile-an-hour roads. Why should you not be able to drive a road at 25 miles per hour?” he said. “I just don’t see any reason that speed humps should be an annoyance to our citizens.”
Councilwoman Monica Merrell countered with:
“I think the whole point is that people don’t drive 25, and it’s supposed to be set up as a deterrent, to remind people to check and if they weren’t going 25 to slow down to 25.”
Also providing his opinion was Councilman James Berquist.
“There is no perfect deterrent,” he said. “I know it’s an inconvenience, but it’s supposed to be inconvenient, because the residents wanted us to slow the speeds down on that road. What are we talking? It takes you an extra five seconds to go over the speed hump? At the end of the day, we slow traffic down because you can’t go over it 35 miles an hour.”
Kosir said that police patrols serve as the best deterrent to speeding.
“We had a terrible problem on Johnston Road until they started patrolling our road, and now it’s not nearly as bad as it used to be,” he explained. “The problem, of course, is that the police can’t target every neighborhood every week.”
He also inquired whether the new style of speed hump would be the type that the township installs in the future, to which Zemaitis replied:
“Well, hopefully we don’t do anymore moving forward.”