2015-11-23   As of this writing, the Leaburg Dam roadway once again has 4 speed bumps on it. During the last few days of this last construction period, there were no speed bumps when the bridge was open. Being able to cross without contending with roadway obstructions took some of the edge off the burden of the closures. Now, however, with the current construction lull, they're all back. There was a period in early September that included two weekends during which the roadway was clear. I took advantage of that period to time crossing vehicles. The results are at 85th_Percentile.pdf. It turns out that the 85th percentile speed was 15 mph, which is that speed which the State of Oregon recommends for the speed limit in alleyways. To me, this indicates that no speed control devices are needed in the roadway, or, at the very least, they should use speed humps rather than parking lot speed bumps. If EWEB is really interested in being a good neightbor, which they say they are, they could start by conforming to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), which calls for humps rather than bumps. Their failure to do so belies their words.

Leaburg Dam Speed Bumps Information

I'm hoping the Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) will redo the speed-control setup on Leaburg Dam to allow vehicles to move across the Dam at a constant acceptable speed. The four speed bumps that were installed in early 2013 impeded traffic to a far greater degree than anything they had done in the 50 years I've been crossing the Dam, a period of time in which to the best of my knowledge there is no documented case of anyone ever having been grazed, much less than hit, by vehicles passing them on the roadway.

In January 2015 EWEB installed speed bumps with a travel length of three feet. While less objectionable than the ones installed in 2013, which had a travel length of approximately one foot, they still put most drivers into a mode of a near-stop followed by a speed-up to the next bump. Replacing the speed bumps with speed humps, speed tables, or other mitigating actions would solve this problem, reduce wear and tear on suspension systems, and still provide effective speed control, not to mention making EWEB a better neighbor rather than a target for constant criticism.

Consider the following from a May 2013 article about speeding in New York City:

In fact, speed bumps and stop signs as traffic calming measures are an outdated approach — so outdated, in fact, that the NYCDOT Street Design Manual doesn't even include them in its chapter on traffic calming. The problem is that they don't produce the desired effect of calming traffic, or making vehicles move slowly. Instead, they require drivers to constantly change speeds, driving slowly just before they reach the speed bump or stop sign, and then accelerating in between to make up for lost time. This causes greater air — and noise — pollution, not to mention frustration, and there are few things more dangerous than a frustrated, speeding driver in New York City.

Modern alternatives to speed bumps like speed humps and speed tables (which are wider and more gradual than speed bumps) are better because vehicles driving at or below the speed limit aren't forced to change speeds....

On the lighter side:

Finally, watch this YouTube video on a German speed bump in operation.

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