Those Pesky Speed Bumps

Old RacecarWe have noticed residents are divided on the use of speed bumps to slow traffic. The Village is a heavily treed area with a wonderful mountain feel. Frequently the streets are filled with adults and children on foot, bicycles, ATVs and motorized wheelchairs, many with dogs in tow. The roads are narrow and winding with a posted speed limit of 15 miles per hour. Speed limit signs weren’t working. Additional signs were added.  That didn’t work, so red triangles were added to those signs for extra visibility. As you can see, the board has taken action over the years to mitigate the speeding issue. Still, those residents who dream of being Mario Andretti or Parnelli Jones would not be defeated.

After reviewing last year’s annual meeting minutes and numerous emails and other communications sent to the board over the years, it’s clear that some residents want the board to do something to slow people down before someone gets hurt.  Residents lobbied for a variety of solutions including speed bumps, posting additional signs basically begging people to obey the posted speed limit, public floggings and security cameras and radar.

Extensive research was done and the additional signs did not make the cut. If people are not willing to abide by the current signs, it is unlikely they would slow down just because we say “PLEASE SLOW DOWN”. The cameras were expensive, not only to install, but to monitor (this is your money). Most people want to be neighborly so ratting out the speeders won’t work either. Cocktail hour can be rather tense after you’ve called Guido over to puncture the offender’s tires.

The conclusion was that speed bumps are the most effective and useful method of slowing people down on roads with speed limits of 25 miles per hour and under. Speed bumps also tend to keep non-resident traffic down so perhaps some of those outsiders using the dumpsters or coming in for nefarious purposes will be discouraged. However, speed bumps do impact emergency vehicles, people on bicycles and motorcycles, and those in golf carts and ATVs.  The motorcycles and bikes should be able to avoid them by riding down the middle of the road, subject to oncoming traffic, but others can’t avoid them altogether. Another consideration for using speed bumps had to do with the garbage trucks. Some of those drivers also think they are on a race track and are doing damage to the road when they exit the club house.

There are also options that slow cars to 10 miles per hour but anything that slows them more than 20 miles per hour will be hard on cars, RVs, and people.  As the speed limit is 15 miles per hour, going the speed limit will prevent some of the other issues with braking and accelerating that come with more radical (read bigger) speed bumps.

As you know, speed bumps were purchased and some of them were put in place. Apparently the people on the ATVs have already figured out that they can mimic Richard Petty by racing furiously down the streets between the speed bumps. To be fair, they are not alone in the challenge.

Some people were frustrated that residents were not asked to vote on how best to slow down traffic. However, after the decision was made, residents did get to vote with their vehicles. Some voted loudly and clearly for more speed bumps.

According to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the average risk of severe injury for a pedestrian struck by a vehicle reaches 10% at an impact speed of 16 mph, 25% at 23 mph, 50% at 31 mph, 75% at 39 mph, and 90% at 46 mph. The average risk of death for a pedestrian reaches 10% at an impact speed of 23 mph, 25% at 32 mph,50% at 42 mph, 75% at 50 mph, and 90% at 58 mph. Risks vary significantly by age. For example, the average risk of severe injury or death for a 70‐year‐old pedestrian struck by a car travelling at 25 mph is similar to the risk for a 30‐year‐old pedestrian struck at 35 mph. There are too many people and pets out on the streets in the Village to ignore these numbers and until everyone has driverless vehicles, another solution is necessary.

In the ideal world, drivers would travel at a prudent speed without having to be policed, nagged or threatened. However, that has not been the case so additional speed bumps will be put in place. If this does not deter speeders, it could be taken as a yes vote for bigger and better (and more expensive) speed bumps. The board takes the safety of the Village residents very seriously and we’re asking nicely; please slow down.

7 thoughts on “Those Pesky Speed Bumps

  1. Speed bumps are ok. But since you mentioned the narrow roads I would like to comment on difficulty of getting up Saddlebag to our house on Horseshoe. These people have very little parking space. More than once, someone has company and they are parked half in the street, which is already narrow. If we go another way, it is the wrong way and people are out there shouting at us. Cannot believe how close minded and I’ll mannered some of the residents are.

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  2. I have seen vehicles go right over the speed bumps without slowing down. It seems certain residents do as they please and in my experience living here, the offenders don’t even attend the HOA meetings. Adding more speed bumps seems like a waste of money. I know when I’m driving on highways that have those radar speed display signs I am much more aware of my speed so I would think if 1-3 of those signs were added it might help.

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  3. Dear Liz,
    This is the first time I actually read a comment from you on this blog and it seems to me most residents agree with the need to slow people down. But I think this is another case where the acts of few bad actors ruin it for everyone else. So I am in favor of public flogging and I am not afraid to rat my neighbor’s out, especially if I’ve asked them to slow down personally. However, that will make cocktail hours a little uncomfortable as you pointed out in your blog post.
    Since you posted the initial speed bumps, some people have started increasing the traffic down all the other streets to avoid the speed bumps
    So I think it’s important that we treat the entire Community the same and the next time we put speed bumps and let’s get them everywhere on every street at the same time.
    In closing we really appreciate you caring about the community enough to get involved.
    Thank you for your efforts.
    Best regards,
    Bill and Judy Wolff

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  4. I agree with every thing you said . I don’t like the bumps either but something has to be done. People drive in the park and you don’t know how they got their license because they sure can’t read the speed sign I am constantly telling my own family to slow down.

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  5. Well the speed bumps work! They’ve managed to keep most people off Elizabeth. Residents at the top of the village are now using Saddlebag and Tenderfoot to avoid the bumps. We’ve experienced a lot more traffic. Cars are even driving the wrong way (everyday) down Tenderfoot at more than 15mph to avoid exiting their lots using Elizabeth. One way means nothing to them. Are more speed bumps in our future? Maybe just a reminder would help for now.

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