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VOICES / A FORUM FOR COMMUNITY ISSUES | Community Debate

When Speed Bumps Into Safety

October 24, 1998

Speed bumps are an important part of public road management. Known as "traffic calming," the humps in the roadway are becoming controversial, pitting residents against rescue workers. MAURA E. MONTELLANO spoke to a resident and a fire department official.

EMILY LEVINE

Stockbroker, Santa Monica

My husband and I signed a petition about 18 months ago for a speed bump on our street in Santa Monica. Ours is a street that people take from Wilshire Boulevard to reach Montana Avenue. People drive through here at speeds far above what is legal. When I'm backing out of my driveway, I have to be careful of the cars rushing past. Many times, instead of waiting for me to pull out, they just speed and swerve around me into the opposite lane. When my husband and I are driving at the appropriate speed, cars go around us because we're not going fast enough. This is dangerous. If there were speed bumps there, I wouldn't feel so worried.

I have a child and this is one of my concerns. This neighborhood is only now beginning to have young families with children; this will become an even bigger issue eventually. My son one day will be old enough to walk across the street and I'm scared that without some safety precautions this could be dangerous. Pulling out of the driveway or crossing the street to see my neighbor is scary.

The police don't seem to be monitoring our street. I wish they had a policeman sitting there giving out tickets. I understand that speed bumps would slow things for the fire department and paramedics. All the neighbors have signed this petition and they all feel the way I do. There are speed bumps on other streets throughout Santa Monica that I see are working. You just can't go down the street that fast when there are speed bumps.

I wish someone would propose something else if it's not the bumps. Some radical people here want to make ours a dead-end street. I don't think we need to do that, but as a last resort, I wouldn't mind it. Maybe even dips in the street to slow cars.

One of these days there is going to be an accident. Some safety measures should be taken.

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