Gary adds speed humps to budget Traffic-control idea has been studied since October 1995

April 16, 1997|By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan | Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF

An article in Wednesday's edition of The Sun in Anne Arundel contained incorrect information from Anne Arundel County officials about the requirements for installing speed humps. Officials say that at least 15 percent of drivers on a road must be clocked traveling at least 10 mph over the speed limit before humps are put in.

The Sun regrets the error.

Speeding motorists in some Anne Arundel communities soon could get a jolt, thanks to a $100,000 appropriation County Executive John G. Gary has added to his proposed budget.

County officials announced yesterday that the money would be set aside to build speed humps, a means of traffic control the Department of Public Works has been studying since October 1995.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

Coincidentally, a Traffic Hump Committee comprising members from 17 Anne Arundel communities organized a demonstration in Severna Park in favor of speed humps yesterday before county officials announced their plans.

"I'm glad we have a policy, and I'm not sorry we came out today," said Catherine Beverly, one of the demonstration organizers. "For 10 years, people have been asking for something good to control traffic."

John A. Morris, a public works spokesman, said that in studying means of traffic control, the county began considering speed humps because speed bumps were posing problems for vehicles such as snowplows.

Speed humps are lower and wider than speed bumps, which are commonly used in shopping mall parking lots.

During the study, the department installed speed humps in areas of Pasadena and Severna Park and found that they did no damage to snowplows or other county vehicles, Morris said.

"You don't want to go into something and discover that you're causing thousands of dollars in damage to equipment," he said.

Morris said using speed humps is the latest of a number of traffic-control methods the county has used.

Other methods include traffic circles, islands and narrowing sections of roads.

"These are all designed to make [drivers] feel less comfortable with the road and pay more attention to their driving and their speed," he said.

The department will work with communities to decide which streets need speed humps, he said.

Colleen Large, one of about 10 mothers who attended the demonstration at a speed hump on Kinder Road in Kilmarnock, said speeding is a big problem near her house, on Bayberry Drive in Arnold.

"My father lives right around the corner from me, and I can't even let my kids walk over to see him because they'd get mowed down," said Large. "I resent that I have to drive them to my parents' house in the same neighborhood."

The women who showed up were flanked by about 15 children and babies.

The road was temporarily shut for repaving, but the children flashed big signs that said "Prevent Accidents" and "A.A. Co. Needs a Policy."

Gary is to send his budget to the County Council for a vote next month.

County guidelines on speed humps

Speed humps will not be constructed on arterial roads, which are roads designed to carry traffic between communities. Such roads include College Parkway and East-West Boulevard.

Traffic volume on a road must be 1,000 to 10,000 vehicles a day for a speed hump to be installed.

Before installing a speed hump, the county must clock at least 85 percent of drivers on the road traveling at least 10 mph faster than the speed limit.

Each case will be reviewed by the county's Board of Education, Fire Department and Department of Road Operations.

Communities will be required to split the cost of speed humps, which are about $1,200 each, with the county in some cases. When 1,000 to 1,500 vehicles travel a road daily, the community must foot the bill. When the traffic count is 1,500 to 10,000 a day, the community and the county will split the cost evenly.

County funding for speed humps will be divided based on a priority system that includes criteria such as speeding on roads, whether there are sidewalks and the volume of through traffic.

SOURCE: County Department of Public Works.

Pub Date: 4/16/97

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