Q. Are speed bumps to slow traffic now illegal in Wilmington? I understand that emergency vehicles traveling through a development at 25 mph may have to slow to 15 mph, but will the death of an unsuspecting child be worth that minimal decrease in speed?
A. The city of Wilmington no longer allows new speed bumps, City Planning Manager Ron Satterfield said in 2012. Even private streets have to be constructed to city standards, he said.
Speed bumps increase wear and tear on vehicles and decrease emergency response time, said Mike Kozlosky, the executive director of the Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. And instead of solving a problem, they tend to shift it to another street, he said in 2012. The city developed long-term recommendations for alternatives to speed bumps such as chokers, which are curb extensions that help slow traffic. In Wilmington, they are visible in Sunset Park, Creekwood South and Pine Valley, Kozlosky said.
Also in 2012, the New Hanover County Commissioners voted to require neighborhoods that want speed bumps or humps on private roads to get the county’s permission first. The policy was designed to guide neighborhoods that feel they need traffic control devices and prevent neighborhoods from installing poorly designed speed bumps. In 2009, the N.C. General Assembly directed the N.C. Department of Transportation to establish a procedure for installing traffic calming devices on state-maintained roads within subdivisions. The regulations required neighborhoods to meet prescribed standards before installing speed bumps.
Date posted: May 14, 2013
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