Weekly Feature

2018-06-07 / Front Page

Portable speed bumps to slow fast drivers


Drivers who use neighborhood roads as race tracks will soon experience a disruptive commute as the Town of West Seneca looks to place portable speed bumps on streets notorious for speeders.

Councilman William Hanley and Supervisor Sheila Meegan said during the Town Board meeting on Monday that they’re working to address roads that are of frequent resident complaint.

Resident David Kims questioned the board about whether the town’s 35-mph speed limit is low enough for residential side streets.

“I’ve had neighbors complain that cars go too fast, the speed limit’s 35 and should be lower,” said the Covington Drive resident.

“We’re getting portable speed bumps, and Covington Drive, which is a speedway, is going to receive some speed bumps,” Meegan said.

“Put one in front of my house so I can watch them. I want to see the shocks come up through the fenders,” Kims laughed.

So far, Covington Drive, Main Street and Sky Hi Drive have been identified by residents as dangerous routes when the town’s speed limit is not adhered to.

“They’re just race tracks,” Hanley said.

The trial streets were chosen due to the high number of complaints fielded by the town, Hanley said.

“Covington is a very heavily trafficked street. It’s a cut-through from the Key Bank corridor, with a few stop signs and a red light, so it’s very easy for traffic to maneuver through Covington Gardens,” the councilman said.

Hanley said he has been in contact with Councilman Christopher Scanlon from the City of Buffalo and the city’s Engineering Department to iron out details on how the speed bumps work.

“The City of Buffalo is trying something new with their Engineering Department. Their speed bumps are about a 4-inch rise, they’re about 12 inches wide, and they’ll make the length whatever you want them to be. It’s a black speed bump with yellow stripes on both sides,” he said.

Through their design, portable speed bumps can be used for an extended period of time or moved daily to accommodate events around town or traffic control situations.

“You take them off the back of a pickup truck, you roll them out, you set them down, and you pick them up at the end of the day. It’s very simple,” he said.

Hanley said the town plans to purchase five sets of bumps, depending on cost.

“If it’s too much, we’ll go to four or maybe three. Our intent is to buy five,” he said.

The supervisor added that the town will be looking to use speed bumps for about 21 days in each location and will circulate them frequently to discourage fast drivers.

Hanley said individuals who have complained frequently about car speed will be the primary source for whether or not the speed bumps are effective.

“We could place them near the vicinity of those homes and go back to those same addresses to see if it helped,” he said.

If the feedback is neutral or negative, and cars are not slowing down, the councilman said the town will ask the Police Department for more radar in problematic areas.

“Instead of buying more or less, I would ask for more law enforcement on those streets for a while,” he said.

If the speed bumps do not have a positive impact, the councilman said, they will likely be moved to town parks.

He said the town has tried using digital radar signs to alert drivers to their excessive rate of speed, but so far that has not worked.

“Anything to slow the traffic down. We want people in the neighborhood to enjoy their yards without having cars racing by,” Hanley said.

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