"Building obstacles to impede traffic is a sheer waste of taxpayers' money. The Canada Safety Council urges municipalities to invest instead in proven safety measures."

Canada Safety Council, 1999

 

Arguments Against Calming

 

Increases Municipal Cost:

         Obstacles impede winter road scraping.

         Many municipalities that have experimented with speed bumps are now removing them.

 

Increases Personal Cost:

         Vehicles experience increased wear-and-tear on suspension and brakes.

         This especially impacts older cars, having the most effect on those least able to afford it.

 

Reduces Emergency Response:

         Slows Emergency Response.

         Risk injury to fire fighters.

         Fire trucks must slow to a craw.

         For Ambulance and CPR operations, every second counts. Studies show that lives can be lost if traffic calming is implemented. A 1997 study in Boulder Colorado stated: nearly 10 lives are predicted to be lost, over time, for each one saved by full implementation of the neighborhood traffic mitigation program.

 

Damages the Environment

         Increases noise, air pollution as vehicles slow down then speed up.

 

Negatively Changes Driving styles:

         Increase driver frustration, increasing "road rage". Promotes erratic driving.

 

 

 

 

Restricts Mobility of the Disabled

         For some people with disabilities, the pain and injury which can result from driving or riding over speed humps makes these "traffic calming devices" into virtual barricades. For others, the unpredictable outcome of going over humps results in a deterrent to travel."

         From an Newspaper article in San Diego : After months of battling City Hall, resident Lisa Carroll got her way. The five speed bumps that make it painful for Carroll to drive in and out of her Len Way home will be removed. "I am relieved," said Carroll, who has undergone several back surgeries and is legally disabled. "I think it's wonderful."

 

Causes Division

         They divide neighbors and neighborhoods pitting neighbor against neighbor.

         The punish law abiding citizens.

 

Reduces Property Values

         Would you pay more for a home with a speed bump in front of it?

 

 

Alternatives

 

Misdirected Goal:

         Traffic calming measures generally serves the purpose of redirecting traffic off of residential streets back onto main streets. Riverside traffic serves only the Seymour East area - traffic cannot be diverted along any other route therefore traffic calming is the wrong tool to use if public safety is the issue.

 

Masked Calming Measures:

         Some may suggest a stop sign at Swinburne: Traffic signs are implemented to control right of ways, not to impede traffic. When used for purposes that they were not intended, they promote abuse: rolling stops or rubbed stop signs.

 

Alternatives suggested by the Canada Safety Council

         Resources for traffic enforcement in many communities have diminished to the point of being inadequate. Preventive traffic enforcement must become the number one priority.

         Instead of turning streets into playgrounds, develop recreational grounds and facilities where children can play safely, away from traffic.

         Address specific traffic problems with intelligent, cost effective solutions that will not compromise safety or penalize law-abiding citizens. (e.g. Change parking rules on Riverside Drive).

         Invest in public education to change perceptions, behaviors and attitudes that lead to collisions.