BY JAMES HARPER
Several dozen speed bumps are scheduled to be installed on Daytona Beach streets this year. City residents also can request speed bumps for their streets, which concerns a member of the Second Avenue Merchants Association (SAMA).
“I don’t think there should be any speed bumps on any street unless there is a survey done on that street. It should not be one or two residents on the street’s word,” said SAMA board member Barbara Turner-Hymes. The board represents several businesses on Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard.
The streets scheduled to have speed bumps installed or streets where they already have been installed include Colfax Drive, Tennessee Street, Forest Lane, Essex Road, North Street, Washington Street, Lincoln Street, Flanders Avenue, Derbyshire Road, Seneca Street, Margina Street, Loomis Avenue, McGee Street, Blais Avenue, Tomoka Road, Garden Street, Kennedy Road, Keech Street, Cadillac Drive, West Wood Drive and Benecia Avenue.
Traffic calming devices
Speed bumps, considered traffic calming devices by the city, are constructed at the request of the city and the police department based on assessment of need, said Daytona Beach Public Works Director Ron McLemore.
McLemore also confirmed to the Daytona Times that outside requests, made by residents, are added on a first-come first-serve basis.
“Once an outside request is made, Traffic Engineering evaluates the request to determine if the installation is feasible and safe. If the evaluation is positive, Traffic Engineering determines the best location on the street,” McLemore said.
He added that the installation of the speed bumps goes on a waiting list for funding and installation is based on order of request.
Two bumps, one block
“I would rather see that money going to hire more police; that’s what we need,” Turner-Hymes told the Daytona Times this week.
Turner-Hymes first brought her concerns before city commissioners during a recent meeting.
“Some streets have two speed bumps in one block no more than one-tenth of a mile apart,” Turner-Hymes noted. “We don’t have money for signs that say ‘Children at Play,’ but we can put up speed bump signs. What’s wrong with this picture?”
McLemore said it is important to understand that traffic calming works because it causes drivers to pay attention.
He pointed out that speed bumps are just one of a number of traffic calming devices.
“Speed bumps are suitable for low-volume residential streets. High-volume residential collector streets and commercial thoroughfares are not suitable sites for speed bumps and require other types of traffic calming devices,” he explained.
Traffic calming devices reduce accidents by approximately 50 percent and injuries and deaths from accidents by 80 percent to 90 percent, according to information obtained by the Times.
McLemore said conclusions from local studies conducted by his department indicate a three- to five-mile per hour reduction in speed after speed bumps are installed.
“This small reduction in speed may not appear to be impressive, however, this small reduction in speed brings with it a substantial elevation in driver attention,” McLemore added. But he acknowledged that speed bumps are not “foolproof in preventing those who want to speed.’’