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Officials hope speed humps can serve as deterrent to speeding

January 22, 2002

Officials hope speed humps can serve as deterrent to speeding



By SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

Motorists should notice something new as they drive through Martin L. "Marty" Snook Park in Halfway: speed humps.

Washington County installed seven speed humps at the park in an effort to slow traffic. The move came in response to concerns by members of the Washington County Board of Commissioners, Public Works Director Gary Rohrer said Thursday.

The speed humps were installed in the fall, he said. The total cost of the materials was about $2,000, plus two to three days labor for a five-member highway crew and equipment.

The speed humps are the first to be installed by the county, Rohrer said.

The county wants to see if the speed humps, which have been used effectively in other Maryland counties, successfully slow traffic here, he said.

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"It is a test project to see how people respond to them," he said.

The speed humps seem to be slowing traffic but it is too early to be sure, he said. The county will have a better sense of their effectiveness in the spring, he said.

"Preliminary feedback has been positive," said Commissioner President Gregory I. Snook, one of the commissioners who requested the speed reduction effort.

Speed humps are different than speed bumps.

A speed hump is an elevated plateau, usually about as long as a car, that will not damage vehicles when they drive over them, Rohrer said. Speed humps are longer, less abrupt and not as high as speed bumps, he said.

A speed bump is a mound of asphalt that can damage a vehicle that is driven over it too fast, he said. Speed bumps also can cause accidents, he said.

Speed bumps are supposed to serve as a deterrent but it's not clear if that works since some just drive faster between bumps, he said.

Speed humps were developed in the last five to 10 years by engineers looking for ways to cut down speed in subdivisions, schools and other areas. They are not intended for high-volume traffic areas, he said.

There are no plans to install speed humps elsewhere in the county although there have been requests to put them in subdivisions, he said.

If the speed humps are effective, more may be installed elsewhere in the county, Snook said.

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