ATTLEBORO — Speed “humps” could become part of the city’s roadway infrastructure if the city council decides to go along with a proposal by Mayor Paul Heroux.
Heroux submitted an ordinance to regulate the installation of permanent speed humps last fall, and last week the council held a hearing on the plan.
Speed humps are different than speed bumps. They are wider and elevated just enough to force vehicles to slow down. Bumps are narrow and steep and are most often found in parking lots.
The only speaker was at the hearing was Police Chief Kyle Heagney, and he loved the idea.
Both the mayor and chief said speeding vehicles is the top complaint received in their offices, and this is a chance to do something about it.
“I support speed humps,” Heagney told councilors. “There are two things I love in this world, pot holes and speed humps, they slow traffic down.”
And the chief presented proof.
A study was done last year on Claflin Street, which is one the city’s notorious cut-throughs where speeding is rampant.
It runs from Holden Street to North Main Street.
Temporary speed humps were installed and vehicles using the cut-through were counted and their speeds recorded for 11 days in May of 2018.
The results are clear.
On May 21, a Monday, before the temporary speed humps were installed, 2,065 vehicles used the road, which has a 30 mph speed limit
Of them, 845, or 41 percent, exceeded the limit. Out of those, 167, or 8 percent, traveled over 35 mph.
All told, 25 vehicles went above 40 mph and three were above 45 mph on that day alone.
On June 4, another Monday, after temporary speed humps had been installed only two of 1,972 vehicles using the street exceeded the 30 mph limit and neither of them went above 35 mph.
All other days in the 10-day study had similar results.
“The number of vehicles using the street did not go down but the speeds drastically went down,” Heagney told the council.
If the council wants to slash speeding on neighborhood streets, speed humps are the way to go, he said.
Speed humps control speeds 24 hours a day, seven days a week without the presence of a police officer, making them a good investment.
“We do have problem with speeding vehicles in the city and this is a way to address it and it’s cost effective,” Heagney said.
The hearing was continued to Aug. 20.