Wrongfully lumped and bumped, now speed-humped

2015-04-30 13:59
PHOTO: supplied

The new double highway opened in Erskine Street.

PHOTO: supplied The new double highway opened in Erskine Street.

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Making a mockery out of speed humps as a traffic calming feature, the speed humps erected in McCullum and Erskine Streets have broken just about every rule in the various South African traffic ac! For some reason these two speed humps were erected at enormous speed – almost overnight!

In terms of the National Guidelines of Traffice Calming and a detailed study undertaken by the CSRI on behalf of the Department of Transport , emphasis is placed on the importance on installing speed bumps, particularly in a residential area, for the right reasons.

Prior to the installation os speed humps Municipaities in terms of the various Acts are required to:

*Research traffic volume over a period of time;

*Check the rate of accidents which have occurred where the speedhumps are planned;

*Conduct surveys with residents in the area to be affected as to whether they support such a measure with reasons for and against. The Ward Committee should also be consulted;

*Ensure that such traffic calming units are not placed in the shade of trees as this affects visibility;

*Establish whether the placing of speed humps will lead traffic to deviate to other minor roads;

*Investigate whether there are any alternate measures to solve the socalled problems.;

*Height and width specifications are clearly indicated dependent on what speed is required through the introduction of such humps.

According to the guidelines the length of the speedhump should be 3.7metres and 70 -120mm high. All vehicles must be able to comfortably negogiate at predetermined speed. Here although the 110 mm height is within the specification it is not in proportion to the rest of the hump which is one metre instead of 3.7 which results in the steep and not gentle gradient. Many of the new models ,specially the popular small sedan, scrape their bottoms or have to have to slow down almost to a stop to drive over the hump without causing any damage to the vehicle.

Its school holidays at the moment – during term time this road is used by several busses and taxis transporting scholars with these humps proving to be more of a hazard than a traffic calmer!

So there is now a double carriageway in Erskine Street and McCullum as motorists drive onto the grass verges on either side of this miscalled traffic calming unit to avoid serious damage. This is creating another serious traffic hazard when there was not such a serious one prior to the speedhump installation!

Traffic regulations state there must be ample warning with “speed hump ahead”warning signs 30 metres away. In McCullum Street the warning sign is 3 metres away from the speedhump – on one side only ,In Erskine Street its 30 metres but again on one side only!

Object of this report is , on behalf of all road users, to put the message across to the powers that be if you are going to implement any action – please follow the correct procedures in the interests of all concerned

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