[V8] Bump in the Road ...

Buchholz, Steven Steven.Buchholz at kla-tencor.com
Wed Sep 14 21:15:09 EDT 2005

... apologies in advance for the rant ... but its been one of those days
... weeks, actually ...
> I am no fan of speed bumps - but I am also on the neighborhood group
> install them on my street.
> It is too common to see or hear cars go by in excess of 60 MPH. They
have been
> clocked at 90+MPH. Are you saying it would be better to station a full
> police officer on my street? That would be a better use of tax payer
... I guess those are the only possible solutions ... easy decision then
I suppose.

Hey, I've got the same situation out in front of my house ... The morons
in the city planning department listen to the developers whine about the
wasted real estate created by the straight, wide feeder roads that were
originally designed to promote the folks living in an area to get easily
in and out ... so they allow the roads to be narrowed and houses to
front on them.  This makes the folks living on these streets whine, so
the city planners break up the streets to discourage traffic.  Then
streets like the one I live on ... fairly narrow and curved ... but
"convenient" ... become the route of choice for ingress and egress.
People fly by, chatting on their cell phones ... bugs me probably as
much as it does anyone ... 

The thing that bugs me more is that elected officials then come up with
fancy names for the way they want to deal with the problem ... out here
they call it "Traffic Calming" ... but really what it comes down to is
erecting impediments of some sort or another to appease the folks who
are complaining.  Basically the city ends up spending a lot of money
that could have gone to fix the roads that are in disrepair ... or
perhaps additional police officers.  These same impediments impact
emergency services ... but I guess that is OK.  There's a road not too
far from my house where the city placed *SEVEN* speed bumps on a
straight stretch of road in the distance of less than half a mile!  This
is the same road fire trucks need to use to get to a fire on the nearby
hills.  What is the possible cost should a major fire erupt in that

To my mind it is a lot like the history that led to ubiquitous airbags
... someone came up with a solution that was acceptable to the right
number of folks and it becomes a standard.  Any discussion of other
alternatives then stops ... I wonder where we'd be today if we had
something like Procon-Ten developed for the past 15 years?  I know I
could do without a bomb in my face all the time I'm driving my car ...

>From my point of view, in this case the underlying problem is that
people are not being held responsible for their actions, nor are they
being reminded that they should take responsibility for them.  Gone are
the days when you heard that driving is a privilege, not a right.  In my
case the people who are flying down the road are homeowners in the area,
people who are probably just as pissed off about people flying past
*their* houses!  Frankly, it amazes me that this fact does not register
for them ... but of course, they are not thinking of anyone but
themselves.  I've actually followed people who have been blatantly
flying down the road and talked to them ... "oh, I'm sorry, I was in a
hurry for <your excuse here>".  I drive the speed limit in the area and
let people back up behind me.  I've flagged down people who have passed
me in a residential area to talk to them about what they have done ...
I've got other ideas for low cost ways to try to make people think about
what they are doing.  To my mind there are more than two possible
solutions ... and I'm doing what I can to make them work ... 

... so when we've got enough speed bumps, what will we do to stop those
who blow through stop signs without even slowing down?  If we can't
afford to put cops at every intersection, perhaps we can put speed bumps
there too.  Actually, the best solution for that is automatic cameras
... of course that's what the elected representatives are eyeing too ...
more income too!

Steve B
San Jose, CA (USA)

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