Traffic-calming measure clears committee hurdle in state Assembly

Traffic-calming measure clears
committee hurdle in state Assembly

The state Assembly Transportation Committee last week released legislation Assemblymen Patrick Diegnan Jr. and John S. Wisniewski (both D-Middlesex) sponsored to streamline traffic-calming techniques used throughout the state.

The legislators want to require the state Department of Transportation (DOT) to create consistent guidelines regarding the construction, placement and installation of speed humps.

"Standard guidelines should be established to provide continuity in the creation, location and configuration of roadway design features like speed humps," Diegnan said. A speed hump is an elongated, less severe version of a speed bump.

Under the measure, DOT guidelines would determine the placement and location of speed humps on two-lane roads; require roadway signs alerting motorists to upcoming speed humps; prohibit the construction of speed humps on roadways traveled by more than 3,000 vehicles daily or with a posted speed limit exceeding 30 mph; and restrict the length and height of traffic-calming devices to up to 14 feet and 4 inches, respectively. The distance between multiple speed humps also would be restricted.

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), each speed hump delays fire trucks by up to five seconds, while an ambulance is slowed by up to 10 seconds per speed hump.

The panel released the measure 11-0 with two abstentions. It now goes to the Assembly speaker, who decides if and when to post it for a floor vote.