The Public Eye

Reports from the Bee's investigative team

November 26, 2010
New lumps cut driving speeds

By Chelsea Phua

The problem: Vehicles speeding along a stretch of 14th Street in the South Land Park neighborhood. Residents say the portion between South Land Park Drive and 43rd Avenue often serves as a shortcut for motorists traveling to Freeport Boulevard.

Alonzo Eaton, 53, who has lived on 14th Street for five years, said he has seen an increase in traffic. Sacramento city officials said traffic studies showed the majority of drivers on 14th Street going at speeds of the posted 25 mph or faster.

The solution: Speed lumps, which are raised devices with cutouts at the widths where tires of emergency vehicles and buses can pass through. Linda Tucker, spokeswoman for the city's Department of Transportation, said residents submitted a petition for the devices on the road, which already has two sets of undulations spaced about 1,800 feet apart.

A petition needs at least 10 signatures. Tucker said residents collected 20 by August 2009. The process includes investigation by traffic engineers, approval by the City Council and by a ballot sent out to residents. Officials said 67 percent were in favor, meeting the two-thirds majority requirement. In October, four lumps were installed.

Not everyone seems happy with the additions, which cost about $10,400 and were funded by Measure A, a countywide half-cent sales tax used for roadway and transit improvements.

Eaton's neighbor, Lyle Moffett, 64, said they scratch the underside of one of his cars with a low bumper. "They are just a pain," Moffett said.

Eaton's wife, Candy Holiday, 49, said she likes them. "It slows the traffic way down or you'll be popping up in the air," she said.

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