Speed bumps bigger obstacle for Raleigh neighborhoods than for drivers

Posted December 2, 2014
Updated December 3, 2014

— Scores of Raleigh neighborhoods seeking speed bumps or other "traffic calming" devices to slow traffic on their streets face years of waiting because of limited city funds for such projects.

Jed Niffenegger, a senior transportation engineer with the city, said Raleigh can afford to address only about four traffic calming projects a year. More than 120 streets are on the city's waiting list, he said, calling the backlog "disconcerting" for residents.

Stacey Hilton said her 5-year-old son even recognizes when cars are speeding along Hiking Trail in the Durant Trails neighborhood of north Raleigh.

"Now, whether he's walking or riding a bike, he'll actually yell at cars slow down," Hilton said.

The speed limit on Hiking Trail is 25 mph, but city traffic surveys show cars average 40 mph on the street.

"People are flying around the corner," Hilton said, noting that two crosswalks that connect homes on one side of the street to the neighborhood's pool, tennis courts and playground on the other side are located at either end of a sharp curve, limiting sight lines and drivers' ability to quickly hit the brakes.

Hiking Trail is 29th on Raleigh's list for speed bumps, meaning city crews will reach it by 2022.

For Hilton and her neighbors, that's unacceptable.

"What I don't want to see happen is for us to sit on a list and wait for this problem to go from bad to worse," she said.

Niffenegger said there's no real solution to the problem right now.

"If we were to do more, (the City) Council would need to allocate money, and we'd need more staff," he said. "That would pull from other entities of the city – fire needs more people, police need more people."


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  • jimcricket15 Dec 3, 2014

    I never want to see speed bumps in my neighborhood. Sure sometimes you get the fools that speed. As to raleigh having insufficient funds, that is pretty amazing. They have loaded up bond issue after bond issue on the backs of Raleigh property owners. Sadly the voters in raleigh keep saying yes to more debt.

  • Bart Iannetta Dec 3, 2014
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    The data seems correct. I see jo's going 40 every day on that road. You must be one of them!

  • Bart Iannetta Dec 3, 2014
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    And if you hit a kid you will pay!

  • Bart Iannetta Dec 3, 2014
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    Ridiculous how they drive on Hiking and throughout that neighborhood. I have many vehicles marked so as soon as I see an accident you can bet who will be there adding to the police report.

  • Keith Bonham Dec 3, 2014
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    Having to "fight" with speed bumps every day!!!!

    Lots of FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS in this post...

  • Bart Iannetta Dec 3, 2014
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    You have to learn how to drive!

  • RDUResident Dec 3, 2014

    How about traffic law enforcement?? Why do we need a slab of concrete to enforce speed limits when cops should be handing out tickets? This is not only a problem inside neighborhoods but a general problem in Raleigh. Every year this place reminds me more and more of Atlanta. Down there it's "get into the traffic flow and don't even look at the Speed Limit signs... they have nothing to do with how fast you are obliged to drive." Traffic is either a crawl or doing 15+ over.

  • skidkid269 Dec 3, 2014

    People will just speed up to the next speed bump. A temporary solution. Sit a police car out there and see how people slow down!

  • luvstoQ Dec 3, 2014

    They are a nuisance, period! Is it worth them to residents when it is a hazard to emergency vehicles? Definitely slows down response time!! 'Most' people 'do not' want them in their neighborhoods, having to fight them every day, going in and out. Better rethink it, and consider what it will do to your commutes.

  • sinenomine Dec 3, 2014

    On Northbrook Drive there are speed bumps, including one next to a stop sign. How does that work? After jostling over the speed bump it may be ten feet before you have to come to a complete stop at the sign. Somebody at the city road department was asleep at the switch here.