Rachel Kobernick 0

Eckerd College for the Removal of New Speed Bumps

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Over winter break, Eckerd College installed several new speed bumps across all the main roads on campus. It is our opinion that the installation of at least 8 new speed bumps across campus in addition to the pre-existing speed bumps is excessive. Posted speed limit for campus roads is 25 mph, yet with the new speed bumps, traffic is slowed considerably less than the posted limit, which increases congestion on the roads. Vehicular accidents where speed was a major factor are very rare on campus, and we feel that the installation of the new speed bumps is unwarranted. In fact, there has been a reported increase in accidents due to rear-ending at the speed bumps.

One of the main concerns about the new speed bumps is the damage to student, faculty, and staff vehicles. The new speed bumps are excessively tall and thin, and may cause damage to car suspensions or undercarriages particularly to low riding cars. If a car were to drive from Beta Lot and exit campus, a distance of 0.5 miles, that car would drive over 9 speed bumps. It is our belief that this is extremely excessive and unnecessary.

 Emergency response from St Petersburg will also be hindered by the new speed bumps. When time is of the essence for an ambulance responding to a dorm such as Omega, the speed bumps will become a hindrance and delay response time. Because the new speed bumps require vehicles to come to a near stop in order to be safely traversed, the speed of emergency response units will be significantly reduced, wasting critical time. If they proceed with haste, there will most certainly be damage incurred to the vehicle. Rapid response time is critical with emergency services, and first responders are already delayed by a lack of knowledge of campus layout. Please, don’t delay them further by adding more speed bumps. 

The installation of these new speed bumps has also led to the destruction of school property, and will most likely continue to do so. A common occurrence with the installation of new, unwanted speed bumps is what many city traffic councils call "gutter running". This occurs when drivers will attempt to avoid the bump with some of their tires by driving in the gutter, and in Eckerd's case, driving on the grass. Eckerd has put up signs telling drivers to "keep off grass", but it is obvious by tire marks that this is being ignored. Gutter running also poses a danger to drivers and pedestrians alike. Due to the curved nature of the gutters, the risk of a driver losing control of his/her vehicle while trying to avoid the speed bumps is increased.

 Drivers on campus are not the only ones who want these speed bumps removed. These speed bumps also cause damage and discomfort to skate boarders, bicyclists, and those who drive motorcycles or scooters. Skate boarders and long boarders cannot safely pass over these new speed bumps, and risk falling into the middle of the street where they may be hit by a car. If they themselves do not fall, their board may roll into the street and cause an accident. Bicycles, such as Eckerd’s yellow bikes and more sensitive, competitive road bikes owned by athletes on campus may also be damaged simply by the excessive number of these speed bumps.

 If Eckerd College's reason for the installation of new speed bumps is to protect pedestrians, and make our roads safer, then we propose something more effective. There is NO sidewalk that runs along the Avenue of the States, which is the main road on campus. If Eckerd is concerned about pedestrian safety, then we propose removing them from the busiest street on campus by providing a safe pathway for pedestrians, skate boarders, bicyclists, and even golf carts. We believe that this would be more effective in increasing pedestrian safety than the poorly planned installation of too many speed bumps.

 If the main reason for the installation of the new speed bumps is to reduce the overall speed of traffic on campus, there are other alternatives to putting in a speed bump for every 0.05 mile. Rumble strips would not damage cars, but would persuade drivers to slow down simply to reduce the noise produced by passing over them. Leaving gaps in the rumble strips would allow for safe passage for skate boarders and cyclists. Another alternative is for Campus Safety officers to patrol or be stationed along Avenue of the States during high traffic times to encourage drivers to follow the speed limit. Or if Eckerd College deems it necessary to have an excessive amount of speed bumps, replace them with larger and wider, less destructive speed humps. 

 In this petition, we are respectfully requesting that the new speed bumps be removed, and alternative means of traffic control are investigated. 


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