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Over the hump: Buffalo continues with aggressive approach to calm traffic

While most understand their purpose, some neighbors say the city is overdoing it in places with the installation of speed humps.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The City of Buffalo is continuing in its aggressive program to calm traffic by installing speed humps on residential streets.

But is the program going overboard?

While most understand and appreciate their purpose, some neighbors say the city is overdoing it in places.

The autumn colors of yellow have come early along several streets in the Broadway Fillmore neighborhood through the proliferation of signs, each one marking where a speed hump has been installed to slow drivers.

In this neighborhood we found up to three or four, or even more per block.

The city announced in the spring it hoped to install 1,000 speed humps (and accompanying signs) during the summer, and it's not done yet, with thousands more to be possibly installed in coming years.

Credit: WGRZ

The humps, according to the city, may only be installed on residential streets, and none on bus routes where Metro Busses travel.

They are also designed in a way so as to not be torn up by snowplows, and the Department of Public Works "has an open line of communication with BPD and BFD so that any issues that are had with meeting emergency response time standards can be addressed."

Credit: City of Buffalo

Speed humps are also not installed unless requested by neighborhood residents or block clubs, and more information on how to make that request can be found here.

Mixed reaction

About a month ago, the humps were installed on Leroy Avenue to the pleasure of William Sherman and Cheryl Brooks, who say their stretch of the street had become a favorite drag strip for motorcyclists.

"They would just fly by, popping wheelies, not wearing helmets, the noise was terrible, and this was at 2 or 3 in the morning," Sherman said.

One the humps, which will jar a vehicle traveling more than 15 mph, were installed, the problem abated.

"Oh, most definitely yes, It stopped right away," Brooks said.

However, neither of them own a car, so they never have to drive over the humps.

Marvell Kirkwood, who does not live on Leroy Avenue but often travels the street, said, "I understand it's for safety, but I think there's too many. There's too many   in this one area because you are constantly going over them."

Jazz Smith, who lives on Leroy and owns a car, is appreciative in one sense.

"I like that I have two before my house, so when I have to back out the cars are having to slow down," she said. 

However, she agrees with those who think the city went a bit overboard with the number of speed humps, and when asked if she would rather have them or not replied, "No, I wouldn't think I'd want them here. Maybe a few down near the school, but all the way down the street I don't see the point. But they're here so we just have to deal with them."

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