PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Speed humps are being used throughout Pittsburgh as a “traffic calming” devise. That is a fancy term for slowing drivers down in areas where there are excessive speeds and residents have complained.
The latest speed humps are on Beechwood Blvd. A wide winding street on the edge of Frick Park with homes on either side where speeds of 40 miles an hour have been common on a street marked 25.
But stand along the road for just a few minutes and you will see driver after driver swerve into the bike lanes on either side to avoid going over the speed hump.
Those who live and work along this stretch have seen it all.
“You cannot park on the side of the speed humps because people do go into the bike lane and a couple of cars have been hit,” Debra Levine said.
Bicyclist Adam Siskind said you have to be careful because the bike lane affords no protection.
“That’s an issue where people are moving into the bike lane and driving,” Siskind said.
The Pittsburgh Director of Mobility and Infrastructure Karina Ricks says they are well aware of Beechwood drivers using the humps as an obstacle course.
“And that is improper behavior,” Ricks said. “The travel lane is generous and there is no reason for vehicles to leave that lane.”
Despite the swerving into the bike lane folks along Beechwood say the humps have been effective in slowing people down.
“People instead of coming around 40 they’re coming around 15 mph, so you have a little extra time to get in and out of your driveway,” Greg Zenner said.
In fact, Ricks says they are seeing good speed results on the streets where humps have been installed.
“We’ve seen anywhere from a five to eight mile per hour decrease in speed which can be a tremendous lifesaving improvement,” Ricks said.
Ricks had this to say for the Beechwood hump swerving:
“We can look at vertical delineators to keep people out of that bicycle lane,” Ricks said. “We would expect people to observe the pavement markings but we are looking at some other interventions to protect the bicyclist.”
There is no word on when the candlesticks might be installed to keep drivers on the hump and until then flashing blue and red lights will be present.
“We do not want people to swerve into the bicycle lane. The bicycle lane is for people on bicycles,” Ricks said. “The police are reminding people of the appropriate behavior.”