Should the City Council adopt a resolution to end the moratorium on the installation of vertical deflectors i.e.: "speed bumps" (including speed cushions) as an option for traffic calming?
Traffic, both in volume and speed, is a huge issue for most of Berkeley’s neighborhoods. Council offices regularly receive requests for traffic calming, but because the tools and resources available are extremely limited, we can rarely provide the hardscape changes to modify traffic and driving behavior that will satisfy the local residents.
In the fall, Council will be entertaining two proposals that may expand our tools and target our resources. First is a new Traffic
Calming Policy that outlines an administrative structure for identifying and prioritizing projects in residential areas. Residents make an application, including a notification to and petition from the immediate neighbors. Staff evaluates and prioritizes the sites and creates a work plan for the calendar year.
The other proposal is an end to the moratorium on speed bumps, or “vertical speed deflectors.” In 1995 the disability community, who found speed bumps jarring and painful, and our local firefighters, who were frustrated at how bumps increased response time, requested a moratorium on the installation of new speed bumps. In the past two years, at Council direction, new designs have been tested in Berkeley. Other “flat top” designs are now being used in neighboring jurisdictions.
If approved, vertical speed deflectors will become one of the traffic calming tools available for our Office of Transportation, considered for those streets that qualify under the new Traffic Calming Policy, and which are not primary emergency response routes.