“I ______ the new speed bumps!”

Some people say our nation is as polarized as it has ever been. Well it seems our beloved town is as well. We are divided. Over speed humps.

Let’s split the gap!

Point: THE SPEED BUMPS WILL DAMAGE MY CAR.

Counterpoint: No. The speed HUMPS are shallow and safe for all vehicles. You will do more damage driving over the railroad tracks or traveling along the north bypass. Seriously, what’s with the potholes on the north bypass?

Point: Speed bumps slow down emergency vehicles.

Counterpoint: The city installed speed HUMPS which are shallow and allow safe access for emergency vehicles. Early reports indicate Space Force operations will be unaffected.

Point: Now the city will start installing them EVERYWHERE.

Counterpoint: The city has been developing clear and level-headed criteria for installation of speed humps. A street must meet requirements that include: lack of sidewalks, maximum posted speed limits (ie: must be a “side street”), minimum number of cars traversed daily (more than 1,000), and 75% approval from residents. If your commute doesn’t meet all of the these conditions, you have nothing to worry about. Go speed racer, go.

Point: The speed bumps are there to get people to take other, less-convenient routes.

Counterpoint. You can still take roads that have speed humps but you must do so at an appropriate speed. That’s the point.

Point: “They’re trying to route traffic off of Valley Drive so the rich people don’t have to see cars in their neighborhood and they can let their kids play in the street.”

*As much as I hate to draw any attention to the disaster that is the DCN Forum, THIS WAS AN ACTUAL READER SUBMISSION. I kid you not.

Counterpoint: Red rover red rover is much more fun when there’s a speeding F150 involved.

Point: The TAXPAYERS are paying for these!

Counterpoint: Yup. And this is the most economical solution. In the past when residents have complained about the speeding problem (which traffic studies have confirmed an actual problem has existed for decades) the city has ramped up police surveillance in the area. However, this only yielded results until the increased patrol ended. Then the speeders came right back. Rinse and repeat. I want my tax dollars to be better-spent than paying highly-trained police officers to sit around and write tickets for afternoon commuters on residential side streets.

Point: We’ve gone 90 years without speed bumps why do we need them now??

Counterpoint: You mean speed HUMPS which are shallower and safer for cars and emergency vehicles. Countless studies show that towns succeed when they have increased walkability for residents and vibrant downtown areas. One common sense way to achieve this is to ensure that residents living within walking distance to downtown are actually able to walk there. This will keep these properties desirable and keep property taxes healthy which benefits the entire community. This also deters unsustainable sprawl which drains city resources. City planning many decades ago probably should have included sidewalks for Valley Drive but our city was not nearly as car-dependent at that time. The street was originally a dirt road. Former mayor Sheridan McAuley could probably tell you all about it. But times change. We adapt. Look at what happened on Dug Gap road where sidewalks were added in the early 2000s. What was once a “country road” that later turned into a main transportation artery during the rise of car-dependency is now functional for both automobiles and pedestrians alike by making it safer and more walkable with sidewalks. You cannot drive down that street without seeing residents enjoying a walk/jog/run literally all year long- this is a major amenity attracting people to live in the adjoining neighborhoods. Adding sidewalks to Valley Drive would be ideal but it is also logistically challenging due to the need to dig up some residents’ yards, the low land, and of course the fact that it would cost more money than the inexpensive and removable speed humps.

Doug Gapp’s ideal, long-term solution to the issue would be to narrow Valley Drive to one lane (wide enough for emergency vehicles of course) and make it a one way street from Cuyler St to Walnut Ave (just as it is already one way at the end of Franklin St meeting Walnut Ave). These actions would allow a sidewalk and safer bike lanes to be added. Then add a sidewalk from Cuyler to Crawford on the North end. Bam! This would improve walkability, increase safety for bicyclists, and improve access to downtown for literally thousands of residents in the City West area keeping these properties highly desirable. It’s a pipe dream so for now the speed humps will have to do. But this is the type of forward, outside-the-box thinking that our community needs to consider when planning our future 5, 10, and 30 years down the road (pun intended); it is more productive than knee-jerk #%^*ing about new speed bumps (humps) that may cause an insanely minor inconvenience for some impatient drivers.

What’s that? Doug Gapp for city council? Doug Gapp for mayor? Doug Gapp for state Senator?! Well I’m flattered but that sounds like a big time commitment and this half-fake news blog doesn’t run itself.

Safe travels, Dalton

Doug

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