SOURCE: Traffic Logix

December 18, 2008 13:43 ET

Traffic Logix Rubber Speed Cushions Installed in Providence in Response to "Epidemic of Dangerous Driving"

PROVIDENCE, RI--(Marketwire - December 18, 2008) - On the streets of Providence, Rhode Island, there is a constant demand for traffic calming measures. "I think there is just a nationwide epidemic of dangerous driving," says William Bombard, PE, the city's traffic engineer. Although the city uses asphalt speed humps on some streets, they chose to use rubber speed cushions to slow traffic near a popular city park.

The asphalt speed humps the city has been using have constant maintenance issues, as the warning paint wears off and must be repeatedly repainted. Emergency service vehicles complained about the slowdown of response time caused by the humps as well as the damage to their vehicles by the humps' aggressive six inch height. In addition, the city noticed that the six inch humps were slowing cars almost to a standstill, which caused them to speed up afterwards to make up for lost time.

When Mr. Bombard came across the Traffic Logix speed cushions, the compatibility with emergency vehicles was the biggest selling point for him. The speed cushions are designed as a series of small speed humps that emergency vehicles can straddle while cars must drive over. The city tested the cushions at the local Department of Public Works, with fire trucks and civilian vehicles driving over the cushions. The Providence Fire Department was pleased with how easily the fire vehicles could drive over them while the city noted how cars had to slow down to get past.

The cushions were installed on Narragansett Avenue, a wide, predominantly industrial street that is also home to a large community park. Since it is not a residential road, there tends to be a lot of excessive speeding and dangerous driving despite the park speed limit of 25 mph. Several vehicle crashes have taken place on the street. Leon Tejada, the councilman for the area, approached the city after receiving myriad requests from park patrons to make the road safer.

Narragansett is a 40 foot wide two lane road. The cushions were placed at five locations along the length of the street. Since Narragansett is a major response route, the speed cushions were the ideal solution to slow cars without affecting emergency vehicles. The city also preferred the cushions over asphalt humps due to the embossed reflectivity that makes them more visible to oncoming traffic. Unlike the paint that wears off of the asphalt humps, the rubber cushions are embedded with highly reflective tape that maintains its brightness even over time. The cushions can also be removed in the winter for snow removal. The city engineer noted the advantage of this as snow plow drivers often complain that the asphalt humps are difficult to maneuver around when plowing.

The way Mr. Bombard sees it, being able to remove the cushions has another advantage as well. "Driver behavior is learned," he commented. "Once drivers get used to slowing down, you won't need quite as many cushions on the road. We can just pick them up and move them to another street. They offer us that versatility."

The engineer was also pleased with the speed that the cushions slow drivers to. While the six inch asphalt speed humps slow drivers almost completely, causing them to speed up afterwards, the three inch rubber cushions slow motorists close to the posted speed limit. "I think they're doing a good job," Mr. Bombard said of the cushions. Councilman Tejada was pleased with them as well, saying, "We need to get these on more of our streets." Since the installation of the speed cushions this summer, other council-people have requested installation in their wards as well.

The city's final word on the cushions? "We will certainly be using more Traffic Logix speed cushions in the future."

Traffic Logix is a direct sales manufacturer of a full line of traffic calming solutions including rubber speed humps, cushions, tables, and curbing units, as well as next generation radar speed signs. To find out more, visit www.trafficlogix.com.

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