In life, things come and go.
Friends. Taxes. The Walkman. Speed bumps.
That last come-and-go — speed bumps, only slightly less controversial than the U.S. credit rating — was one I always assumed was impossible to let go. When a locality approves a speed bump, its career is typically longer than a Supreme Court appointment.
Not so, apparently, in Takoma Park.
I’ll get to the city’s remarkable legislative action in a moment, but first let’s be clear about Takoma Park and speed bumps: The city seems to erect them at roughly the same pace that I post blog entries — about twice a day.
“We embraced the speed bumps very early on here,” said Daryl Braithwaite, Takoma Park’s director of public works. “We have a pretty high number of them.”
I’ll say. Takoma Park has 180 speed bumps bumping up across just 2.36 square miles. That’s a lot of speed bumps — roughly 77 per mile.
These are very specialized speed bumps. A Takoma Park speed bump, as described by Braithwaite, is a “bump on a hump.” There’s a gradual slope up, then the bump, then the ride down.
City officials think the design slows down drivers better than standard speed bumps. “You feel it in a different way,” Braithwaite said.
They appear only slight less gentle than a bed of nails.
So, getting to the news. Earlier this year, responding to residents’ requests, Takoma Park approved a new bump on a hump on Sherman Avenue. Long story short: Residents had second thoughts, worrying that the slope on the road was too steep. This is
where things get interesting. Before the city council adjourned for the summer, it passed, in the annals of speed bump history, a momentous piece of legislation:
“NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF TAKOMA PARK, MARYLAND, THAT: SECTION 1. Ordinance 2010-44 is rescinded, thereby nullifying the order to install a speed hump on the sloped section of the 100 block of Sherman Avenue.”
And now there is one less speed bump in the world.