Speed bumps not welcome 

A test run of speed cushions along one road may have slowed traffic as intended, but some residents are upset that motorists ended up detouring down neighboring streets to avoid them, public works officials said Tuesday.

The city installed two temporary speed cushions on Edinburg Street between Virginia and Notre Dame Avenues on May 8, 2006, in response to a request by residents looking for ways to slow drivers.

The speed cushions are similar to traditional speed bumps in that they force drivers to slow down or risk damaging the underside of their vehicles. They have cut-away portions, however, spaced so that emergency vehicles — with wider bodies than many cars — can travel over them unhindered.

According to the 219-person survey conducted by the city after the installation, residents along Edinburgh were the only people in the area in favor of the traffic calming measures. At least 55 percent of residents from each of the other streets surveyed was opposed to the measures, with numbers reaching as high as 90 percent on Fordham Road and Sonora Drive.

"The folks on Edinburgh (Street) really like it, but virtually the majority of everyone else didn’t," San Mateo Public Works Director Larry Patterson said.

As Edinburgh’s traffic counts fell from 1,315 in April to 1,242 in May, Fordham’s traffic rose from 168 to 176 in the same period. But by October, Fordham’s traffic had fallen to 154 cars, actually lower than it was before the cushions were installed.

The Public Works Commission will vote Thursday night on the permanent installation of traffic calming measures along Edinburgh Street. The Commission meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 330 W. 20th Ave.


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