Speed bumps on campus cause many to question: safe or evil?

By Catherine Dilworth
October 18, 2001

Marcel Basset

What is a speed bump? Speed bumps are traffic “calming” asphalt mounds constructed on streets and spaced normally 300 to 600 feet apart. They are obstacles in the middle of a road usually painted a vibrant yellow to signify its caution to slow down. This obstacle is evenly spread out across the road to enable your vehicle from reaching high speeds in a designated area.

Cabrini students oppose any measure or regulation that is deliberately designed to inconvenience and hinder the legitimate travel of responsible motorists.

“Speed bumps are annoying and useless. The campus is not big enough to have that many speed bumps,” Kim Campbell, junior, said.

“As I was driving to class in the dark I hit a big speed bump. If you want them there how about some lights so we can see those annoying speed bumps,” Kate Hecht, senior, said.

“The speed bumps are too high and they are messing up cars alignments. Is Cabrini going to pay for new alignments in the cars they messed up?” Monica Martinez, senior, said.

“I feel that the speed bumps are stupid. You can never see them and they ruin your car” Maureen McQuade, sophomore, said

Many opinions were given about the “bonus” speed bumps Cabrini has put down on their campus to keep vehicles from speeding through congested student crosswalks.

“The most annoying speed bump on campus has got to be the one at the corner of Xavier hall and the road past Woodcrest. It’s annoying because it’s crooked. It certainly must do something weird to any car’s alignment and shocks. The car literally has to go over the bump one wheel at a time. Besides the fact that it’s probably bad for the car-and really annoying, there doesn’t seem to be any real point for making it slanted. “Why do they do that?” Christopher Swift, senior, said

“Another silly speed bump is the one at the stop sign in front of the mansion. It’s redundant. You necessarily must slow down before stopping, and if you’re not going to stop for a stop sign you probably won’t for a silly speed bump…much less one that looks rather marshmallow-like and placid.”

If someone is going to walk in front of a speeding car, then they deserve to become speed bumps, and it is more cost efficient,” Swift said

Charles E. Schaffner, director of public safety said, “I like the big speed bumps myself but the fact is they are not doing the job. Speed is a big problem on a pedestrian campus that has a road run right through the middle. The speed bump outside of the mansion is a joke. Drivers don’t slow down for the stop sign, let alone the speed bump. We put in the new speed bumps to slow down the drivers because safety comes first. The speed bumps will not ruin your car if you go over them at the proper speed. Those who speed up to the speed bumps, and slam on their brakes are going to blame car problems on the speed bumps. Thankfully there have been minimal collisions on campus and speed bumps will help to keep that number low. The speed bump near Xavier is slanted for drainage purposes. The speed bumps are there to slow down vehicles for safety. We are taking this measure because we do not want to have to take drastic measures and call for motor vehicle enforcement.”

“If they want to waste concrete, how about making the road a little wider on the main entrance road, so we don’t feel like we have to hug the opposing traffic or crash into the stone wall,” Swift said.

A residential street will qualify for the city’s speed bump program based on the following criteria: There must be at least 800 vehicles a day traveling the street. The two-lane street must be mainly residential or else have a park or school on the street. The speed limit must be 25 miles per hour. There may not be any regional transit bus routes on the street. The street cannot be a designated emergency response route. However Cabrini is private property and therefore holds the rights to do anything they want with their roads.

Commuters are especially angered by these speed bumps, because they must go over them everyday. “As if commuters don’t have enough problems finding parking spaces on any given day, we have to deal with speed bumps as well. I think this school invents ways to make you late for class” Lauren Soscia, sophomore, said.

Many Cabrini students agree that the speed bumps are unnecessary and inconvenient.

“I am happy. Happy that a school that claims that it has no money, can waste the “little money” that they have on worthless speed bumps. I don’t think that safety is an issue because I haven’t noticed a lot of road kill lying around the campus before they were put in. Speed bumps are just plain annoying” Clarence Scott, senior, said.

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Catherine Dilworth

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