By Naomi Hatch
Seven years after a speed hump was constructed on a residential street in Taylor it will be reduced to the speed bump approved by the council at that time and properly signed.
In 2005, Jason Hatch requested approval to place a speed hump on 100 East just south of Cattle Lane. It was to be approximately 12” wide and follow the examples of the specifications Hatch submitted from Orlando, Fla., and Las Vegas, Nev. The council granted approval provided the speed hump was marked and there was signage.
A speed bump that is approximately 24” wide was put in and no signage was placed in the area. The differ-ence between a bump and a hump is the width, which affects the speed that you can drive over it and the possi-ble damage to your vehicle.
On April 3, 2012, Town Attorney Sterling Solomon contacted Hatch to discuss the fact that the speed hump was a speed bump that was approximately 2’ in width. Hatch said he would make the necessary modifications in the next few weeks.
Again on April 17, during a phone conversation, Hatch told Solomon he would bring it in compliance. Hatch was reminded two more times that the town would remove the speed bump if it did not meet specifica-tions.
On Aug. 24, it was still not in compliance and Hatch was given until Aug. 30, to bring the speed bump into compliance.
Hatch requested an extension to Sept. 5 to give him an opportunity to take this to the town council, and his request was granted. Bob Devin, a neighbor on 100 East, was present at the Sept. 5 council meeting to repre-sent Hatch, who was out of town on business.
Devin expressed his opinion regarding the need for speed control on that street, and asked that the council work with Hatch to resolve the safety problem instead of finding ways to win the ongoing argument.
“Do nothing adequate to controlling speeders on this street and deal with the potential and very real liability of a child which has been injured, maimed or killed,” said Devin, as one of the alternatives, or, “Do something adequate to controlling speeders on the street and face the potential liability of somebody’s shocks being dam-aged.” He noted that shocks could be replaced or people could drive more sensibly, and stated, “Our children are not replaceable.”
Councilman Shawn Palmer said that this was brought to his attention early in 2012 and at that time he did not have much of an opinion on it, however, “I thought it was a little extreme you had to slow down so slow in a 25 zone.”
Palmer said that a lady spoke to him about damage done to her vehicle and since then two other individuals have come to him to ask if the speed bump is legal. That was when Palmer researched it and found that it had been approved by a previous town council.
Palmer drove his wife’s vehicle, his truck and his truck with a trailer over the speed bump, and said that in his wife’s car he had to slow to 5 mph, in his truck he had to slow to 2 mph and when he pulled the trailer at 2 mph it bounced, making it dangerous.
A letter from a citizen said that street is used as a “playground,” saying that children are allowed to play close to the road, or cross back and forth in the road.
Palmer was very emotional as he told how a child ran in front of him, but he was able to stop because he was aware of his surroundings.
“There have been complaints, and I think those complaints are legitimate,” said Palmer. “I would agree with a speed hump that disallowed motorists to go 25 mph; I don’t agree with a speed bump that possibly causes mechanical problems and restricts the flow of traffic down to 2 mph.”
Devin said he did not see the road as a playground, and further stated he goes over the bump five to six times and day and doesn’t have a problem, noting, “I don’t have to slow down to 2 mph.”
Solomon stated that the town specifications that were submitted by Hatch contained requirements for signs for advance warning and that should be part of the specifications.
“Since traffic was re-routed a few days, there have been many complaints. Several people, as it exists right now, said you can’t even see it. Right now it is dangerous,” said Councilman Gary Solomon, who then asked how long it would take to fix it.
Attorney Solomon said that Hatch is past the Aug 30, deadline.
Councilman Jared Hatch who lives on that road, said he didn’t feel that it was a question of a hump or bump, it was a question of signage. “Our direction tonight is to have Jason (Hatch) get it done,” he said, noting that council should take into consideration if someone’s damaging their vehicle, they’re not paying attention. “How are they paying attention to children?”
Councilman Mark Reed said if there is a rule in town, then that’s the way it ought to be. “I absolutely feel like we’ve got to make some rules and comply by them. If it’s been that many years and not been in compli-ance, then it needs to be taken care of,” he said.
Councilman Solomon expressed concern that if they were put all over town and the city had to pay for them, it could become very expensive.
Attorney Solomon explained that the ordinance approved by the previous council states it is a request from a private resident and it would be paid for by the resident.
Town Manager Eric Duthie pointed out that the citizen installs it on his dime, but once it’s there, it becomes the town’s maintenance responsibility.
“Something that hasn’t been mentioned is emergency response vehicles,” said Snowflake-Taylor Police Chief Jerry VanWinkle. “The bump that is in place now is typical in parking lots and things like that.
“If we have these humps throughout the town or bumps…and have emergency response, that could cause some concerns. In fact, a lot of communities throughout the country are removing the humps they have placed throughout their roadways.
“If there’s going to be anything there, I would be against the bumps themselves because of emergency vehi-cles,” said Chief VanWinkle.
Councilman Solomon moved that the speed bump be brought into compliance with specifications approved by the previous council by Sept. 30, 2012. The motion passed.
By Naomi Hatch