Why no speed bumps for residential streets?

The other day I happened to drive along the road in front of the governor’s mansion and was stunned to find that two plastic-like speed bumps had been more or less nailed into the street nearby to slow drivers down. Presumably, that’s to keep some nut from running down Gov. Rell.

Down the street only a little further is one of those speed readers that are normally on a trailer that the cops have put somewhere to let drivers know how fast they’re flying by — only this one is permanently attached to a road sign.

I’ve never seen anything like it. But, of course, Gov. Rell has a little more political pull than the rest of us.

Even so, the setup got me thinking. If this is good enough for the governor, how come it’s not good enough for my kids? or your kids? or, God forbid, even you? or me?

I’ve always heard that speed bumps are too costly, mostly because they supposedly interfere with snow plows. Yet somehow they’re coping with that problem to lend the governor a hand. So can’t they do it anywhere else?

I’m all for installing speed bumps on residential streets all over town. Slowing these crazy drivers down is best done by creating a risk that they’ll rip their cars and trucks to pieces if they fail to obey the speed limits. Speed bumps work.

Now I know that putting in thousands of speed bumps all over town would cost a ton of money so I’m not saying we should do this all at once. But let’s get cracking. Surely we can do a couple of dozen blocks a year at a minimum. Call it a test if that makes it easier. Let’s see how it goes. They can start with my street.



Filed under Gov. Rell, Public safety, speed bumps, speeding

60 responses to “Why no speed bumps for residential streets?

  1. Joe Visconti

    A cheaper solution would be to enforce the law and raise the fines for speeding.
    Let’s get the State to raise speeding tickets on all roads to $50 for each mile over the limit. Imagine getting a $500 speeding ticket for going 10 miles over the speed limit. A good kicker to this change in law would be that the $50 per mile over applies to the driver and each additional passenger who has been put at risk would cost the driver an addition $25 per mile over the limit. It wouldn’t be long before the word of mouth fines frightened the hell out of all speeders.

    • coachtom

      That has nothing to do with RESIDENTIAL, the street where your house is located, unless you like to have police officers sitting there everyday. Let the drivers understand that children do play in front of their homes and deserve to run to get their ball and ride a bike without being mauled over.

  2. David Jones

    Just today I mentioned to my wife that I didn’t understand why we have no speed bumps (or something comparable) on our busiest streets, such as Main, Trout Brook, Mountain, Farmington, Boulevard, and Park/Sedgwick. I’m sure there many other streets in need.

    In many towns I’ve seen speed depressions. Have no idea what they are actually called, but rather than a bump there’s a depression.

    Aesthetically I prefer the depression, it’s also much quieter when cars pass over, and it’s just as effective. I would also think it’s would be easier for snow plows to negotiate.

    Clearly I know nothing about traffic engineering but I do know speed is a problem in town. If this is a bad idea then someone needs to suggest a better idea. But doing nothing clearly isn’t solving the problem.

  3. Elmwoodian

    I would be interested to get a traffic engineer’s perspective. I definitely agree that speed is an issue in this town, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen speed bumps (or depression) on any major road in any town in which I have been. I have only seen them on small side streets. From a total non-engineer perspective, I suspect that not only would the cost of putting in speed bumps be prohibitive, but the logistics of where to put them + trying to find a solution that gets around the plow problem all add up to no speed bumps.

    Chuck seems to have some knowledge on this. Chuck?

  4. Somehow, though, it’s worth the cost and trouble for Gov. Rell’s street.

  5. EJ

    While I know it is fun to knock the Guv, does she even live there.
    I thought she commutes from the shore everyday.

  6. Chuck Coursey

    Those speed bumps were placed by the City of Hartford. Hartford has jurisdiction over Prospect Avenue; they also placed that stop sign on Prospect, as well.

    I believe the placement had less to do with the Governor and more to do with the wishes of other residents of Prospect Avenue.

    Personally, I’m not a big fan of speed bumps. Fire trucks and ambulances need to come to a complete stop at each bump, lengthening sensitive response times. Furthermore, folks who are inclined to speed will just “gun-it” after each bump.

    I understand the wishes of folks to see speed bumps on their street. I live on a cut-thru that sees more than its fare share of drivers going 45+ mph. I just don’t believe they’re the answer.

    I think the narrowing of streets, either with bump-outs and/or islands and tree plantings close to the street are more effective in slowing traffic. The more narrowing the road appears, the slower folks will drive. Town traffic engineers and I met with a group of neighbors on Beverly Road, again a popular cut-thru, and that’s what we’re looking at for the future.

    If anyone would like, I’d be more than happy to arrange to have our traffic engineers come to your neighborhood and discuss various options.

  7. I like bumpouts and islands on main streets. I think they do help.
    But on lesser roads, they probably increase the likelihood of some kid on a bike getting whacked on a narrower road.
    I’d rather see bumps or dips on some of these long blocks. And, of course, it’d be nice to see the cops hand out tickets once in awhile.

  8. EJ

    Chuck, did you look into the accident rate on Farmington between Main and Mountain?

  9. Joe Visconti

    Law Enforcement is the answer, West Hartford cannot afford to bump out every cut through street in town.

  10. Chuck Coursey

    EJ – Thanks for your patience. I did ask for a report on traffic accidents between Main and Mountain on Farmington and have been told that I should have them this week.

    Law enforcement is definitely part of the solution. Every street is dug up and repaved approximately every twenty or so years. As this happens, that’s the time to look at some of these traffic calming measures to see if they might be feasible for a particular street.

  11. Gary Reger

    Speeding is a big problem, but it’s not the only traffic problem we have. Daily I see:

    Failure to use turn signals
    Creeping into intersections
    Failure to stop at stop signs
    Right on red done without stopping
    Right on red where prohibited
    Running red lights

    And less frequently I’ve seen:

    Illegal passing
    Left turns from straight-ahead/right turn lanes
    Right turns from left lanes
    Both of the above through red lights

    I have even seen police cruisers committing some of these offenses.

    It’s a miracle there aren’t more accidents.

    Enforcement is surely part of the issue. Once, when I was especially livid about endless speeding on our residential street, a WH police officer told me the police pay no attention to speeding until it gets over 10 mph above the posted limit. That means that if you live on a posted 30 mph street, the actual effective speed limit is 40 mph.

    But enforcement can’t do it all. We couldn’t afford the cops to police all the streets of WH all the time. And the problem’s not confined to WH — people drive just as bad all over the Hartford region.

    I suspect we need a more comprehensive approach: police policy to watch for and ticket violators; better education; traffic-calming measures; citizen involvement and commitment. (I have used my cell to call the police and report the license number of egregious violators I have seen.) And surely the state must act, too: we all know that the posted limits on the interstates are just a suggestion; if you don’t go 80, you’re run over.

    Finally, just a philosophical comment. I suspect speeding is a by-product of the stressed, rushed, pressured society we live in. We need ways to calm not only streets, but our own lives.

  12. Chuck Coursey

    Gary is right. We are all in a rush – at some time or another most, if not all of us have been guilty of speeding.

    Why do people speed? Because they don’t think they will be caught.

    One measure that has not been mentioned here is using cameras to identify speeders. If a camera records you speeding, you get a ticket in the mail. Before any municipality even considers it, though, a law allowing cameras on our roads must be passed by the legislature. Our police chief tells us this method has been very effective in reducing speeding in other parts of the country.

    This issue will bring about an interesting debate between public safety vs. privacy rights. I would certainly need more info before taking a position and would be interested in others perspective.

  13. Steve Adler

    I agree with Chuck and Joe on (2) points: First, speed bumps will only reduce speed for those who typically follow the speed limit. Those aggressive drivers will continue to ignore speed bumps. Joe raised a good point (did I just say that) on increasing fines getting drivers to think twice about excessive driving. Great idea!

    Although, cameras are a growing national traffic enforcement trend, this technique is very site specific and does not address the broader problem in town. In addition, once we get the BBS restaurants open, we undoubtedly will see a need to step up traffic enforcement due to DUI issues.

    To reduce moving traffic violations, we need to begin to change the behaviors. Here are some of my thoughts:
    • Create a town wide awareness campaign to focus solely on traffic enforcement. Regularly, publish local traffic statistics (speeding, DUI, accidents, locations, etc), offenders names and targeted interest articles.
    • Leverage the WH Police Explorers in prevention and load balancing with fulltime Officers. Instead of having a fulltime Officers writing tickets on LaSalle on weekends, transfer that duty to an Explorer to free up fulltime Officers for traffic enforcement.
    • WH PD may want to consider creating enforcement partnerships (pooling resources) with neighboring municipalities to allow these towns to write traffic violations within West Hartford. This would be a reciprocal agreement. This way enforcement would not end at our town borders. Very common practice in other states.
    • Implement an outreach program with schools and restaurants to drive the message of aggressive enforcement.
    • Funding – We need to give Chief Strillacci funding to get the job done. We can’t have him operate on a small town budget. (BTW: He’s doing a great job!)

    I encourage everyone to bring your ideas on this subject to the TPZ Plan of Conservation and Development sub-committee on Traffic/Circulation which I’ll be co-chairing. If you’re interested feel free to e-mail me at steveniadler@hotmail.com.

    Be Well.


  14. I live in the West End of Hartford where we have an active community group that worked with the city to implement traffic calming measures. People drive like demons on most of the streets that cut through from Farmington Ave. to Asylum Ave.

    We implemented a shifting and curving of lanes on Whitney Street, which only seems to encourage people to think that they are race car drivers. We put in temporary and permanent speed tables on Oxford, Kenyon, and Girard Streets. The one issue that becomes apparent is that people adjust their driving paths to avoid the speed tables. So when they put speed tables on Kenyon, most traffic just self-diverted to Girard so they could continue to drive like maniacs.

    Whatever group you form should work closely with your town’s Traffic department to understand how people will change their driving patterns to avoid measures to slow down.

  15. Oh yes, and it was the residents of Prospect Ave. that asked that the speed bumps be put in, not Gov. Rell.

  16. Joe Visconti


    We feel your pain, I live on the corner of Clifton and Brace Road right in the Center of West Hartford and this is cut through alley also. We have so many little children on Clifton and the surrounding neighborhoods that I fear some dreadful accident is just waiting to happen.

    The speeders who get bogged down in the Center traffic and get anxious and impatient are putting many residents at risk as they totally disregard safe driving methods.

    As far as camera’s, I believe they could be very effective in slowing or catching speeders but I personally do not support their use in town for privacy reasons.

  17. TWC

    What privacy?

    Driving an automobile isn’t a constitutional right, it’s a state-sanctioned privilege. If one of the terms imposed by the State that grants me a license to exercise this privilege is to get caught picking my nose at a stop light, so be it.

    Those who argue against reasonable attempts to restrict the self-absorbed who abuse their driving privileges are simply aiding and abetting the perpetrator of the tragedy that will soon be visiting this Town when one of our kids gets killed. This Town has ignored this problem for far too long and needs to act now, on all fronts, before it’s too late.

  18. Bob Holland

    Hold it. People “speed” on any street with a yellow line down the center. I have warned the city that a combination of factors create a somewhat higher risk for speeders (they presumably aren’t looking to kill a child walking to school and cutting across the street) in my area and, if God forbid, a child is hurt by a speeder I will produce my warnings to them a long time ago. Not a good thing when the town is a defendent on a big old nasty emotional complex expert witness war/trial at let’s say 5,000 an hour during the weeks of testimony and arguments.

    Speed bumps on the less traveled but lined roads in WH PLUS another two hires in the WH Police Dept. for speeding enforcement only PLUS a few speed cameras posted around schools PLUS an increase in fines for speeding – say $100 for 5mph over, $500 for 5-15mph over and $1,000 for 15-30mph over. Hell, you could pay for 10 cops at that rate although they would have to be on a contract as after about 10 minutes the town will be one giant traffic jam. Oh, and time the lights on main roads (Main, Farmington, Park/Sedgwick, etc) for 3 mph over the posted speed limit.

  19. Bob Holland

    People “speed” on any street with a yellow line down the center. I have warned the city that a combination of factors create a somewhat higher risk for speeders (they presumably aren’t looking to kill a child walking to school and cutting across the street) in my area and, if God forbid, a child is hurt by a speeder I will produce my warnings to them a long time ago. Not a good thing when the town is a defendent on a big old nasty emotional complex expert witness war/trial at let’s say 5,000 an hour during the weeks of testimony and arguments.

    Speed bumps on the less traveled but lined roads in WH PLUS another two hires in the WH Police Dept. for speeding enforcement only PLUS a few speed cameras posted around schools PLUS an increase in fines for speeding – say $100 for 5mph over, $500 for 5-15mph over and $1,000 for 15-30mph over. Hell, you could pay for 10 cops at that rate although they would have to be on a contract as after about 10 minutes the town will be one giant traffic jam. Oh, and time the lights on main roads (Main, Farmington, Park/Sedgwick, etc) for 3 mph over the posted speed limit.

  20. B

    What a great non-inflamatory discussion.

    So my question is: if speedbumps don’t really work well, if they hinder emergency vehicles, etc..why are they on Whetton Road?

    Could it possibly have something to do with the wealth of the residents on that particular street?

    I get quite a bit of pass through traffic on my street too. It is why I’m not anxious to get the pot holes fixed. They work pretty well too and much less cost.

  21. Joe Visconti


    I love the pothole remedy, it’s so low tech.
    My views on camera’s are shared by many in town, the thoughts are lets first enforce the law and increase the fines, I will be speaking to Chief Strillacci on this, the cops can’t be everywhere and the camera’s (if brought into law) shouldnt be everywhere. Take a look at all the new black light poles in the center, notice many cameras mounted on top.

    If you want to pick your nose at a light go ahead, maybe the freedom of information act will apply to future photo’s of you if the law gets changed to allow camera’s. I can see the new commercials already: Click it or pick it!

  22. WH Parent

    What? West Hartford caved to the demands of the privileged few by installing speed bumps on Whetten Road, but the rest of us “little people” can forget about it? That might have flown in the era when the Republicans ran this Town, but I expect more from the Democrats who are in charge now.

    And isn’t it telling that the residents on Whetten Road were more concerned about the immediate safety of their children than the hypothetical risk that someone on their street would die because an ambulance might be delayed 30 seconds. Could that be because in balancing the safety of the two groups at risk–young unsuspecting children versus fat, old farts having heart attacks long overdue—they chose the former over the latter?

  23. TWC

    Hey, Joe, if the scenario you describe does transpire, I’ll be claiming it was a scratch, not a pick (with apologies to you poor souls who were never Seinfeld fans).

    But seriously, is the anonymity that you think is so important to protect worth the risk that’s imposed by these selfish drivers?

    Or is it that one of your beach reads this summer was Orwell’s 1984?

  24. Joe Visconti

    I love it, Jerry, Jerry. Only in America Baby!

  25. SeamusOK

    My, what a diversity of opinion!

    If I can comment from the other side:
    1. My observation suggests that most people speed. I speed. Regularly. Usually.
    2. I drive at a speed at which I feel comfortable and safe. I would say realistic. I think that regular police speeding suggests they are realistic as well.
    3. Speed limits have not changed since..? They must be at least 50 years old. The technology of automobiles has improved radically in that time. It is safer to drive 40 today than it was to drive 25 mph 50 years ago.
    4. Unrealistic speed limits encourage disrespect for the law in general.
    5. I knew my street was a cut through before I moved there. It is what it is, and I accepted it as part of the deal. How many of you were aware of the traffic patterns on your street before you moved there?
    6. There are many cul-de-sacs in the area…
    7. If you do want to slow traffic, may I suggest more stop signs. Why is there no stop sign at Ellsworth & Four Mile? Why aren’t there more on Whitman? They don’t interfere with snow plows, and they’re cheap.

    Or, we could just ban driving in West Hartford. Then we would all be safe.

  26. Joe Visconti

    Stop in the name of Love, the Law?

    Good idea.

  27. EJ

    Chuck, tonight we had 2 more accidents on Farmington

    1- A kid looking at his cell phone creamed 2 parked cars. I understand a phone was involved, but Feldman had the street narrowed as part of his project, had the street not been narrowed this might not have occurred.

    2- Another car hit the island 2 blocks down – maybe a bit of rubbernecking? There won’t be a report of this one, the driver kept going.

  28. Nils

    I love Seamus with the 7 points. Point number 2 – drive at the speed where you feel comfortable? So if someone feels safe and comfortable driving 70 on a 30 mph speed street then that is OK. Nice. I am sure there are lots of 17 year olds who feel “comfortable and safe” doing 55 in a 25, I have a couple in my neighborhood. Outstanding. Point number 5 – Accepted as part of the deal? Someone moves into a neighborhood where the speed limits are 25 mph but everyone does 50 and they should just accept that? Lets see, some kid is dealing drugs outside my kids elementary school and I should just accept it because that is just the way it is? Good, good.
    Point number 7 – stop signs on small streets work for about 1/2 the folks who drive the street, the others either slow up “some” or blow right through; they are cheap though.
    I did like old “B” up there about why if speed bumps don’t work, why are they over there with the rich folks. Everything seems to work when you have the dollars and political clout.
    I think I will just start selectively obeying the laws I like and disregard the rest, I wish I thought of that sooner…

  29. Chuck Coursey

    EJ – I’m sorry its taken longer than expected to get you those figures. If I don’t have them by the end of the week, breakfast at Petersen’s is on me.

    Again, my apologies for the delay.

  30. Gary —

    Add “talking on cell phones while driving” to the top of the list of illegal abuses.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to take evasive manuvers (James T. Kirk would have been impressed) to avoid people blabbing away from the side or from an oncoming lane.

    If West Hartford gets a share of the revenue, the first thing I would do is hire at least one full time employee to arrest and fine drivers using cell phones. If we get the cash (note the “if”) we could make plenty on the deal for all the pet project some of you folks have in mind.

    Shoot, I’d volunteer to do it for fun.

    If we don’t get anything from it, then I would urge everyone to contact their local representative and ask that the law be rewritten so that local government can take a share of pot.

  31. Tom Cooke

    I think Chuck Coursey’s analysis of the limitations of traffic calming is wrong (I do know that Chuck is genuinely concerned about pedestrian safety issues, though). I have spent the last few weeks in Europe and especially in Amsterdam. Amsterdam and much of Europe have all sorts of traffic calming, including traffic bumps. I don’t think their response rates have been significantly affected or else they would not continue to engage in such practices. Indeed, you need to weigh the loss in life due to any decreased response time against the loss in life due to traffic and pedestrian accidents in the absence of calming. I would prefer to not have a pedestrian accident at all rather than to have the ambulance arrive quickly in order to scrape the pedestrian off the road. Similarly, those who argue that traffic calming has increased accidents need to think about the types of accidents that would happen had traffic calming not been in place. I would trade 1000 fender benders caused by traffic calming for the 1 fatal accident that would occur in the absence of traffic calming. Furthermore, nobody is advocating speed bumps on the main thoroughfares but only on the residential side streets. So I think you would have a hard time arguing that response times would be affected by more than a few seconds. Finally, recent research shows that stop signs are much safer than traffic lights. Nothing wrong with more stop signs. For example, there should be at least two fewer lights on Boulevard between Prospect and Quaker and at least five stop signs. I continue to be perplexed as to why this town, and especially the council, are so against traffic calming. We are way behind the curve, both nationally and internationally, on this one. Let’s begin to think about this seriously before a pedestrian is killed.

  32. Gary Reger

    Tom is absolutely right about Europe in many ways. We could have a very long discussion about European solutions to many public policy problems (like traffic management and public transportation) in which the US has shown remarkable failure.

    A good many years ago a child was killed by a speeding driver as he walked home from Morley School. That death is why there is now a stop sign at Milton and Bretton Roads. So the fatality Tom fears has already happened — isn’t that one enough?

  33. That one is enough, Gary. More than enough. I’d support calming measures in fron of all schools. I travel Fern myself and the School X-ing signs don’t do the trick.

    And as an aside, it seems that kids are playing in that schoolyard late into the evening, and I’m going to assume they come from the neighboring streets, so speed bumps are certainly a good idea and so is slow speed enforcement during off hours. Thoughts?

  34. Chuck Coursey

    Tom – If you reread my previous post that you reference, you’ll notice that I support traffic calming measures (contrary to your remark ” I continue to be perplexed as to why this town, and especially the council, are so against traffic calming.”)

  35. Tom Cooke

    Sorry about that Chuck. I see that you don’t like speed bump but do like most of the other stuff. But, then, why aren’t we doing more? I know that money is a big issue but I think you will agree that the physical safety of our citizens is a primary responsibility of government.

  36. Susan Forbes Hansen


    No, mine! Earlier in the summer our street was about to be repaved. I delivered a letter to each house on the two streets that meet at a corner in front of my house, hoping to gather support to attempt to exert some pressure on the town to calm traffic here. Surprisingly, I heard back from four households out of more than 50. There WERE caller-IDs from three others, but they left no messages.

    Drivers use the two streets to avoid the larger intersection at Trout Brook / King Philip Drive and Albany Avenue, and drive at far greater than the limit of 25 mph.

    I spoke personally and by phone to two town employees, and was told: speed bumps are especially disliked by drivers of emergency vehicles, especially those carrying patients; necking-down the streets at their entrances would cause rear-end collisions coming off the larger streets; if something were done here it would cost millions and only drive motorists to OTHER side streets, and then THOSE residents would want something done on their streets.

    There are speed bumps on Whetten, a street just east of Steele, and drivers simply go around them. The bumps on Prospect are fairly new, I think, and they accompany a fairly new stop sign where a side street meets Prospect. I am told that our corner can’t legally have a stop sign because it’s just two-way. I’m not sure I understand that.

    A main problem for us is that the two streets, while fairly short, are straight and wide. Drivers selfishly reach, so I’ve heard, up to 58mph. Last week I simply walked out in front of an oncoming car, and when the cute little expensive convertible slowed, I yelled “25” at the driver. I don’t know what she did once she rounded the corner.

  37. Scott Gamester

    We also live on Wiltshire Lane which was recently paved (hello Susan). We actually had speed depressions (not by design!) before the paving that limited the top speed of most drivers to how much they were willing to damage their car.

    The improved paving is straight, wide and fast with a challenging hairpin turn- which gives me a great idea to solve the town’s revenue problem.

    We could install bleachers for this super speedway and charge admission, sell snacks, seat licenses, etc. Everyone wins as
    >>The drivers don’t have to worry about pesky speed bumps or stop signs (we asked the town engineer BEFORE the paving) or getting a ticket (not much enforcement)
    >>The taxpayers would at least be able to trade their saftey for some cheap entertainment
    >> The town could tax the whole thing!!

  38. Gary Holmes

    Re: Gary Reger’s comment “WH police officer told me the police pay no attention to speeding until it gets over 10 mph above the posted limit. That means that if you live on a posted 30 mph street, the actual effective speed limit is 40 mph”.

    So following this logic-maybe the speed limit should be reduced to 20/25 mph on neighborhood streets. Speed bumps are not the answer, drivers will just seek alternative routes.

  39. My understanding from my friends in judiciary is that 10 mph over the limit is controversial because the judges don’t want to see 1000 more cases a week. These tend to get thrown out.

    But on a residential street, particularly with kids playing, 10 mph could be the difference between injury and death.

    Did anyone else see the article in the Advocate about calming measures in Hartford and the impact? Thought it was interesting reading.

  40. Chuck Coursey

    EJ -I’m a little late with the numbers, so let me know when you want breakfast.

    Here’s the breakdown of accidents on Farmington between Old Mill and Walden:

    2000 – 37;
    2001 – 33;
    2002 – 23;
    2003 – 24;
    2004 – 31;
    2005 – 27;
    2006 – 32

  41. EJ

    Thank you Chuck,

    I’ll admit I’m stunned. I assume 02 & 03 were down because of the construction, then back to normal.

    However, I will not ask you to check on it, but I think the location of the concentrations might be interesting – pre and post construction.

    The Newport-Arlington-Riggs section has definitely had an increase in accidents since ’03. I would then assume that some of the other intersections have had decreases.

    Thanks for the offer of breakfast. I’ll be a sport and won’t hold you to it.

  42. Gary Reger

    These numbers would be a lot more meaningful if they could be presented as a % of the traffic volume. I am sure though that we don’t collect that kind of info.

  43. MaggieMae L.

    Wow! I found this blog by googling something else in WH and glad to have found it. I simply feel the need to add to this discussion, although it looks like I’m a few weeks late to the fun, however, I still will! I used to live on Brace Rd. for 6 years, down a bit from my neighbor Mr. V, (hello!). Once we had a child we began to notice – more – the speeding cars flying down the road in front of our house, sometimes to a SCREECHING halt at the stop sign at Brace/Walden. As we all know, Brace is the parallel cut-through to Farmington, with no traffic lights, so as more realized this – more cars and motor-cycles came through and then the large trucks and commercial vehicles. It became worse over the years, and to make matters even worse, the anticipated traffic woes that BBS was to bring was the “icing on the cake” for me. I too contacted “whom ever” at the Town asking for an additional stop sign earlier on the road (at Brunswick) to break up the speeding and ended up speaking w/ some one in the engineering and traffic division. I was told that “adding a stop sign where one has never been before would create more accidents as the purpose for stop signs are for directional reasons and not to stop speeding cars. (?!?!?) I also asked about the speed bumps, of course – they were not an option either. I went as far as threatening a petition, but the kind gentleman said it wouldn’t help. Move ahead 3 years today, we have moved to another road, a very QUIET road here in our lovely WH. Happy to be away from the crazy drivers and keeping my children safer, but I’m sad to have left that area of town. What’s my point? Don’t have one I suppose, but simply wanted to add that it IS a problem here in WH and maybe “some one” might actually listen to all of our short stories here and realize that something should be done to help the concern instead of telling us why it CAN’T be done.

  44. MaggieMae L.

    Oh, and yes – why was it that Whetton Road got the golden speed bumps and no one else can?

  45. EJ

    Chuck, Last night another car drove up the center island on Farmington between Newport and 4Mile.

    The DPW employee on the scene the “traffic calming”

  46. I live in a community where there are a speed bump before each intersection, I bottom out my car everytime I go over them, so I drive on grass. It takes police, fire, and ambulances an extra 10-30 minutes to get to houses here because of that. Speed bumps cause more damage than good.

  47. Michelle

    I think we need to do several things all at the same time to let these fools that don’t understand that driving down a residential street is a lot different then driving down your basic city/in town street. First, I believe that the residential speed limit needs to be dropped to 10 mph. That would be fine with me. As a matter of fact, the Sargent of our local agrees with me. Second, we need to have some kind of speed deterent on the actual street itself (i.e. a bump, a depression) Third, we need to take ‘names’, or actually their plate numbers, time and date, then report them. If enough people call and complain about the same people, then maybe the police might do something. I know that last one sounds a bit ify, but the point is to be pro-active. Like it was said before, doing nothing isn’t going to solve anything.

  48. Rob


    How about mounting speed camera’s in, say, a 2 mile radius of any school, on all streets and roads. Mount them from tree trunk or telephone poles, make them solar powered, and feed images and speed in by wireless automatically whenever it spots a car going over the posted limit. The owner of the car takes the hit but so what. Just warn the person to take it easy, no ticket.

    Talk about an income stream for WH to blow on stuff like leaf pickups and fancy schmancy curbs.

  49. WH Alum

    How would it be an income stream if no ticket is given?

  50. steve johnson


    10 mph?? thats a little ridiculous

  51. John Gardner

    I agree with Chuck for the most part…Being a letter carrier who serves Flagg Road ,this street is one of the most dangerous that exists in West Hartford. Even with the speed set ups I have seen people travel at 70mph…this is insane. I was almost struck by a young woman in her SUV talking on her cell phone who thought it was funny when I dived for the curb…and no, she did not stop. This was one of the many close calls that I have had on this street…while speed bumps may cause emergency vehicles to slow a bit I think closing one end of this death trap may be the best answer. When the USPS asked the residents to move their mailboxes to the curb you would have thought they asked for every first born child with the firestorm that erupted..It is a safety issue period. With the towns help maybe we could find a solution before God forbid one of these young kids are struck or killed.

  52. John Gardner

    PS. Chuck, I knew your folks well…I was their carrier for years.

  53. Christopher Connors

    Dear John, Hello! I am a new resident to Flagg Rd and I am in complete agreement with you. I have seen some surprisingly fast traffic on Flagg and I’m afraid that it will be just a matter of time before something bad happens. My wife and I are composing a letter to the town to voice our concerns. Do you have any suggestions on who specifically I would send the letter to? Do you think the town would seriously consider closing off one end of the road? I think closing off access to Bishops corner would be a great idea. It would force all thru traffic onto the main roads of Rt44 and Mountain.

  54. accident on whitney

    Accident on whitney in Hartford last night 8-3-2009 between elizabeth and fern. driver screeching onto whitney from elizabeth, swerving, sideswipping and damaging cars, collides with a BMW and ends up crashing into a house. drunk passenger gets out and walks away. There are speedbumps on the streets adjacent to whitney so people use this street for pass through to farmington. they drive like it’s the indy 500. no word yet on the extent of the injuries of both the driving maniac and the driver of the BMW…the whole street of residents were out watching the 4 firetrucks, 2 ambulances and several cruisers…we spoke to an officer and discussed SPEEDBUMPS. hopefully he will bring it up to someone.

  55. Fred

    I live on a street that has a 25 mph speed limit, we recently had the county install a trolley trail hiking and bike trail which crosses our street, speeders constantly fly by sometimes honking at people wanting to cross, they even pass you as you go the 25 mph speed. our local sheriff county never ever has any radar checks and these speeders knows it, speed bumps are out as the people who live on this street voted them down because most are renters and some of them are the speeders themselves.maybe we should fire the sheriff dept and get some real cops here.

  56. WHtax-paypaypayer

    I don’t know about anyone else but I feel the town has listened to your request for speed bumps, the problem is that they didn’t understand the correct way to make them. If you’ve driven around west hartford it’s hard to find a street which the town “brain trust” hasn’t torn to shreds and then had patched. The skilled crew making the “repairs” looks like they were made by people who have never worked in construction or paving in their lives, not to mention were hired from out of state. I have actually found one street that they missed, but I’m not telling where…god forbid.

  57. Teresa Shull

    Greetings . my work colleague came accross a sample CA BOF 4546 form at this place “http://goo.gl/T97w68“.

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