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Update: What's With The Aberdeen Speed Humps?

A resident says the humps are helping.

A reader recently wrote into Radnor Scoops to ask about two recently installed speed humps on Aberdeen Avenue a few blocks south of and the intersection of Aberdeen and St. David’s Road.

The reader writes, "In a relatively short distance there are two humps and two stop signs.  Must be some kind of political clout or money among those several houses on either/both sides of the short section of street! I noticed that there were a lot of scrapes on the top of both humps, indicating too high humps and/or two low car frames. It seems a waste of Radnor Township money to me, considering the cost of the humps and the metal alert signs in front and back of each of them."

So, what's the scoop?

Days after we published this Radnor Scoop (read below), we heard from Aberdeen Avenue resident Julia Bohnenberger, who said Woah, Slow Down on some of the information below. Bohnenberger said that the road desperately needed some traffic calming, and that now that it has received that, that "it's not scary anymore."

Bohnenberger said those who live there "just want people to obey the law," and that they looked at other traffic calming ideas along with the township.

She said that 85 percent of residents on the street did sign a petition in favor of speed humps.

The township tested the road with one hump, and tracked vehicle volume, which actually went up, she said (contradicting some from South Wayne Avenue, who she said during the process were very vocal about not pushing traffic to their street).

Bohnenberger also notes that commissioner Bill Spingler, despite his opposition to them (read below), voted to approve the installation of the humps.

"We still have people who go over humps and lay on the horn," she said. "But it has made it livable."


There was a lot of political pressure put on the Radnor Board of Commissioners to install speed humps, said Third Ward commissioner Bill Spingler.

Spingler said the block where the humps are now originally did not qualify for them (the police test the speed and number of cars that travel a requested stretch of road), but that as a test, one would be put in, and if warranted, two.

(Spingler said that the only block that “qualified” for humps was the first block of South Aberdeen Avenue off of Conestoga Road, but there were not enough residents on the block who wanted them.)

“My problem is that everyone wants speedhumps,” said Spingler.

A lawsuit got speed humps on Louella Avenue, Aberdeen got them, and now , he noted. Humps, he said, cause traffic onto neighboring streets.

“I hate them,” Spingler said.

Now, across the street of Aberdeen Avenue is the township’s Sixth Ward.

Commissioner Don Curley said that the location and spacing of the Aberdeen speed humps were determined by staff and guided by code and conventional practices.  

“The use of two humps is more common than the use of one.  The location is guided by, among other things, distance to intersections and grade. The spacing is guided by the ordinance specification. These humps are spaced slightly closer than the value in our guidance because that value would place one of the humps too close to a driveway,” he said.

Curley said that he is not aware of the use of political clout or money to facilitate the installation of the humps, but said that the vast majority of residents on the street in Ward 6 supported it.  

As for the hump size and cost, Curley said that the humps are constructed as per a PennDot standard and the cost is “minimal.” He estimated a maximum of $4,000 per hump.

i grew here you moved here January 09, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Simply my oberservation over the many years. These bumps were installed very shortly after these women complained to the board...
Draco January 11, 2012 at 12:12 PM
The measure of whether a speed hump is warranted should NOT be whether all residents on the street ask for it. EVERYBODY wants a speed hump in front of their house, to bring the hum of traffic to a crawl. But these speed bumps are ineffective with large SUVs, damage small cars' undercarriages, slow ambulances and emergency rescue, add two unsightly signs for every speed bump, and ultimately impact miles per gallon efficiency considerably. Heck, I can't even get the township to paint a yellow line on my hairpin blind curve, flying-student infested street. What gives, that all the Twshp money goes to the center of Wayne????
Paula L January 11, 2012 at 02:16 PM
I read this article with interest because I, too, had wondered about the speed humps. I used to take S. Aberdeen quite often, but since the two concrete speed humps were installed, I will admit that I avoid the road whenever possible. The resident says that the township tested traffic volume after one speed hump was in place. While it seems hard to believe that the speed hump itself had any direct correlation to an increase in traffic, I remember that the single speed hump that was in place last spring and summer was completely different. I barely had to slow down. It was made out of rubber or plastic not cement. So I am not sure if what they studied is really relevant. It would be interesting to know if things have changed. I know I have I don't take the street to and from work anymore. The one speed hump was not enough to get me to change my ways--but when the two larger permanent humps appeared, that was the last straw for me! Sam, do you know if the traffic volume has changed since the two humps were installed? It would be interesting to know--and since I have found a new route to work, I guess I can say that the commissioner who is quoted at the beginning of the article may have a point about traffic moving to other streets.
Sam Strike January 11, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Paula, I do not know if the township goes back after humps are installed and measure traffic volume. I doubt it. I suppose anecdotal evidence from residents (and drivers like you) would be of interest.
Metoxic January 11, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Sam- one suggestion for Patch polls. Make readers sign in to vote. Now, I can vote as many times as I want, if I simply clear my cookies. How does Ward vs Township work? 85% of the people on the (wrong) block signed the petition for speed bumps. What if 51% of Radnor residents signed a petition to have the speed bumps removed? Who wins?


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