Tulsa installing 'speed humps' to slow down neighborhood traffic

Monday, January 5th 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Neighborhoods who struggle to get drivers to slow down, now have a new options, speed humps are now legal in Tulsa.

The first neighborhood to get them is at 101st and Yale and while traffic has slowed down, the humps have created a whole new problem no one counted on. News on 6 reporter Lori Fullbright has more.

The Coatney kids enjoy playing outdoors, but they've only been able to do that safely since their neighborhood became the first one in Tulsa to get speed humps. Before that, drivers speeding down their street, made playing in the yard, too dangerous.

Brenda Coatney: "On weekends, kids would actually line up and race to the end of the street, so we had them racing, but, it's not just kids."

The neighbors took advantage of a new city ordinance that allows speed humps on streets that meet certain criteria, like more than 900 cars in 24 hours and a certain percentage of them going more than eight miles over the speed limit.

The Tulsa City Council decided stop signs were the way to control traffic back in the early 1990's, but the truth is, people just roll right through them, so now, they chose speed humps as a way to still keep traffic moving, but also slow it down.

The unexpected problem from this solution is that unhappy drivers go around the humps and into people's yards, leaving deep trenches, they even knocked down a fence and they honk, loud, long and often.

Brenda Coatney: "We have a woman who's my age who honks every time. It surprises me that they're mad because we want to keep our kids safe and that they have no repsect for other people's property."

Some neighbors had to put boulders in their yards to keep drivers out and police are now working this street in marked and unmarked cars. They plan to stop the vandals who are mad about the new speed humps. Tulsa Police Sgt Rick Bondy: "I'm sure resistence will be short and before long they'll be like stop signs and it will blow over and people will obey them."

The neighbors told me the speed humps are worth all the trouble because a city study shows fewer cars and slower speeds. Only two neighborhoods in Tulsa have speed humps.

To find out how to get them in your neighborhood, go to the www.tulsapublicworks.org website.