A residential area wants a “speed hump” or “ speed table.” What are they?

A residential area wants a “speed hump” or “ speed table.” What are they?

Speed humps and speed tables are both tools in the toolbox as part of traffic calming. They differ from a speed ‘bump’ in that they are longer and flatter and allow traffic to continue at a reasonable speed without too much jarring or discomfort. Speed bumps should never be placed on a public highway.

A speed hump

They are sometimes used in conjunction with a crossing as shown in the figure. They can be effective in slowing down traffic in residential areas, but can be difficult to plow and may slow down emergency response. All traffic calming measures need to be installed carefully and work best when installed as part of an overall plan.  

There are lots of other possible traffic calming tools including chicanes, bump outs, and traffic circles. Each has relative strengths and weaknesses and care should be taken to choose the right tool for a particular application. For example, a speed table or speed hump is not recommended on a dead end road.

Resources

NYSDOT Highway Design Manual Chapter 25: Traffic Calming

Institute of Transportation Engineers
Traffic Calming Measures
Speed hump
Speed table

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