How to Get a Speed Bump on Your Street

Slow Down for the Speed Bump

“Speed bump” is a commonly-used term for many different types of raised speed devices.  They are also called speed lumps, humps, and tables.  Each iteration is slightly different in terms of raised height, slope, and width, but they are all designed to slow the speed of traffic in residential areas and in zones near schools and parks. The City of Sacramento started installing these speed control devices in 1980 as a response to speeding issues within neighborhoods.  Speed lumps are the most commonly used raised device – they have a 5’6” wide cut out in the middle that is designed to allow for the wheelbases of buses and fire trucks. Even with the cut-out, they have been found to be just as effective as other raised speed devices. 

How to Qualify for a Lump

Speed lumps are used to control a chronic speeding problem.  When the issue is more sporadic, other controls, such as enforcement by police, are usually considered a better alternative. Lumps are typically installed after other methods to slow traffic have failed.  Here are the criteria for a residential street to qualify for Sacramento’s Speed Lump Program:

  • A two-lane street that must be primarily residential or contain a school or park.
  • The residential street section must have no four-way intersections or traffic signals and span at least 750 feet.
  • The street’s speed limit must be no more than 30 mph.
  • Speeds of at least 5 mph over the limit must occur regularly on the street.
  • It must be approved by the Fire Department and Regional Transit.

How Streets are Selected

There are three priority lists for speed lumps to ensure that each neighborhood gets fair consideration.  The streets are ranked by traffic engineers pursuant to the following criteria:

  • The average amount of vehicle traffic daily
  • The average speed of vehicles on the street
  • The number of residences, schools, or parks that face the street

Even if a street jumps to the top of a priority list on the basis of the above criteria, that does not mean that speed lump installation is guaranteed.  Funding is always a consideration, and the residents who will be affected by the speed lumps must show overwhelming support. In a typical year, the budget allows for the construction of speed lumps on between 10 to 16 streets.  When a street is under consideration for a lump, a ballot is mailed to all residents living on the proposed street to gather one vote per household.  The city requires that two-thirds of the street’s households are in favor before speed lump construction is authorized.

Speed Bump Funding

If a street qualifies for the speed device but has not been approved for City funding, the option exists to pay for private installation. The cost of a speed lump with required signage is around $3,000, which includes design, City inspection, and construction. The two-thirds majority resident approval is still required, so you must go through the ballot process. Approval must also be obtained through the Department of Transportation.

Further Information

The City of Sacramento website has a Speed Hump Guidelines document available for download.  

Watch the YouTube video below – an interesting discussion of why people speed down residential roads.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer 

Hello, and thanks for reading our discussion about how to get a speed lump on your street.  I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer.  For more than 38 years, I have been an advocate for injured Northern Californians.  If you have suffered an injury due to another driver’s unsafe speed or other negligent actions, please do not hesitate to reach out to our injury lawyers for free and friendly advice.  We can be reached at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.  Alternatively, send your questions and comments through our online contact form.

Photo Attribution: MMB

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