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Posted at 6:37 PM ET, 01/14/2011

Rallying around a speed hump

By Jennifer Cooke, Annandale

The Oct. 3 Local Opinions page carried a piece [“Casualty of the traffic wars”] I wrote about my community’s efforts to slow speeding drivers in Annandale’s Winterset/Varsity Park neighborhood. I had been moved to write by the death of Stephen Carr, who was allegedly killed by a neighbor angered by the speed hump Carr had succeeded in getting installed on his street in Burke. In my own residential neighborhood, with little to no police enforcement of traffic laws, we saw speed humps as the only way to reduce the volume and speed of the traffic.

Carr’s death gave me pause, but we pushed ahead. Fairfax County requires those asking for traffic-calming measures to show support in their neighborhoods. I am happy to report that after an in-depth traffic study, discussion, ballot dissemination and vote, the residents of our community expressed overwhelming support for speed humps; 73 percent of distributed ballots were returned to our District supervisor’s office, and 74 percent of those indicated support for speed humps. We still have some hurdles to clear — getting endorsement by the Board of Supervisors and funding from the state — but if we can clear these, it will result in a safer neighborhood for our families. We have already shown how a community can band together to achieve a positive goal.

I am saddened when I think of Stephen Carr and the price he paid simply for attempting to make his neighborhood safer for everyone. But when I think of what has transpired in my neighborhood, it gives me hope that there are more people of goodwill in this country — who are able to work together or can simply agree to disagree — than those who will lash out in anger when they don’t get their way.

By Jennifer Cooke, Annandale  | January 14, 2011; 6:37 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., Virginia, traffic  
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Comments

It is very simple. Let the dissidents honk loudly to warn others they are braking (an excess of safety, but nevertheless) as they go over the speed bump. It is too bad if it disturbs the neighborhood activists, but safety means some sacrifices, even at 4 am!

Posted by: Nemo24601 | January 15, 2011 8:39 AM | Report abuse

I like the idea of honking everytime one drives over a speed bump. Honking alerts everyone nearby that a car is in the area. If just one life is saved by this simple measure of honking, isn't it worth it? After all, safety trumps everything.

Posted by: ShovelPlease | January 15, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Get the tag numbers of the horn-happy low lifes and lobby to have speed bumps installed in front of THEIR homes. That will make the roads even safer, and when THEY are awakened at 4:00 a.m. by other horn-happy bozos they can revel in the knowledge that it's all in the name of safety,and rue the day they decided to become obnoxious idiots.

Posted by: realist2 | January 15, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Jennifer,
You may have done yeoman's work w/the project & be quite proud, but your math skills are, frankly, poor.

You claim and I quote: "overwhelming support", but then give your data: 73% of your neighbors voted, with only 74% of those supporting.

FYI, 74 percent of 73 percent sets an awfully low bar for "overwhelming" as that equated to just over 50 percent of the total residents...

In simpler terms, you may not have the support you think you have...

Posted by: Jayess | January 16, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

To Jennifer Cooke: You are sadly mistaken for a number of reasons. Most importantly, speed humps do not make a street safer, they only slow traffic for the 20-30 feet either side of the hump. They delay the response of fire trucks and ambulances. A car/minivan that hits a 15 mph speed hump at 10 mph will crack its engine mounts, a $1500 repair. The good news is speed humps lower property taxes: Fairfax County will reduce your property assessment by up to $25,000 if a speed bump is installed near your home. Of course, that's because it's much harder to sell a home on a speed-hump street than in a comparable neighborhood.

Posted by: wapo18 | January 17, 2011 1:09 AM | Report abuse

To Jennifer Cooke: You are sadly mistaken for a number of reasons. Most importantly, speed humps do not make a street safer, they only slow traffic for the 20-30 feet either side of the hump. They delay the response of fire trucks and ambulances. A car/minivan that hits a 15 mph speed hump at 10 mph will crack its engine mounts, a $1500 repair. The good news is speed humps lower property taxes: Fairfax County will reduce your property assessment by up to $25,000 if a speed bump is installed near your home. Of course, that's because it's much harder to sell a home on a speed-hump street than in a comparable neighborhood.

Posted by: wapo18 | January 17, 2011 1:10 AM | Report abuse

what a crock of $h-!t. u speed-hump weenies. what a bunch of nanny-state wusses. i hope your porerty value nose-dives. and hey wapo18 good info. funny that the county is in the speed-bump-tax-break-business.

Posted by: submarinerssn774 | January 17, 2011 8:24 PM | Report abuse

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