Like many programs in the city of Los Angeles, applications for and installation of new speed humps on residential streets were paused during the COVID-19 pandemic, and are only just now being reactivated. But those who have been waiting for the opportunity to apply for new speed humps in their neighborhood won’t have to wait much longer — LADOT’s Residential Speed Hump Program will begin accepting new applications on Thursday, October 6, 2022 at 9:00 a.m.
If you’ve ever wondered how this works, and why some local streets have speed humps while others don’t, the DOT explains that speed humps are a “resident-led effort that happens independently of the Council Offices, between the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, and residents of a given block.” In other words, speed humps are requested by local neighbors, and are installed only in places where neighbors have specifically asked for and demonstrated support for them.
As for technical details, the DOT’s speed hump FAQ explains that “Speed humps are designed to reduce vehicular speed on residential local or collector streets that have a single travel lane in each direction.” The humps themselves are “rounded raised areas of asphalt constructed across the roadway width.” (See photo above.) The humps are usually 12 feet long, and “the height at the highest point is 2 5/8 inches plus or minus 1/4 inch.” Also, speed humps can only be installed on residential streets – not in areas where there are stores or offices.
If you’re interested in applying for speed humps on your block, please note that applications can only be submitted online. A link will be provided on this page on the day applications open. Due to always-high demand, applicants are encouraged to apply as soon the application period opens. The application period closes when 375 applications (25 in each City Council District) have been submitted.
A few application tips:
- Because people have been waiting so long to be able to submit applications, many will be poised to submit their applications at exactly 9 a.m. Which means it’s highly likely that the cap of 25 applications per City Council district will be reached within just few minutes after the window opens. So if you do want to apply, you should plan to be ready with your information at exactly 9 a.m. on October 6.
- You will need to specify your City Council District on your application. (If you don’t know which district you live in, see https://neighborhoodinfo.lacity.org/ to find out.)
- Note that only one applicant per street segment request will be accepted (so it does not help to have multiple people from the same block or street segment submitting applications). The applicant will become the Block Representative for that block and will be responsible for all related correspondence with LADOT staff.
- Prior to applying, please read the updated 2022 Speed Hump Program Evaluation Guidelines and 2022 Fact Sheet that the City uses to determine if your street meets the criteria required for Speed Hump installation. (Streets that do not meet the criteria cannot be considered for speed humps.)
Criteria and limitations for speed humps include:
- Speed humps can only be installed on streets with speed limits of 30 mph or less and the 85th percentile speed is more than 5 mph above the speed limit.
- The daily volume on the street should be greater than 900 vehicles per day (VPD), but typically not more than 10,000 VPD.
- There should be between 600 and 1,300 feet between controlled intersections on the street segment, so at least 2 speed humps can be installed.
- Humps should not be installed on streets where there are known drainage/flooding issues.
- Humps should not be installed on horizontal curves where visibility is less than ~150 feet.
- Speed humps cannot be placed on streets that have a grade greater than 8%.
And finally, it’s also worth noting that if there is an outstanding speed hump application for your area that was not previously approved for construction, that application is now officially closed, and residents must reapply to be newly considered.
According to DOT’s outlined process for speed humps, if your initial online application is timely and gets accepted, the Block Representative will be invited to submit a more detailed traffic study application with 10 signatures from residents on the block, or signatures representing at least 50% of all addresses on the block, whichever is less. This is to ensure support on the block before LADOT begins a study.
After the “Step 2” application is received and approved, LADOT will conduct a traffic study to determine whether speed humps are feasible and justified (based on technical criteria including traffic volume and average speeds), and will rank your area based on the various criteria.
If the study finds your area qualifies for speed humps based on the traffic study results, and funding is available, the Block Representative will be asked to gather signatures of support from least two-thirds (66.67%) of the affected residences, to make sure the majority are in favor of the installation.
And only after those signatures have been obtained, submitted and approved, and DOT has verified the area meets all the other criteria, is it prioritized for installation of the speed humps, warning signs and pavement markings.
In other words, this is not a fast process…but it is do-able. So if you’ve been waiting for the chance to request speed humps for your block, now is the time to get ready and give it a shot at 9 a.m. on October 6.
About Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and is the co-owner/publisher of the Buzz.
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