WSVN — Some people can’t stand speed bumps. In one South Florida neighborhood, they can’t stand it that they can’t get some speed bumps to slow traffic down. Legally, can you demand one on your street? Lets bring in Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
In many South Florida neighborhoods, residents seldom talk to each other … except in Imperial Point.
Ken Allen: "It’s just getting worse."
Hilda Tague: "It’s a terrible problem."
Anna White: "And it’s absolutely insane."
The neighbors are worried about 19th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. Specifically, the drivers that use the street.
Ken Allen: "The people are kind of running down the middle of the street, not paying attention to the speed limit."
Anna White: "This morning, I clocked 38 cars coming through speeding, doing a cut-through. They are doing at least 35, 40 miles an hour."
Few of the those drivers live in the neighborhood. They’re using 19th Avenue as a shortcut to avoid an intersection and get from Cypress Creek over to 18th Avenue.
Anna White: "These cars have no regard to the pedestrians at all. They are just in a rush to beat that light."
The neighbors say this curve creates the biggest danger.
Ken Allen: "They don’t stay in the lanes, and someday there’s going to be a head-on collision on this curve, because the people aren’t paying attention on who’s coming from the other direction."
Anna says when drivers meet another car in the middle of the curve, the result is predictable.
Anna White: "They’ll drive up on your property. It’s absolutely insane. I’ve witnessed cars drive up on his driveway, up on his grass."
If you’re out walking like many people like to do, you have to watch out.
Hilda Tague: "We try to get off the road. Sometimes we wave at them, you know, to try to slow them down."
A condo complex is also on 19th Avenue. Bud Middaugh is the president.
Bud Middaugh: "It’s a major problem, I think. We’re going to have a serious accident here. These cars are coming at speeds they shouldn’t be coming."
Police stop by once in a while to try to slow down the traffic, but they can’t be there all the time.
Ken then asked the city to put a speed bump, or what some people call a speed hump that a nearby neighborhood has. He was told, ‘No.’
Ken Allen: "I was on the phone and I said, ‘I guess we will wait for someone to get killed or hit.’ And their response was, ‘Has anyone been hit yet?’"
Well Howard, the majority of these neighbors want to avoid what they say will be an eventual accident, but legally, does a city or county have to provide a speed bump?
Howard Finkelstein: "No, they don’t. Cities and counties are given great latitude in determining their speed limits, the signs they put up and the deterrents to slow traffic like speed bumps. If they decide the street doesn’t meet their requirements, then they can refuse to put one in. And if somebody is killed because of a speeding or a reckless driver, the city or county would not be responsible."
When I spoke to Fort Lauderdale officials, I was told they did a traffic study in 2011, and the street did not have enough traffic to qualify for a speed bump.
After we contacted them and told them about the neighbors concerns, they did another traffic study.
Over a 24-hour period, the county said, an average 248 cars went 24 mph each way. To qualify for a speed bump or speed hump, at least 500 cars must drive each way, meaning once again, the street does not qualify for speed bumps.
Ken Allen: "I am not gonna give up."
Ken and his neighbors won’t give up for two reasons: They fear someone is going to get killed, and…
Ken Allen: "And I believe that it’s not asking too much for our safety and our neighborhood to get a couple of speed bumps put in."
Patrick Fraser: "Now, one official suggested if the residents wanted speed bumps, then they should pay for them. Ken says, ‘No, we pay taxes for that.’ But even if they wanted to pay for speed bumps, a city official told me they would not allow it because the street does not have enough traffic. The last solution? Howard says they should contact the commissioners they elected and get them to step in for them."
Hit a bump trying to overcome a hump you have encountered? Want someone to speed in? Contact us. It’s not an accident we get things solved once in a while ’cause we’re driven to help you. With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.