Speed Bumps Raising Hazardous Concerns in Neighborhood

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HARLINGEN – Speed bumps in a Cameron County neighborhood has residents upset. One woman said the speed bumps are ineffective and cause more harm than good.

“To get to my house you have to go over four very large speed bumps,” Elizabeth Johnson said.

She is talking the speed bumps along South Altas Palmas Road, just past the Harlingen city limits.

“I don’t take the speed bump even at the 15 mile per hour posted speed. I take it even slower because I do believe it is hard on my vehicle,” she said.

Johnson said speeders only slow down at those parts of the road, benefiting only those who live immediately near them.

It’s dangerous for other drivers, she added, looking to avoid the speed bumps.

“And (they) are swerving around it and there’s a little rut. One of their front tires on the left will hit the speed bump, but their right will not. I don’t know if that makes any difference, but at some point somebody is going to hit that at a wrong angle and they are going to hit a sign or go into a ditch,” she said

Cameron County Manager David Garcia said the county knows about Johnson’s concerns with the speed bumps.

Garcia said those speed bumps were petitioned by residents in the area almost 12 years ago. He added at least 70 percent of residents wanted them.

He said it’s the policy Cameron County is going by.

“We run into issues sometimes where certain people want speed bumps and certain people don’t. So our policy is to make sure that we have a majority of the residents living there that are directly impacted,” Garcia said.

During road construction about five years ago, the bumps were temporarily removed. The county’s practice is to replace any speed bumps affected during construction to respect the resident’s petition.

“It’s a type of safety tool to make sure that our children are safe and speeders are slowing down, where they need to slow down,” Garcia said.

Johnson said more law enforcement presence may be all that’s needed there.

Garcia said he’ll ask for their help in that area but it can’t be a permanent solution. He’s also sending crews out there to do maintenance on the speed bumps.

He also said like the county, each city has the right to establish their own ordinance guidelines when it comes to the installation of speed bumps.

The nearest city to the area is Harlingen. In order to have a speed bump installed:

  • A written request must be made by a resident in the area, the mayor, or two city commissioners
  • The road must be deemed eligible for a speed bump
  • The speed bump cannot be put up 10 feet from a resident's driveway
  • The final placement shall be determined by the engineering department


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