City Desk

Neighborhood Watch: Chevy Chase ANC vs. Speed Humps

The Issue: The "humpification" of Chevy Chase. The advisory neighborhood commission is upset about three speed humps recently constructed in the 3700 block of Morrison Street. The installation was approved by neighborhood residents in June, but the ANC is miffed about their size—too big!—and wants them removed unless the Department of Transportation provides a speed analysis.

Speed Up: ANC Commissioner David Engel says, "The humps are massive, and a huge traffic diversion. You can't go more than five miles an hour." He is also irked that an invited DDOT official shunned a recent ANC meeting at which the issue came up. He maintains that it's mainly the "rich and powerful on the block" that want the speed bumps, rather than the whole community. "Certain people want their own urban village," he says.

Slow Down: John Lisle, spokesman for DDOT, says that speed humps must be approved by 75 percent of the block—and that happened—but the process has been streamlined and no longer requires a traffic report. In terms of construction, he said, "ANC approval is not required." Also, it is unclear whether the ANC provided opposition early enough in the process.

Next Step: In that recent meeting, the ANC requested the speed humps be removed pending the collection of data; it also wants an oversight hearing on the entire process.

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  • Jamie

    The argument that you can't go more than 5 MPH seems a little silly. Isn't that the whole point? There's not a single on in DC that I could go more than 5 MPH without bottoming out or destroying my suspension.

    That said, I despise them. There's one on my block, and all that happens is the jackasses either drive right over it at full speed, because they are too stupid or don't care about their 27 year old Chevy Monza anyway, making an incredible racket.

    Or alternatively, they slam on their brakes before it, and peel out right after it, again, making an incredible racket.

    Is there any evidence, whatsoever, that speed bumps improve safety?

    When is the last time there was a serious pedestrian accident somewhere OTHER than a major road that would never have speed bumps anyway?

    I have never heard of one in my entire life. What, then, is the purpose of speed bumps.

  • Fister

    This seems to be another case where the Chevy Chase ANC is playing fast and loose with the facts. Their own minutes from the June meeting states that they said they would take action at the July meeting and would not hang up the process given DDOT statements about how long it would take to conduct a full study of the neighborhood. The July meeting says they would defer action. Of course, everyone knows the DC Agencies give, usually, 30 days for ANCs to act, so they clearly missed that window and seemed to be aiming for delays.

    It is also clear that the residents of the block followed the guidelines, whether you like them or not.

    So this is a story because, why?

    Isn't this the same ANC that cause the Military Road clusterfuck?

  • Fister

    City Paper should check its own archives.

    See this blurb:

    And then look at this:

    Mr. Emeka Moneme, Director of DDOT, addressed the Commission on the status of the pedestrian-activated traffic light at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Morrison Street. He said the test phase of the light would be completed in April and that at this time DDOT is not inclined to change the light. He noted that there were three options on the table: to leave the light as it is presently functioning; to provide a short flashing yellow for motorists on Morrison Street; or to make the signal a regular green/yellow/red light including a short 8 second advance pedestrian only phase, with the addition of speed bumps on Morrison Street. A discussion followed among Commissioners and members of the audience as to the effectiveness of the current test light and other alternatives including a test of a regular green/yellow/red light.

    So the ANC is seriously complaining, when it appears they made the choice which included speed humps.

    I think that is the story here.