Speed bumps could be option for neighborhood problems - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Speed bumps could be option for neighborhood problems

For years Lake Charles residents have complained about speeding through their neighborhoods with little recourse to solve the problem, but soon residents may have the option to install speed bumps.

According to residents on Watkins Street speeding has been an ongoing problem for years.

"The speed limit is 25 miles per hour but they go pretty fast. Some drivers are going at least 45," said Kim Finger. "We've got a lot of people during rush hour that use this as a cut through to Dr. Michael Debakey Drive from Shell Beach Drive. And they don't pay attention that this is a neighborhood and there are a lot of little kids and people walking dogs. I've actually had to jump out of the street before."

"I'm scared we are going to have a fatality and then someone might pay attention. We shouldn't have to reach that level. We need to do something now," said Pamela Le Boeuf.

It's a problem that's city-wide. Lake Charles City Council President John Ieyoub said it has been a long time coming but residents may soon have the option to install speed bumps.

"Aside from having police officers 24 - 7 this gives us a great opportunity to slow down traffic," said Ieyoub.

Modeled after ones in Lafayette, the pre-fabricated rubber speed bumps come with several regulations: The street can't be a major thruway and must have between 400 to 4,000 vehicles travel down it per day. There is also a 150 foot requirement to allow for drivers to slow down. But the biggest bump may be getting residents to put their money where their mouth is - they'll be responsible for paying for the installation.

"The requirements will include having 75% of the neighborhood landowners on board. They have to want this and again they have to fund it and once it is funded the city will maintain it. But it's a chance with them to join with the city and help slow down the traffic," explained Ieyoub.

The high end speed bumps are priced at $7,500 and the low end at $3,000. With an estimated 25 homes on Watkins Street, homeowners would pay on average $300 for the high end speed bumps and anywhere from $100 to $140 for the low end. It's something residents we spoke to said they would support.

"If they have to continue to slow down. I think it would help quiet a bit," said Finger.

"I welcome the idea. I think it's great! The speed bumps will probably save somebody's life. It's pretty serious," said Le Boeuf.  

Ieyoub said they've already received a lot of interest in the speed bumps. The City Council will discuss and vote on the issue later next month.

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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