Humps, Bumps, and Cushions
Your guide to things that go bump in the street
Unlike St. Louis’s potholes and steel plates that accidentally put strain on your car’s shocks, there are several tools that are intentionally bump-inducing; making neighborhood streets calmer and safer for people in cars, on bikes or on foot.
Friendly Neighborhood Speed Humps
Speed Humps are usually 3-4 inches tall and about 3-6 feet long. These gradual humps in the road help keep traffic to 15-20 mph in neighborhoods, parks and around schools. Speed humps are used with other design elements to create calmer streets. They are gentle if you’re traveling at the target speed but can throw you for a loop if you’re speeding.
Speed Tables are longer speed humps with a flat top. They work in the same way as a speed hump but for streets with higher speeds, usually 25-45 mph. They can also be paired with a raised mid-block crosswalk to make it safer for people on foot or in wheelchairs to cross the street.
Speed Cushions are versions of speed humps and tables that have cut outs allowing vehicles with wider-axles: ambulances, buses and fire trucks to drive over them unaffected. They still have a traffic calming effect on personal vehicles and are best suited for busy streets around hospitals or fire houses.
Speed Bumps are the bitey-est of the family. They are short, narrow and jarring no matter how slow you drive over them. They are most common in parking lots and on driveways where speeds need to be kept 2-15 mph.
Yes, these are intentionally inconvenient.
We want everyone to think more about protecting lives, and less about a few seconds of delay. A person’s life should always override speed.
In 2016, Trailnet successfully advocated for the City of St. Louis Traffic Calming Policy allowing neighborhoods within the City to build speed humps and other traffic calming tools on neighborhood to reduce speeding and improve safety.
For more information on traffic calming and infrastructure improvements that can make St. Louis a safer, better connected and more equitable place read our Safe Streets Glossary.