City Removes Downtown Speed Bumps, Cost $65K

March 14, 2006 – Posted at 5:15 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- If your travels have taken you through downtown Jonesboro, you can recall those speed bumps capable of loosening dental work, not to mention the wear and tear on your vehicle.

Back in January, the city began taking steps to eliminate the speed bumps on Main Street and a more car-friendly alternative the city is currently installing. Over the past couple years the speed bumps in downtown Jonesboro have done little to slow down traffic.

"If you are going too fast you are going to tear up a muffler or jar a window or door, but if you are going the proper speed you won't have to worry about it," said mailman Kennedy Thomas.

"By some accounts it only sped up traffic. Some people said if you take them at 45 miles per hour you barely feel them," said Jonesboro Operations Director Brian Wadley.

Following numerous complaints to the city and high maintenance costs, the city has decided to go in a new direction with the crosswalks on Main Street.

"Stained concrete that is imprinted to look like brick has the same effect but does not have the bumping and it does not have the maintenance," said Wadley.

According to the construction crew, the project should take around 30 days and is a multi-step project. In order to keep traffic running on at least one lane of Main Street, they start by tearing off one side, laying the concrete and then laying another layer of concrete before moving to the other side of the street.

"Most of those businesses, in fact all of the contacts we have, are fine with the removal of the bumps," said Wadley.

Despite the fact the bumps led some people to slow down and take notice of downtown merchants, business owners felt the negatives far outweighed the positives. So without speed humps, does this give motorists the green light to pick up the speed on Main Street?

"They need to slow down being a mailman trying to cross the street it helps me from not being run over down here," said Thomas.

"If we have people speeding through Main Street or any other part of town then they need to be tracked, ticketed and cited. If that is a problem, we will do anything necessary to handle it," said Wadley.

The project is estimated to cost around $65,000 and the city believes it will quickly make up the costs with these low maintenance alternatives. The new cross walks have the almost same exact look as the old ones but are completely flat.