Memphis neighborhoods may soon be able to purchase speed humps

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The city of Memphis is preparing to let neighborhoods that can afford speed humps buy them.

Last year, affordable housing developer James Carmichael fought to install speed humps outside Goodwill Village Apartments in North Memphis, but the city said no.

"Do we have to wait for something to happen before we actually do something about it?" Carmichael asked on July 14, 2008.

City Council members have pushed for the change and officials said the move would free up city resources for poorer neighborhoods.

"We get lots of requests for speed humps," City Council member Kemp Conrad said. "The previous administration had discontinued the speed humps program."

They believed it gave wealthy people an edge on safety.  But with Conrad and Council member Harold Collins reinstating the speed hump program, some Council members want to take it a step further by allowing neighborhoods that can afford it to buy their own humps.

"There's a big backlog," Conrad said. "We need more funds for it, so maybe this is a way we can partner with neighbors to do more for the entire community."

Tuesday, Carmichael voiced his support for the plan.

"It proves to make people slow down and I strongly agree with it," he said.

The city of Memphis has 253 speed hump requests, but only enough money to pay for 35.

"That would enable city funds to pay for another neighborhood," Conrad said.

Requirements to allow the speed humps remain the same and include documenting that at least 15 percent of the vehicles that travel the street exceed the speed limit by at least 5 mph. At least 75 percent of people in the affected neighborhood must also approve installation of the humps.

Carmichael's his stance has not changed, even in the weak economy.
"I'd even pay for them today," he said.

Council members have the city engineer researching how to carry out the program.

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