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News

Californian Town Gains Traffic Calming Without Slowing Emergency Services

Traffic Logix : 04 March, 2010  (Application Story)
Rubber cushion speed ramps in use in the town of Haywood meet traffic calming requirements with their custom construction but are narrow enough to enable fire tenders to pass unhindered and without impact to emergency response times
Californian Town Gains Traffic Calming Without Slowing Emergency Services
Traffic Logix rubber units' lego-like design was used to create custom speed cushions in Hayward, CA. The rubber cushions slow cars on the unusually wide Portsmouth Ave while letting emergency vehicles drive right by.

The city could have built an asphalt speed hump, which is what they traditionally use to slow traffic, but they were concerned about having to remove the humps every time they resurface the road. Portsmouth Rd, like many other Hayward roads, is often resurfaced, and building new asphalt humps each time is expensive and time consuming.

Rubber solutions were considered, which can be removed during road surfacing, and simply reinstalled afterward. However, the city didn't want to install speed humps, since Portsmouth is a primary response route, which means emergency vehicles often use it to reach hospitals during emergencies. Slowing emergency vehicles could mean losing time when every second is critical.

Speed cushions offered an ideal solution. Resembling several small speed humps, speed cushions are installed in a series across the road width. The spacing of the cushions makes cars have to drive over them to get by while emergency vehicles can straddle them with their wider wheel base and drive right by.

Traffic Logix recycled rubber speed cushions allowed the city to build a custom configuration that would fit their road and unlike asphalt, could be removed. Traffic Logix humps, cushions, and tables are preformed to exacting standards and constructed of a series of units, each of which has tongues and grooves that link into each other. This patented system means that each solution can be expanded to any size by simply interlocking additional units at the centre. Since Traffic Logix rubber solutions could be made to fit any road width, they were the perfect solution to Hayward's needs.

However, the common configuration of 2 or 3 speed cushions wouldn't be wide enough since Portsmouth is more than double the width of a typical residential road. Just adding more cushions wouldn't help either- the spacing wouldn't be right for such a wide street and emergency vehicles could get confused over which cushion to straddle.

The Traffic Logix interlocking units were instead used to create a customized series. Five cushions were installed across the width of the road. The cushion at the middle and the two outermost ones were expanded an extra 3 feet to fill the road space. The cushions in the centre of each lane were left the standard size so that emergency vehicles could straddle them without slowing down.

Majid Hafezieh, the city engineer, pointed out an additional advantage to using these rubber speed cushions. "The rubber cushions get funded by recycling money," he said. "It just makes sense to add these to our traffic calming program."
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