Damned Speed Bumps

In Chicago, I spend alot of time driving on city streets.  On the minor streets, the city has placed scads of speed bumps.  Now the purpose of the speed bump is to make it so people do not go too fast down a residential street where there may be children or pets or people unexpectedly going out into the street.  That is all to the good.  I slow down a good deal when on these streets.  But the goal of the bump should be to get people to slow to something just under the limit, like say 15 miles per hour.

On the majority of the recent speed bumps that have been implaced, you are lucky if you can still see the road; as the nose of your car goes skyward your vision out the windshield is looking at baby birds being fed little worms by mommy birds in nests in the trees.  When you get to the top, it is a breathtaking view of the horizon. I think of Nietzsche’s descriptions of Zarathustra on the mountaintop contemplating how to exercise his will to power on the world.  If you attempted to go over these bumps at anything like the posted speed limit, you would find your axles behind you rolling down the street as the sparks flew and your chassis ground to a halt underneath you.  At some of these it looks like people have done just that and there are massive craters in the pavement on either side where the engine block of some poor idiots gouged and scooped entire chunks of pavement out of the street.

And on most streets they put 3 of these things down the street.  So essentially you come to a nearly complete stop 3 times before you even get to the stop sign at the next intersection.  Imagine the gas that could be saved by making these bumps correctly so one did not have to use the gasoline necessary to start the car from a dead stop 4 times on every street bedecked with the lifesavers.  Ah the tradeoffs we face in modern civilization.  Seriously, these could be done on a better pattern and lives would still be saved.

Comments are closed.