Drivers will have to slow down on two half-mile stretches of roads west of Boynton Beach after Palm Beach County commissioners unanimously approved a $15,000 plan Tuesday to install five speed humps.
The humps will be installed along Coconut Lane from Military Trail east to Barwick Road and along Barwick from Coconut Lane south to the L-30 canal.
Under county policy, speed humps are not typically installed on two-lane collector roads, which are meant to carry at least 10,000 vehicles per day.
But county engineers said the traffic volumes on the two roads are less than 5,000 daily trips with more than half of the vehicles exceeding the posted 30-mph speed limit – two criteria for speed humps.
County Mayor Steve Abrams said “six to eight” homeowners associations abutting the two roads requested the humps because of safety concerns.
They’re also worried that the anticipated opening of a recently-approved Wal-Mart grocery store on Coconut Lane just east of Military Trail will add more traffic on the roads.
“We’re looking to keep our community as quiet as possible,’’ said Stuart Mehler, president of the Montreux Community Association, which is paying for two or three additional speed humps or bumps on roads inside that neighborhood.
Commissioner Paulette Burdick said Palm Beach County Fire Rescue is “adamantly opposed” to speed humps because of response concerns.
Rescue vehicles lose five to 10 seconds of response time slowing down to drive over each hump, said County Engineer George Webb, citing tests conducted with Fire Rescue.
But Webb said the traffic-calming features planned for Coconut and Barwick are not like the traditional “parking lot-type” speed bumps that force cars to nearly stop. Calling them “humps,” he said they are lower in elevation and will allow vehicles to go over them at 25-30 miles per hour.
The type of hump the county uses is 3.5 inches high with a six-foot up ramp, a 10-foot flat elevated area and a six-foot down ramp.
Webb said the county on average grants one or two exceptions a year to the policy against speed humps on thoroughfares.
Commissioners have approved similar plans on Loxahatchee River Road in Jupiter and High Ridge Road in Lantana, both two-lane thoroughfares.
Mehler said residents have been hit by cars on Coconut and Barwick, including a hit-and-run fatality at the intersection of the two roads about eight or nine years ago.