Slowing Down Traffic: The Story Of New York’s Speed Bumps

Speeding is a major problem on the roads of New York City, and the authorities are doing something about it: they’re installing speed bumps. But slowing traffic isn’t as simple as it sounds. It involves careful planning and design to make sure that the speed bumps will be effective.

In this article, we explore the story of the speed bumps of New York—from their history to their impact on the city. We look at the detailed process of installing speed bumps, including the planning, design, and construction phases.  We also explore the impact of speed bumps on the city and how they’ve changed the way people move around.  So if you’re curious about the story behind the speed bumps of New York, then read on!

History of Speed Bumps in New York

The first speed bumps appeared on New York City roads back in the 1970s. At the time, the city government was looking for ways to reduce the number of traffic accidents by slowing down drivers. Initially, the speed bumps were made of asphalt and had a minimal impact on drivers.

However, as traffic levels increased, it became apparent that the bumps were not enough to remind drivers of their speed limit. This led to new speed bump designs with larger and taller bumps made of rubber. These new speed bumps New York caused a greater impact on drivers, ensuring that they had to slow down.

The rubber speed bumps also provided a more tactile experience to drivers so they could better understand when they were exceeding the speed limit. This enabled drivers to adjust their speed in a controlled manner, and the speed bumps had a positive impact on traffic safety.

Today, speed bumps have become an accepted way to reduce traffic speeds in the city. They have become a key feature of city streets, and many neighborhoods have added them to their streets as a way of reducing traffic speeds and improving safety.

As the popularity of speed bumps has increased, the technology used to create them has also evolved. Many modern speed bumps are made of industrial-grade rubber and feature a unique design that ensures a smoother ride over the bumps. This ensures that drivers recognize the bumps and slow down in a safe manner.

Though speed bumps are not the only way to reduce traffic speeds in New York City, they remain an important part of city life and will continue to be a key feature of city roads for years to come.

The Process of Installing Speed Bumps

In recent years, the City of New York has begun to look to the installation of speed bumps as a way to slow down traffic and improve safety. Speed bumps are small humps or ridges in the road, constructed in such a way that when a car or other vehicle drives over them they cause the driver to slow down in order to avoid a jarring ride. This is usually done as a way to reduce speeding and make the roads safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers alike.

Installing speed bumps can be a lengthy process. First, the city must investigate the area to determine if there is a need for speed bumps. If so, the city will work with local community members to determine the best location and size of the bump. In addition, the city must conduct a traffic study to assess the potential impact of the speed bumps.

Once the location and size of the speed bumps have been determined, the city will order the materials needed for the bumps and have them delivered to the site. Once the materials arrive, a contractor will then be hired to construct the speed bumps, taking into account the proper installation techniques and safety regulations.

Once the speed bumps are constructed, the city will inspect them to ensure they are installed properly and function as they should. The city will also conduct post-installation studies to evaluate the impact of the speed bump and look for any areas of improvement.

Finally, the City of New York will typically create signage at the speed bump sites, reminding drivers of the speed limits and to slow down.

In this way, the city of New York has worked to ensure the installation of speed bumps is a highly organized and thorough process that meets the needs of the city and its residents. With the installation of these speed bumps, the city is hopeful that the streets of New York will be safer for everyone.


When New York City made the decision to install speed bumps, a plan was put in place to ensure that all residents had access to adequate safety measures. The process began with community outreach, giving citizens a voice in the decision-making process. This allowed the city to answer questions and solicit feedback from those who would be directly affected by the introduction of speed bumps.

The planning process also included a detailed inspection of the roads. This ensured that the speed bumps were installed at the most effective locations. The city worked closely with engineering and traffic experts so that the speed bumps were placed in spots that would slow down drivers but not impede on vehicle flow.

Once a plan was finalized, the city consulted with local police departments and transportation offices to make sure all safety regulations were followed. All in all, the process of introducing speed bumps was carried out in an organized and efficient manner. It was a successful example of how city planning can be used to prioritize public safety.


The design of speed bumps can vary from city to city, but in New York City the design of speed bumps typically involve the use of a raised concrete platform or a series of raised pavement markers (also known as tactile paving). The concrete platform generally spans the full width of the road, while the raised pavement markers are placed at regular intervals and are designed to be felt by drivers as they drive over them. Each speed bump typically has a sign to remind drivers to slow down, and they are typically marked with orange or yellow stripes to make them more visible to drivers. Additionally, speed bumps can have various shapes to alert drivers of their presence, such as a V-shaped or a flat-top design.


The implementation of speed bumps in New York City was no small feat. Installation of speed bumps requires the coordination of the local government, the city, and the local citizens. It began with the local government identifying the most suitable locations for the speed bumps. This process included evaluating traffic patterns and conducting surveys to determine which locations required the most attention. After the locations were identified, the city was responsible for providing resources and approvals to ensure that the speed bumps could be safely and securely installed. Last, the local citizens worked to ensure that the construction of the speed bumps was completed in a timely manner, with minimal disruption to the locals. With the efforts of all three groups, the speed bumps were successfully constructed in New York City.

Impact of Speed Bumps

The introduction of speed bumps to New York City streets has had a significant impact on the safety of pedestrians and drivers alike. City studies show that roads with speed bumps see a 25% reduction in the average speed of vehicles compared to roads without. This decrease in speed makes it easier for drivers to react to unexpected obstacles or people in the road, as well as reduce the risk of a serious accident or fatality.

Speed bumps also direct drivers to be more mindful of the speed limit. Instead of accelerating to the speed limit and then coasting, drivers must continuously adjust their speed up and down over speed bumps. This leads to more consistent and safe driving habits, creating a safer environment for other drivers and pedestrians.

The use of speed bumps in New York City have also improved the quality of life in the city. The decrease in speed can reduce the amount of noise pollution in residential areas by reducing the amount of loud engines passing through these areas. The reduced speed also means that it is easier for pedestrians to cross the street, decreasing the amount of time needed to get from one side to the other.

Overall, the introduction of speed bumps to New York City streets has made city roads safer and more livable for pedestrians and drivers alike. The decrease in speed helps drivers to react quicker to unexpected obstacles, reduces the risk of a serious accident or fatality, and improves the daily lives of city dwellers.

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