St. Matthews residents call for speed humps, but fire chief says it's not a good idea
The St. Matthews Fire chief says Ridgeway Avenue is a primary response route for St. Matthews first responders, and each speed hump would increase response time.
ST. MATTHEWS, Ky. (WDRB) -- Some St. Matthews residents who live on Ridgeway Avenue say they don't feel safe on their own street and are asking for speed humps to be installed.
“This is a very busy street. It's a cut through … and lots of people come through here,” David Sawyer said. “And people are going very fast.”
The people who live on Ridgeway Avenue say drivers use it to cut through from Shelbyville Road to Westport Road.
“There are kids that play around this neighborhood, so there is a safety concern,” Laura Hatcher said.
Often times, the stop sign doesn't even help as drivers roll right through.
“If I yelled at people every time they did it, I'd be doing a lot of yelling,” Sawyer said.
During a recent meeting, St. Matthews City Council approved speed humps for Ridgeway Avenue after city engineers completed a traffic study.
However, adding them could potentially make it more dangerous for the rest of the community. Ridgeway Avenue is a primary response route for St. Matthews first responders, and each speed hump could waste valuable time.
At a council meeting Tuesday night, the chief of St. Matthews Fire Department asked council to reconsider its approval. Chief Bill Seng said each speed hump on Ridgeway Avenue would increase response times for Fire and EMS by 10 seconds, not to mention wear and tear on trucks and equipment.
“Obviously, I would think that would play a part in whether or not I'd want a speed hump," Hatcher said. "I'd want them to be able to get to my family in a timely manner."
According to St. Matthews’ criteria for speed humps, “Speed humps should not be installed on streets near a fire station that serve as the primary response routes.”
Seng says Ridgeway Avenue is a primary response route, and Fire Station One sits just 700 feet from Ridgeway Avenue. As an alternative option, he's suggesting radar detection speed limit signs be installed.
Speed hump installation has been put on hold while city council investigates. The discussion will continue May 23 at the next St. Matthews council meeting.
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