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Project to Use Speed Humps to Reduce


Speed on Tierra Pintada Road in
Northwest Albuquerque:
A Proposal Report





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Abstract

Project to Use Speed Humps to Reduce Speed on Tierra Pintada
Road in Northwest Albuquerque: A Proposal Report

Prepared by: Francis Salas, student

In May of 2013, two pieces of road, each named Tierra Pintada, were connected to
span the distance between Unser and 98
th
Street in the Northwest quadrant of
Albuquerque. Upon approval for my final project in Technical Writing at CNM, I
began to pursue the placement of speed humps on Tierra Pintada in order to control
the speed and increased traffic on the street following the extension. I began this
project by conducting research on the project background, the speed in the area,
and the attitude of the neighbors in the area. I have found that speed bumps are not
a very costly addition to the infrastructure of the road, and the benefits of a safer
environment for our families would far outweigh any costs associated with the
installation of speed bumps. I recommend that the neighborhood associations write
letters to their local city council members, contact APD, and continue to voice their
concerns to city officials.



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Table of Contents

Executive Summary............................................................................................................................. .. 1
Introduction.................................................................................................................. ..............................2
Research Methods............................................................................................................................. ......3
Task 1. Acquire Background Information on the Expansion
Task 2. Research Speed Hump Procedure
Task 3. Research Area Speed ................................................................................................ 4
Task 4. Research costs and benefits of installing speed bumps
Task 5. Research Resident Opinions
Task 6. Present my findings to the City of Albuquerque
Results............................................................................................................................. .............................. 5
Task 1. Acquire Background Information on the Expansion
Task 2. Research Speed Hump Procedure
Task 3. Research Area Speed
Task 4. Research costs and benefits of installing speed bumps .. 6
Task 5. Research Resident Opinions
Task 6. Present my findings to the City of Albuquerque
Conclusion and Recommendation................................................................................................ 7
References.................................................................................................................................................. 8
Appendix A: Neighborhood Survey.............................................................................................. 9
Appendix B: City of Albuquerque Speed Hump Process and Criteria ................... 10

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Executive Summary

For the Spring term 2014, Professor Joseph Serio invited his students to choose
something of concern and interest to them in their community, neighborhood, job,
campus, city, or state. After talking about this project to many of my friends, I
decided to look into the placement of speed humps on Tierra Pintada, a road in the
Northwest Quadrant of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Tierra Pintada has existed as two small sections of road for many years. In 2011 the
Albuquerque Public School West Side Stadium was built. The developer, Western
Albuquerque Land Holding, then began the project to connect the two smaller pieces
of road together. The project is titled Tierra Pintada Phase 1 and was given the city
project # 650272. This project began on August 21, 2012, and was completed in May
of 2013. This proposal is a simple idea that is close to my heart. Although the
process to place a speed hump on a street may not be difficult, it is an important
safety precaution for the neighborhood.

I recommend that the neighborhood associations and community members write
letters to their city councilors and local government to make the placement of speed
humps on Tierra Pintada a known concern.

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Introduction

After receiving the proposal project for Technical Writing at UNM, I began talking
with my best friend about what I might want to do. He asked me if I would try to get
speed humps placed on the street behind his house. He told me that ever since they
extended Tierra Pintada to make it connect Unser and 98
th
Street, that the speed at
which cars travel is scary for him as a father of two children.

I consider the children of my best friend to be my nephews. Because I value their
lives and safety, I decided that this would be a great cause to pursue.

My proposal for my Project to Use Speed Humps to Reduce Speed on Tierra Pintada
Road in Northwest Albuquerque was decided upon on April 1, 2014, and I began
my research.


I researched the following:

1. Background Information on the Expansion

2. Speed Hump Procedure in the City of Albuquerque

3. Area Speed

4. Cost and benefits of installing speed bumps

5. Resident Opinions

In the following report you will find the answers to this research as well as a
recommendation to install speed bumps on Tierra Pintada.


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Research Methods

Several steps were taken to acquire data for the project. These were broken down
into several tasks:

1. Acquire Background Information on the Expansion
2. Research Speed Hump Procedure
3. Research Area Speed
4. Research costs and benefits of installing speed bumps
5. Research Resident Opinions
6. Present my findings to the City of Albuquerque

In the following discussion of each task, I will describe the process by which each
task was completed.

Task 1: Acquire background information on the Expansion of Tierra Pintada
In this task, I was looking to find the following information:
Why was this road expanded?
Was the expansion a city project or was it initiated by developers?
When was this project started?
When was the project completed?
What is the classification of the road?

I began this task with a search on the Internet. I initially performed a general
Google search. When a Google search did not return any useful results, I
visited the City of Albuquerque Website at cabq.gov. When I was unable to
find project specifics, I researched the contact personnel for the Municipal
Development Department. I chose the Municipal Development Department
because when I used the site directory and chose traffic I was led to the
Municipal Development Department. From this point on, I relied heavily on
phone and email conversations with City of Albuquerque workers to gather
information. I was transferred to multiple departments and received the
necessary help.

Task 2: Research Speed Hump Procedure
As with my first task, I took to the Internet for my initial research. Within the
City of Albuquerque website, Municipal Development Frequently Asked
Questions, I found the question How do I get speed humps on my street?
From here I followed the procedure and called 311. This step sent me to
multiple phone calls and emails with city workers.




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Task 3: Research Area Speed
Because the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) monitors speed, I
contacted their non-emergency number, 242-COPS. I was put in touch with
the area substation and gathered information from Sergeants in the area.

Task 4: Research Cost and Benefits of Installing Speed Bumps
To find out the costs associated with installing asphalt speed bumps I of
course went to my trusty friend Google for information. Just like many
internet searches, one must rummage through lots of information to find out
exactly what they are looking for. I had a lot of trouble finding information
about installing speed bumps in Albuquerque specifically, so I used info from
other cities. The cost from city to city should not fluctuate very much.

Task 5: Research Resident Opinions
This task proved to be more difficult that I had originally thought. After
driving through the neighborhood and identifying the neighborhood names, I
conducted a search through the City of Albuquerque website to locate the
Neighborhood Association contact information. Much to my dismay, neither
of the neighborhoods I was in search of was listed. I then contacted my friend
that lives in the neighborhood and put him to work. He was able to acquire
the numbers for the Neighborhood Association Presidents. Contacting the
Neighborhood Associations to get them involved is an important step.

I hope to work with the neighborhood associations presidents to gather
survey responses. This is important to gauge the feelings of the community
members. If an email response to a survey does not work out, I hope to
attend a neighborhood association meeting or walk door to door to gather
opinions.

Task 6: Present my findings to the City of Albuquerque
By gathering all of this information I will know how to approach the City of
Albuquerque about the safety concern of the speed travelled on Tierra
Pintada. I will also have all the necessary documentation ready for them to
demonstrate the concern of neighbors and community members.

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Results

In this section, I have presented all the information I received when performing each
task outlined in my Research Methods.

Task 1: Acquire background information on the Expansion of Tierra Pintada
Tierra Pintada has existed as two small sections of road for many years. In
2011 the Albuquerque Public School West Side Stadium was built. The
developer, Western Albuquerque Land Holding, then began the project to
connect the two smaller pieces of road together. The project is titled Tierra
Pintada Phase 1 and was given the city project # 650272. This project began
on August 21, 2012, and was completed in May of 2013. The posted speed
limit on Tierra Pintada is 35 miles per hour. The roadway classification
according to the Mid Region Council of Government is urban collector.

According to the Federal Highway administration, The collector street
system provides both land access service and traffic circulation within
residential neighborhoods, commercial and industrial areas.

Task 2: Research Speed Hump Procedure
I was able to obtain information from the City of Albuquerque Planning
Department that outlined the City of Albuquerque Speed Hump Process and
Criteria. Please see Appendix B.

The process for requested speed humps is as follows:
Determine that all criteria required for speed humps is met
Person from neighborhood or neighborhood association should then
submit, in writing, a request to the City of Albuquerque Traffic
Engineering Department.
The request will be reviewed to ensure that all minimum
requirements are met.
If minimum requirements are met, the Traffic Engineering
Department will conduct a traffic analysis for traffic volume and speed
If it is determined that speed humps will be beneficial, the street will
be placed on a priority listing until the speed humps are placed or five
years has passed.
If 5 years has passed, the original requestor will be contacted to find
out if there is still a problem. If the problem remains, an updated
traffic analysis will be completed.
The street will either remain on the list or be removed from the list at
this time.

Task 3: Research Area Speed
After contacting the Albuquerque Police Department, I received a call back
from an evening Sergeant. According to the Sergeant, speed trailers are
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placed on streets after there have been complaints about the speed. The
posted speed limit for Tierra Pintada is 35mph. I am still working to find out
more information on this topic. I have a call into Sergeant Paul Reese for
more details on the speed trailer and speed complaints in the area.

Task 4: Research Cost and Benefits of Installing Speed Bumps
Asphalt speed bumps usually cost about $1200 each and the city usually
installs about 100 a year or so. For maximum effectiveness, speed humps
should be placed in series at 200-600 feet intervals. On a flat, straight
roadway, research has shown that 275 foot intervals are ideal for
maintaining speeds of 25 mph. The following equation was developed by the
California Subcommittee of the California Traffic Control Devices Committee
to determine spacing between humps:

Hs = 0.5[2(V85)(V85)-700]

Where Hs = optimal spacing between 3" humps (ft.)
and V85 = the desired 85th percentile speed (mph) between humps
(http://www.ctre.iastate.edu/research/roadhump/)

So, that would mean that we need approximately 10 speed bumps, which will
cost about $12,000.

Now that we know a rough estimate on the cost, lets look at the benefits.
These benefits are actually pretty obvious. With lower speeds, accident rates
will go down, which means less money being spent on all the costs associated
with those accidents. I could get into all of those costs, but I dont want to
overshadow the real benefit of safety. Simply put, the streets will be safer for
joggers, people walking their dogs, and little kids. No monetary amount can
be put on the life of someones child. So, when we think about safer streets
for our kids to ride their bikes, can we really say that any amount of money is
too much to spend on making our streets and neighborhoods safer.

Task 5: Research Resident Opinions
I was able to obtain information for the two neighborhood associations I was
hoping to work with. I was able to make contact with the Park West
Neighborhood Association President. He told me that they have had some
concern during neighborhood meetings. Their next meeting will take place in
the summer. He welcomed me to attend one of their future meetings to make
a short announcement and hand out surveys.

I have been unable to make contact with the Las Lomitas Neighborhood
Association at this time.

Task 6: Present my findings to the City of Albuquerque
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I have determined that my best course of action is to provide my findings to
the Neighborhood Associations so that they are equipped with the data and
background information to move forward with a change as they see fit. At
this time it does not seem that presenting my findings to the City of
Albuquerque will be of much influence.



Conclusions and Recommendations

The problem of speed in this neighborhood is not a new issue, and this issue has
come up in the Park West Neighborhood Association in the past. More research will
need to be done to determine if they feel that the problem still exists. The posted
speed limit in the area is 35mph. At this time, I recommend that the residents of the
neighborhoods on Tierra Pintada, make their concerns known to the City of
Albuquerque. Residents should contact the Albuquerque Police Department to
request that the speed is monitored and enforced on Tierra Pintada. Letters should
be written to local government, including but not limited to, city councilors and the
mayor. I also recommend that the Neighborhood Associations make their concerns
known as a group. By continuing to voice concerns and make city officials aware of
the problem, they are more likely to see action by the City of Albuquerque.



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References

www.cabq.gov

www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/processes/statewide/related/functional_classification
/fc02.cfm

http://abqjournal.com/news/metro/326841metro03-21-05.htm

http://www.ctre.iastate.edu/research/roadhump/
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Appendix A

As you know, the city has recently extended Tierra Pintada so that it connects Unser to
98th Street. As part of a school project, I am looking into the change in traffic volume
and the speed traveled on the road.

I am conducting a survey to see how other members of the community feel about the
speed on Tierra Pintada.

1. Have you noticed a change in the speed on Tierra Pintada since the expansion?

If yes, how fast do you feel people are traveling? Is this concerning for you?

2. Do you think that speed humps would be beneficial for the safety of the neighborhood?

3. If it is necessary to me to get a petition signed in order for the city to input speed
humps, would you be willing to sign your name to it?


Thank you for your time
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Appendix B

City of Albuquerque Speed Hump Process and Criteria

July 2009 Page 1 of 3

Opening Statement:
One of the most common concerns reported to the City of Albuquerque (COA), Traffic
Engineering, is speeding on residential streets. The speed limit on residential streets is 25
Miles per Hour (MPH). The speed limit is not required to be posted in order to be
enforced. This is by COA Code of Ordinance, 8-2-4-2. However, active enforcement of
speed limits on all the residential streets within the city is not always possible. When the
volume and traffic speeds on a residential street meet minimum criteria, the installation of
speed humps can prove to be an effective tool in reducing speeds. Usually, speed humps
at locations where the minimum criteria were not met will not decrease the overall traffic
speeds. In some cases, traffic speeds will increase. Additionally, the installation of speed
humps is limited to residential streets meeting minimum criteria.
Once Traffic Engineering receives a written request to have speed humps installed on a
residential street, and the street criteria have been met, a traffic study will be completed
to ensure the standards are met. Should speed humps be warranted on a street, it will be
prioritized with all other speed hump projects in the COA. Before installation occurs, a
survey of the residents on the street is also completed to ensure that there is agreement
amongst the residents that speed humps are desired.

Streets must meet the following minimum criteria in order to be
considered for the installation of speed humps:

1. The street must not be greater than a two-lane roadway.

2. The street must have at least 50% of the housing fronting the roadway. Parks and
schools may be considered as frontage.

3. The street width must be less than 50 feet and the segment should be more than 700
feet long.

4. Average daily traffic volumes on the street shall not be greater than 3,000.
Other consideration criteria:

a) The 85th percentile speed of the vehicles shall be greater than five (5) MPH over the
speed limit.

b) Centerline radius of the street is greater than 300 feet. Speed humps cannot be
installed on curves or locations where the minimum sight distance is not met.


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City of Albuquerque Speed Hump Process and Criteria
(Continued)

July 2009 Page 2 of 3

c) Speed humps should only be installed on roadway segments where the road grade is
less than 5%. Installation of speed humps on grades greater than 5% must be based on an
engineering evaluation. This is to ensure that the installation will not create unacceptable
risks to traffic safety or storm drainage. Speed humps shall not be installed on street
sections with grades greater than 8%.

d) Speed humps should not be installed on streets with drainage or flooding
problems unless their effect can be mitigated through design.

e) Speed humps should not be installed on streets with a curb less than 8-inches tall, nor
should they be installed on a street without curb and gutter.

f) Speed humps should not be installed in front of driveways, over underground
access covers, or adjacent to catch basins or drainage structures.

g) Speed humps may impact the operation of emergency response vehicles, trucks, and
buses. Streets that serve as the primary emergency vehicle access or bus route should not
have humps installed unless the effect of their operation is evaluated.

h) Speed humps should not be installed on a roadway within 300 feet of an
intersection where the roadway approach to the intersection is controlled by a
traffic signal or stop.

i) The spacing for speed humps is normally between 350 to 400 feet.

Speed Hump Process:
Should a resident who lives on the street or a neighborhood association believe that all of
these qualifications have been met; a written request shall be submitted via e-mail or a
letter to the COA Traffic Engineering Division.
Mailing Address: Attn: Traffic Engineering
Speed Hump Request
City of Albuquerque
P.O. Box 1293
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87103
Email Address: PCastillo@cabq.gov or BColeman@cabq.gov
Traffic Engineering will then complete a review of the criteria to ensure the minimum
qualifications are met. If met, a traffic analysis for volume and speed will then be
conducted. Should the resulting data indicate that the installation of speed humps would
be beneficial; the street will be added to the speed hump priority listing. The priority
listing is based on street ranking, which is calculated using the daily traffic volume and
percentage of vehicles exceeding the established speed thresholds.
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City of Albuquerque Speed Hump Process and Criteria
(Continued)
July 2009 Page 3 of 3

When a street has not reached the top of the priority list in five years, Traffic Engineering
will attempt to contact the original requestor to determine if the speeding problems still
exist. If it is felt that the speed problems persist, an updated traffic study can be
conducted. If Traffic Engineering is unable to contact the resident or neighborhood
association representative, or they feel that the problem no longer exist, then the street is
removed from the speed hump priority listing.

If funding has been identified for the speed hump project, and the criteria above have
been met, a survey will be sent to the properties on the street segment where speed humps
are being proposed. Properties within 500 feet of the proposed project and properties who
cannot avoid traffic calming devices when traveling to and from their homes will receive
a notice of the proposed project. Properties separated from the project street segment by a
major street will not be included in the survey or notification process.

If a minimum of two-thirds of the returned surveys indicate that the installation of speed
humps are desired, the humps will be scheduled for construction. Should less than
twothirds of the returned petitions indicate that humps are desired, the humps will not be
installed and the road segment will be removed from the speed hump priority listing.

Unless there is a substantial change in field conditions, a minimum of five years must
pass before the street can be reconsidered.