Southaven is going ahead to consider placing speed humps in certain parts of the city. The move is an effort to decrease speeding in residential areas, and near parks.
The Board of Aldermen Tuesday night, Dec. 5 voted in favor of allowing the city to place speed humps, which are a gradual rise in the street level, compared to speed bumps, which Mayor Darren Musselwhite said he’s been opposed to during his time at City Hall.
In the discussion prior to the Tuesday night vote, Musselwhite said the aim is to address certain streets that have become more dangerous to children and pedestrians due to speeding drivers.
Speed humps were not part of the most recent budget, so the city will have to find funding to cover the cost, which the mayor is not cheap. Speed humps cost about $8,000 each, Musselwhite said.
Snowden Lane next to Snowden Grove Park and the BankPlus Amphitheater at Snowden Grove already has them, and the mayor said as many as five could be installed during the current budget year.
Musselwhite detailed two areas are specifically pinpointed as locations for speed humps at this time. He wants the city to target Castle Ridge, which Musselwhite said is a problem area and he expects to see two placed in that area.
The other is on Baird Drive near the DeSoto Central schools, where the mayor sees three speed humps being installed, if funds allow. Alderman Joel Gallagher said that street has become a very dangerous area.
“We’ve sent police out there, people are running the stop signs all of the time,” Gallagher said about Baird Drive. “They do 50-60 miles per hour in a 20 mile-per-hour zone. Hopefully this will work, but my constituents really want these things.”
Conversely, Alderman Charlie Hoots said he had fielded calls from his ward opposing the addition of speed humps. Hoots said he is concerned about the price and potential results not being what many believe it will be.
“When you put these things up, drivers will say, ‘I’m going to move over to this street now,’ so then you’re going to have to put them on this street now,” Hoots said. “I’m concerned about the expense of these things.”
In the final vote, Hoots voted for the ordinance but suggested in his comments he would like to see the speed hump issue reviewed again when next year’s budget is formulated.
The ordinance that was passed says speed humps could be placed only on a residential collector street or a street within a public park; only be located on a street with a posted speed limit of 25 miles-per-hour or less; only be located on a street where there is a high use by children and/or other pedestrians of the street; and only be located on a street where the increase in unanticipated and unplanned traffic creates a hardship or danger for the residents or pedestrians who use the street. Markings will indicate where the speed hump is located.
The ordinance goes into effect in one month from Tuesday’s passage.