Chris Ruffieux


City Council agreed this week to hold a public hearing later this month on a proposal to add speed bumps at six locations on Church and Main streets.

Council tabled the speed bump proposal last month, saying it was hearing about the project for the first time.

Acting City Manager Eddie Buffaloe told City Council at its Sept. 27 meeting that former City Manager Montre Freeman instructed Public Works Director Dwan Bell in July to spend $2,225 for 14 speed bumps that would be installed at six locations on Main and Church streets.

The material for the speed bumps has been purchased and delivered.

Council, however, did not authorize the expenditure and the city’s “traffic calming” policy requires a public hearing before they can be installed.

“You still have to have a public hearing to move forward with it,” Buffaloe said.

Second Ward Councilman Chris Ruffieux, who lives on Main Street, said numerous constituents have approached him about doing something to curb excessive speeding on the two streets.

Thirteen residents of the neighborhood asked for the speed bumps to be installed during Monday’s City Council meeting, including 11 who spoke in person at the meeting. Several neighborhood residents also spoke in favor of the proposal at the Sept. 27 meeting.

The proposal was not originally on council’s agenda but Ruffieux added it at the start of the meeting. He called speeding in the neighborhood a “huge problem.”

“Living on Main Street and working from home with my office facing Main Street, I see it (speeding) all day long,” Ruffieux said. “It needs to be addressed.’’

Ruffieux asked if City Council could approve the measure at Monday’s meeting and City Attorney William Morgan responded by saying the city’s traffic calming policy requires a public hearing first.

Ruffieux then asked city staff to do everything possible to expedite the installation of the speed bumps.

“We had folks come in at the last meeting,” Ruffieux said. “We had 11 folks actually show up here and take the time to talk about how important it is to them. I would hate for these people to have to come here over and over again.”

First Ward Councilwoman Jeannie Young, who has lived on Church Street for over 25 years, said speeding in the neighborhood has been a concern for almost as long. Young also suggested studying whether the neighborhood parts of Church or Main could be converted to one-way streets.

“If we put the speed bumps there, this has to be coupled with (more) police officers because that is what slows people down,” Young said. “It’s going to take more than one thing to address these types of problems.”

The proposal calls for adding two speed bumps at 912 and 1009 West Church streets, three more speed bumps at 311, 605 and 809 Main Street and another at 1006 West Main Street.

Council will hold a public hearing on the speed bump proposal at its Oct. 25 meeting.