Over the weekend the City of Reno Public Works Department installed a temporary rubber speed bump outside of the Academy of Arts, Careers and Technology (AACT), on Edison Way between Ampere Drive and Joule Street. City officials hope the speed bump will mitigate speeding and drag racing in the area.
“Public safety is a top priority for the City of Reno,” said Reno City Councilmember Oscar Delgado at a press conference Monday. “We value community input and have heard from residents with concerns about speeding in this area.”
The Reno Police Department, in coordination with the fire department and traffic engineering, selected the location for the temporary speed bump because of late-night incidents of drag racing as well as the safety of students at AACT.
Kurt Dietrich, Reno’s traffic engineer, said the speed bump is temporary because speed racers will often move locations if the street they are using becomes unusable. “[If we installed a permanent bump], then the issue might move to a different location, so we’re looking at a pilot project with a temporary solution so we can move the hump as needed,” said Dietrich.
Delgado described the speed bump as a demo to see if it reduces traffic incidents. If the City deems the speed bump a success, then they might look at installing them in other locations.
Delgado stressed, however, “Every school, every community is a little bit different. [An area with speeding issues] may not need a speed bump; it may need to be a different type of infrastructure—maybe better signage, maybe a stoplight. Every case is a little bit different.”
The City has a three-tiered approach to solving traffic issues: education, enforcement, and engineering. The installation is part of the engineering solution to the problem of speeding, but Delgado noted the importance of education as well.
Texting while driving was cited as a source of speeding and preventable accidents for drivers in Reno and cities across the country. “Please stay aware,” Delgado urged, adding, “when the weather changes, [driving is] even that much more dangerous.”
Not even five minutes after he made this statement, a driver drove past the press conference, blatantly looking at her phone. The assembled group of reporters and city officials shook their heads and gave a collective groan.
“I just ask that the public obey the speed limit and look out for pedestrians,” said Dietrich with a note of disappointment in his voice.
Tabitha Mueller is a freelance writer and multimedia journalist based out of Reno, Nevada. She is fascinated by storytelling, place, and the intersection of narrative and data analysis and holds a bachelor’s degree in Geography and English and American Literatures from Middlebury College. When she is not tracking down a story or listening to podcasts, you can find her hiking Nevada’s gorgeous terrain, perusing local bookstores, playing Quidditch, and discovering Reno’s hidden stories.