40 is Plenty?

Residents on Eliot’s eastern edge have noticed the City recently installed “traffic calming devices (speed bumps)” on NE Seventh.  This is a result of the Transportation Commissioner’s rejection of the designation of NE Seventh as a Neighborhood Greenway in favor of NE 9th, despite the fact that route is blocked by Irvington Park, where bike riding on park paths is prohibited, and the direct connection of 7th to the new bike bridge over I-84 by Lloyd Center.  For those new to the area, Eliot has demanded traffic calming measures along Seventh for over 40 years due to the dangers presented to children accessing Irvington School, Tubman School and park, and Dishman Center.  At that time (the 1980s), Eliot was home to a many minority families and lower income residents.  Instead, the City put a higher priority on traffic calming measures on Irvington streets (15th and Knott) to benefit a predominately upper-class neighborhood.  Much of the traffic on Seventh in Eliot is from Irvington.  Nevertheless, I am glad the City has concluded that 40 years is long enough to delay desperately needed safety improvements for Eliot’s children, parents, and increasing number of seniors.  So far, the bumps are doing little to slow SUVs, pickups, and landscape companies, but sedan drivers are taking notice and will hopefully slow the rest (although I still see people passing “too slow” drivers!).  And, a word of caution, speeding between bumps and then breaking is the worst thing you can do for your car, so just slow to 20, or switch to MLK where speed limits are higher.

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