Road Access for Disabled Americans

JUN 5 1991


June 4, 1991

To:       Scott P. Gandler, Civil Engineering Assistant

From:     Nels V. Tahti, Administrative Analyst - Fire NVT



Numerous surveys and studies have been conducted regarding the use of speed humps to reduce vehicular speeds. Enclosed with this memo is information on speed humps, including a chart which shows the effects speed humps have had on other streets in Roseville. Please note that although speed humps typically reduce vehicular speeds and volumes, they also delay emergency response time for ambulances, fire trucks, and rescue vehicles.


In August 1990, we completed timed runs on ten streets that at that time were approved for speed humps. We tested three apparatus simulating "code 3" runs: Ladder Truck 2231, Rescue Squad 2251, and Engine 2281. Results of the test indicate that emergency response time decreased 10 - 12 seconds per speed hump. In providing fire protection and emergency medical services, minutes can be critical.

Two of the Fire Department's goals are (1) to deploy an engine company within five minutes to all fires, 80% of the time,and (2) to deploy an advanced life support unit within ten minutes, 90% of the time.

  1. Structure fires typically develop at a rate producing unsurvivable atmospheres in the room of fire origin within seven to eight minutes. This stage of a fire is referred to as a "flashover". A response scenario required to control fires prior to flashover can be provided by optimizing fire system response time.
  2. Clinical death begins four to six minutes after a heart attack or illnesses that require starting an "IV", speed humps make the journey hazardous and may endanger the patient.

In addition, there are other areas of concern, such as apparatus damage or air pollution that could add other areas of direct and indirect expense to the city and the public.

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As a result of the test runs and the anticipated increase in critical emergency response times, the Fire Department recommends that speed humps not be installed to curtail speeding.

The City's current speed hump policy requires that 50% of the area residents to be in support of speed humps in order to qualify. The Fire Department recommends the use of alternative options, like photo radar, stops signs, signal lights, etc., in lieu of speed humps on such qualified streets.

Access | Fire & EMS | Engineering