More than just a pain in the butt, those pesky speed bumps also hasten global warming

Canada’s housing agency has concluded that speed bumps not only fuel anger among drivers – who have to slow down to approach a bump, then speed up, then slow down for the next one – but also increase fuel consumption and cause more greenhouse-gas emissions than if they were traveling at a constant speed.

A study by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. has found that traffic-calming measures such as speed bumps, speed humps (wider bumps), raised intersections, traffic circles and stop signs actually “increase automobile emissions and reduce air quality” – the exact opposite of what is needed in the battle against global warming.

These band-aid solutions to bad planning also come with a high price tag. Speed humps – which cost $3,000 a pop – are “very difficult to install” and if they don't get the height exactly right the cars bottom out, diverting tax dollars needed to fund sustainable transportation.

CMHC is touting a fused-grid pattern combining the compact street patterns introduced before cities were overwhelmed by cars, with the looping suburban streets of today, which discourage walking and cycling because it takes so long to get anywhere.

The CMHC version would combine the traditional grid pattern with cul-de-sacs and T-intersections, connected with footpaths and parks to encourage pedestrians. There would be less road surface, improving rainwater management and making neighborhoods quieter, safer and more sociable.

Let’s hope they can sell their ideas to engineers and developers.


” …which discourage walking and cycling because it takes so long to get anywhere.”

Brilliant! We’ll just pass a law that says everything will now be closer, to make it easier to walk to. That way, I could walk from Toronto to Buenos Aires in a leisurely afternoon stroll.

And since we can pass legislation that modifies the time-space continuum, it should be easy to enact a few local ordnances to control the weather.

Global Clima-Doom: Solved.

Who knew saving the Earth from it’s assured apocalypse would be this easy?

Are you past your “Best Before” date?

Rob, you’re the only “regular” here whose posts are always worth reading. Do you perchance have a blog of your own?

FEMACK” (real name Fern Mackenzie), a real-estate agent in Ketchum,Idaho (, thinks I must have a blog because someone else named Rob has one.

Then again, as you’ve seen, she’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer. But you knew that.

are invited to check me out. I live in the Ottawa area, and am listed with the Library and Archives Canada as a freelance researcher at I have a BA (Hons) from Queen’s University at Kingston, and a Master of Arts from the same institution. I have worked in the Ottawa area for the past 25 years, doing research and analysis re: heritage buildings. Anybody who feels that they need to verify my identification (including Rob) is free to call me at 613-720-4159 (my cell phone number). My email address is [email protected]

Go ahead, Rob. Do your worst.

And by the way, Rob, your real name would be … ????

The North Dakota Rob is obnoxious and dishonest. The Rob who claims he is Canadian is indistinguishable from the other Rob. As far as I am concerned they are the same Rob until one of them proves otherwise.

If Rob registered with this site his name would not have (Not Verified) behind it on each post.

The best way to deal with speed bumps is to drive a 4x4 with at least a 4” suspension-lift and 36” Mickey Thompsons.

It puts the “speed” back in speed bumps. Mainly airspeed.

Trust me on this one.

with any luck, there’s a State Trooper waiting for you when you come down.

Why would anyone here trust you on anything? You have never given us reason to trust you. My commuter bike does very well with speed bumps, and I get to work (6 km away) faster than if I were to drive.

By sheer coincidence, my 4x4 also “does very well” with commuter bikes.

Yes, I’m sure you’re also a jerk on the road.

Where I live in Sydney, you actually have to slow down and for Cyclists who ride along taking up half the lane, more so then for speed bumps. If only they would use the bike paths.

Although it can be frustrating, cyclists are legally entitled to the same space as a car (where I live, anyway), as are motorcycles. It’s great if there ARE bike paths that go where you want to go – not always possible.

It’s not just the swooping suburban streets that discourage walking & cycling – narrow sidewalks, sidewalk clutter (signage, bike racks, planters etc), and those awful commercial areas lined with big box stores & acres of parking – none of it is particularly pedestrian-friendly. The basic assumption behind urban/suburban planning has been that we will all use cars. Now what?

Most of the roadway problems with bikes, buses and cars is that road planning didnt includes bikes really in their design when first created. Diamond lanes are used here in Winnipeg as designated bus and bike lanes at certain times of the day, that helps. But I also think adding in designated bike paths along major roadways and not some off the way bike trails would be good to. I’ve never seen so many people biking now the roads it only makes sense that city planners should consider their effect when evaluating and designing roadways.

Even now as the temperature is falling, there are still many people out there pedalling to work in insulated lycra! Everywhere roadwork is being done, they are putting in bike lanes – a major improvement (although I was once hit by a car while riding in a bike lane). Ultimately, fewer and fewer cars and more efficient & safe mass transit will mean a safer cycling environment, encouraging more people to get on their bikes.

Yes but how else can we prevent these crazy stupid teens and reckless drivers from tearing down our neighborhood where retirees are walking their dogs, parents are teaching their kids to ride bikes, and families are playing in their yards? I have had TWO friends literally RAN over ON THEIR BIKES this year alone… both times the drivers were illegals (of course) but that’s another huge issue. One was even a hit and run. Re: Speed Bumps… I mean aside from the fact that these teens were never beaten as a child for disobeying their parents resulting in a clear and obvious disregard for any kind of authority - there is no other way we can find to slow these jerks down!!! What other way would YOU suggest other than throwing oranges at them when they hit 50 tearing down a residential street?