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What's the best way to cut these reinforced rub/plastic speed bumps to increase the distance betw their 2 parts 4 bikes? Answered

In this city it is a political chore to get speed bumps put in, particularly in the alleys.  For the most part, bicyclists just bu-bump over them; but, when u are a transportation cyclist like me (often heavily loaded) and u must negotiate these suckers daily or hourly, u begin 2 think that a few more inches between their two halves could make a big difference in time, money and wear. Note: some of them have been installed in an arcane manner to, for example, accomodate intersecting rainwater channels (which are cut into the pavement). 

All of the above problems could often be circumvented by simply widening the space between the two halves of these devices by a few inches---like three. Slightly wider space between the two halves, called the "crotch" by some, would make it easy to ride down the alley and avoid both pinch flats and bu-bumping, bu-bumping, bu-bumping.

P.S. An full swing from a sharp axe won't work....

4 Replies

Kiteman (author)2013-01-01
Very first thing to remember: any modifications you make without official permission will be illegal; they will land you in court, looking at fines, and possibly a bill for returning the speed-bumps to their original state.

You must approach the relevant authorities* with:
  • a clear description of the problem,
  • a selection of solutions that could be applied,
  • reasons to apply those solutions that go beyond making your life easier.
In your description, include references to hampering trade, and endangering cyclists (which, in turn, could lay the authorities liable for damages).

The solutions will depend largely on the exact nature of the speed bumps (a picture would have helped), but probably boil down to a choice between cutting a notch with a powered saw (see the image), or building up a gentle ramp.  The former will be the cheapest & quickest.  You could even volunteer to do the work yourself (or with a group of other cyclists).

The other reasons you offer should appeal to the authority's pubic image - maybe they can put out a press-release about being a "green" organisation, or doing their best for small businesses, or even just listening to the electorate (is there an election coming up?).

Good luck.

*town council, sheriff's office, village moot, basically whoever decided to install the speed bumps

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Kiteman (author)Kiteman2013-01-01
frollard (author)2012-12-31

Whatever your solution, consider it may be against the law to modify/damage a traffic safety/calming device. I agree though, speed bumps are a pain in the butt!

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mole1 (author)2012-12-31

Having just read your question to my spouse, the suggestion has been made that you ramp rather than cut away. 'Glue' down something or build it up with concrete patch or something similar.

I sympathize with the problem. The best paved path here for rollerblading has a series of grooves (across the entire paving and extending about three feet) about 15 feet before road crossings. They are to alert inattentive bikers. Sadly, the channels are exactly the size of skate wheels... inviting face plants when wheels drop into them.

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