What’s The Difference Between a Speed Hump and a Speed Table


Here’s a speed table:



Here’s a speed hump:


They look nearly identical to me. You think they just got tired of people laughing at Speed Hump?

42 Comment

  • quite clearly, speed humps are where signs can be manipulated to read “speed hump’n”. Speed tables can’t be manipulated into anything.

  • i dreadfully anticipate a rash of “speed humptable” signs appearing…

  • Speed tables are technically slightly longer than speed humps and can be traversed at slightly higher speeds and cause slightly less damage to vehicles. Both delay the response of police, fire and EMS vehicles. The city has recently caved to NIMBY pressures and eased the process for residents to get them installed on their streets, so we’re going to be seeing more and more of these unfortunately. I also really don’t like the idea of punishing all drivers just because some people speed down a street. This just seems like a cheap last ditch effort that’s resorted to because there’s no enforcement of basic traffic laws. Sorry for the rant – these damn things just strike a nerve with me.

  • A speed table also has a flat instead of a rounded top. My undergrad school started installing them at busy crosswalks around the time I graduated. (the crosswalk would be on the flat top) They also had speed bumps and speed humps on campus, I was confused for a long time.

  • Ahoy !

    For those truly interested, the progression is:

    Speed Bump

    Speed Hump

    Speed Table

    Bumps (the worst) are rounded and short, less than a foot long, and used when traffic speed needs to be slowed nearly to a halt.

    Humps are much longer (12 to 20 feet) and create a broad stretch across a paved road.

    Speed Tables are a type of Hump (the longest) with a flat top or plateau and have the least effectiveness in slowing down passing traffic.

    All are 3 to 4 inches tall.

    The bane of speed compliant motorists, these vertical speed control devices, now called traffic calming devices, are found on long residential side streets where buses don’t pass, but speeders passing as if driving down a main road do, and enough residents complain or enough children have been run over.

    They are controversial as fire/rescue, ambulance, and police response times are hampered. Over time they require maintenance from snow plow damage, and if not constructed properly can cause drainage problems.
    The same residents then complain about the additional noise caused by them.

    They can cause damage to auto suspensions and alter alignments.

    -Just another part of modern urban living and our evolving nanny state responding to our anything goes behavior.

    Reformed Somali Pirate “Tantum Eruditi Sunt Liberi”

  • NIMBY? Nanny state? Anything goes behavior? Wow!

    I guess if we lived in a more civilized society and/or police actually pulled people over for speeding and breaking the laws, we would not need these on our residential streets.

    Speaking of that, I try this for for fun every once in awhile: Drive 60mph up and down Sherman Ave WHILE talking on your phone, WHILE not stopping for pedestrians in the crosswalk..and trust me you will not be pulled over. But do that without your seat belt on and you will get pulled over! Gotta love MPD! Keep my speed humps, bumps, potholes, whatever…keep em.

  • There is another type as well though, aside from bumps, humps, and tables. They are wide like the speed humps but over a foot tall. The engineering department at WashU developed them and installed them on their campus.

    Oddly they aren’t that big of a pain and I have never bottomed out on them, despite driving a low clearance car (bug).

  • Whatever they are, they’re a bitch to bike over when you’re going uphill (like, on Princeton from Georgia to Warder). They kill your momentum.

  • Whatever they’re called, I confess I just love hearing some jackass bottom out on one. The worse it sounds, the happier I am. Serves you right… why do you need to drive over 25 mph on Holmead Place, anyway?? What’s that? Too busy playing with your radio and talking on your stupid beep-beep nextel to pay attention to your speed? Oh. Ok then.

  • Another reason why motorcycles/scooters are a great choice in the city. Approach a proper bump at 35-40ish, get on the gas as soon as your front suspension starts to compress, and up up and away you go!

  • Since 2007, the number of speed bumps in the City has climbed from 157 to 691.

    A stat from a WTOP article…
    To give some perceptive on the number, The Fenty administration has authorized twice as many speed bumps in 2 1/2 years as the Williams administration authorized in five.

    We need someone to rewrite Elvis Costello’s song, “Pump it Up” to “Hump it Up” to be the City’s new theme song.

  • Speed bumps/whatever suck. And you can’t drive up and down Sherman Avenue at 60 mph without incurring a lot of fines. There is almost always a cop with photo radar posted in front of the big apartment complex.

    Anyway there’s a speed hump on my block. The people who speed don’t give a crap about it. They drive right over it and sure, sometimes bottom out their crappy car. Like they care, they probably get a kick out of it.

    At the same time there are tons of kids on my block which is probably why it’s there. But you know what? The kids are the problem. Their parents don’t supervise them playing in any way. Here are typical activities:

    1) “body surfing” on a skateboard up and down in the middle of the street
    2) Playing football, meaning, throwing footballs and denting other people’s cars, tackling into other people’s cars, jumping on the hood of other people’s cars
    3) Riding motor scooters (fast) the wrong way on the one-way street
    4) crawling under parked cars

    I don’t really give a crap for the most part – I just make sure I park my car at the end of the block where it won’t get dented by a football, bicycle or body. After the first two times I got dented, anyway.

    But one of these kids will get clocked sooner or later. And it probably won’t be the fault of the driver and the speed bump won’t do a damn thing to help a kid skateboard-surfing 8 inches off the ground when a car comes around the corner and crushes him.

  • i’m with WDC – we just got 2 on 2nd street and i definitely love hearing speeding idiots bottom out on them. hopefully someday soon i’ll hear the sound of a jackass getting thrown from his tiny motorcycle by one.

  • By the way for those who think that speed humps improve safety: Why do you think that?

    There have been a number of well-publicized pedestrian fatalities in the last couple years. I challenge anyone to point to a single pedestrian fatality that has occurred anywhere other than a major intersection with traffic lights, or on a multi-lane road or artery that will never have a speed bump.

    There seems to be this idea that there’s a major safety problem from cars zooming around the back roads. But I’ve never heard of an incident as a result of this perceived safety problem. The accidents are always on big roads or complex, large intersections.

  • Jamie – You’d better stand in front of your place screaming “get off my lawn” to those troublesome juvenile delinquents. Football in the streets! GOLLY GOSH!

  • Odentex, how tiresomely predictable. Do you like kids jumping on your car, putting dents in the hood, crashing into it with a bicycle? Please don’t be one of those people that says well why would I have a car in the city if I had a problem with that.

    But that wasn’t really the point. My main point was not that the kids are a problem to me. I even said that specifically. The point is that the way they play in the street is very dangerous TO THEMSELVES and the speed bump will do nothing to protect them.

  • What’s tiresomely predictable is people who move into a dense urban environment and then complain about living in a dense urban environment. And I am sure that the kids on your street are purposefully crashing their bikes into your car… that makes sense. It’s just a step away from being a gang member, I tells ya!

    BTW, our car has plenty of dents and from whence they come I could care less. I happen to have real problems in my life, like whether or not to shave my ears.

  • Odentex, are you serious? I’ve lived here for 19 years. I have owned three houses in DC. I’ve probably lived in this neighborhood longer than the people who I am complaining about.

    Did I say anything about them being gang members? You did that. Actually, I live on a very safe block. There is no drug dealing and there is relatively little crime. The kids are generally good kids.

    I said their parents do not supervise them playing and it’s dangerous, and it’s also irresponsible because they damage their neighbor’s cars.

    I guess you are one of those people who thinks that the rules for what makes a good neighbor don’t apply in the city. So when you have kids, are you going to let them do whatever the hell they want? Are you going to sit on your front porch and watch them crash into your neighbor’s cars and pretend you didn’t notice?

    What a good neighbor you must be.

  • Jamie you are an id.

    That cop on Sherman is on overtime duty which is just a load of crap. At least when I work overtime I have to “look” busy.

    And except for that stretch of 20 feet which you can not speed, you absolutely can go 60 mph up and down Sherman.

  • All right Anon, you’re on. I drive sherman every day and that road is such a piece of crap and has so much traffic it’s hard to go more than about 45 for any period of time. And I have no problem speeding excessively where it’s not insane to do so, like on North Capitol street.

    Lets go out this weekend and we’ll drive up and down sherman avenue, from NH to the cop, back and forth, for 30 minutes. I bet you can’t even hit 60 once, and I bet if you actually drive as recklessly as is necessary to do so, then you get pulled over.

  • It’s impossible to be serious when someone complains about kids playing football in the street. And while I’ve lived here less than 3 years I manage not to complain about kids playing football in the street, kids running down the sidewalk, kids on bikes, kids climbing trees, or kids spinning in circles until they fall down. What’s taking you so long to adapt? Perhaps you should start some deep breathing exercises.

    They are kids doing kid things which is, strangely, what happens when there are kids around. They aren’t doing anything different than what kids do everywhere and they just have to adapt to their limited surroundings. Playing on a narrow street is not ideal, and I do agree is likely much more dangerous than playing Parcheesi inside a locked, darkened room, but when all you have is a narrow street to play in because there are no back yards, you might, just maybe, find the complaints of the older dude highly unpersuasive.

    I lived in a neighborhood where we played in the streets constantly, and perhaps that makes me a “bad neighbor” to you. But I can tell you that back then the consensus was that the “bad neighbor” was the old sourpuss who complained when our football went over his fence.

    So, if you want to engage in a battle of wills with children playing games, be my guest, but don’t be surprised if some of us find it foolish considering the other issues we face as a community.

  • “It’s impossible to be serious when someone complains about kids playing football in the street.”

    I was complaining about kids damaging their neighbors cars, and doing things that are likely to get them run over. For some reason you can only fathom the “football” part of this. I have no problem with football.

    “but when all you have is a narrow street to play in because there are no back yards,”

    There is a school at the end of my block with two huge fields. It is open to the public. It is approximately 75 feet from where they play football. But that isn’t even my point. This isn’t about the football. This is about being completely unconcerned with their neighbor’s property, and the welfare of their children. I played ball in the street when I was a kid. We did not tackle each other into our neighbor’s cars, and we were at least a little bit careful about throwing the ball.

    “but don’t be surprised if some of us find it foolish considering the other issues we face as a community”

    This is a terrible attitude. You think that because there is crime, we should stop mowing our lawns, picking up trash, and paying attention to our kids? You don’t think that there might be a relationship between parents who don’t teach their kids to take any responsibility for their actions when they are small, and their attitudes when they get older? If anything, these little things tie a community together when things going on around us are bad. They are as important as ever.

    I would never complain when someone’s football goes over my fence. But if I broke a window when I was throwing a ball as a kid, my parents made me own up to it. If you think damaging others’ property is “just life in the city” and there’s no need for anyone to take responsibility for it, then you are part of the problem.

    If you ran your bike into one of your neighbor’s cars and dented it, would you leave a note? If not, then I think you suck. If so, then why do you think it’s OK for someone to allow their children to do the same.

  • Odentex Says:
    July 7th, 2009 at 11:32 am
    One of my favorite graffitos is also at Brookland and located way down on the southeast wall as you’re rolling out, it’s a simple unfurled scroll that reads: “F*ck the courts, Lanier, and your mom.” Succinct, elegant, and funny.

    Honestly, Jamie, why even engage with Odentex ? It’s futile. It’s that live and let live everything goes lawlessness that changed Washington from civilized and urbane to what it is today. It’s seems useless on these threads to stand for law and order. Disgusting comments like the one above seem to rule the day here. I’m not staying around for anymore either.

  • Jamie’s right. the issue isn’t playing football, it’s the much broader lack of respect for others that this particular way of playing demonstrates.

    Odentex thinks all the “newcomers” need to adapt to “living in a dense urban area.” adapting your life in response to the existence of others living in close proximity applies to everyone, not just “the old sourpuss” or “newcomers.” Everyone in a community has to recognize how their actions impact others, and “adapt” accordingly.

    don’t drive the way i would if i lived out in BFE, nor do i crank up my stereo to the level i would if i lived on 5 acres of wooded land in Anne Arundel Co. I don’t set up a lawn chair in the street to catch some rays because the light is better there than in my backyard. Living with respect for others applies to kids as well. and if they aren’t taught this, they develop the attitude all too prevalent in this city, which is basically “screw you; if i want to do something, i don’t care how that affects you. i’m going to do it.” it’s why we have to go out and pick up other people’s trash from our yards and streets; it’s why we have to replace our landscaping that gets tramped by trespassers (or stolen around Mother’s Day). it’s why people’s cars get unnecessarily damaged, or broken into, or stolen. It’s selfishness, plain and simple.

  • “There is a school at the end of my block with two huge fields. It is open to the public. It is approximately 75 feet from where they play football. But that isn’t even my point.”

    Then why bring it up? Now we get to the heart of the matter. I knew the next bit would be “they can play somewhere else.” And probably, from their perspective, you could live somewhere else.

    You seem to be hanging your premise on “responsibility” or lack thereof of some other people. Well frankly, what do you think can be done about that other than to complain bitterly to me about it? You’d have more luck stopping all street football games in America than getting someone else’s kids to be “responsible” to your measure. This typical refrain about “woe to the children” and “somebody needs to do something about DC’s kids” comes up over and over again in this town. Okay smart guy, what’s your solution? If all the after-school, mentoring, rec centers, and finally, juvenile justice apparatus, this city has piled on for 30 years hasn’t instilled the “responsibility” you’re looking for what’s your solution? People can raise their kids as they see fit unless they are abusing them. It’s simply none of your friggin’ business.

    And I don’t doubt there are kids who are irresponsible since that’s sort of the definition of being a kid. And I don’t find it at all strange for a kid to dent a car and fail to inform someone. Perhaps that not what you or I would do as adults, or what we’d like our kids to do. But whether a window is broken in DC or Fairfax the kid breaking it is more likely to be scared and run then own up. And that doesn’t make them “irresponsible” in all things or in need of intervention in any way, it makes them human.

    My solution is to mind my business with regard to other people raising their children and not sweat the small stuff that cannot be changed. If people are breaking the law, there is a remedy. If you think the dents are worth a call to MPD, there is your remedy – take it. Will that make you feel better? If people are simply uncouth, working yourself into a lather is a pointless exercise. You can just keep on keeping on knowing that (a) you can always lead by example, and (b) that despite your view, which is clearly colored by the damage to your car, most of the kids aren’t a problem at all.

    You got two dents in your car and you’re pissed. Sorry dude. That sucks a lot. Let the kids play and get over it.

  • “It’s that live and let live everything goes lawlessness that changed Washington from civilized and urbane to what it is today.”

    You are so right. Where’s Bull Conner and the fire hoses when you need ’em?!?

  • Jim: You forgot to begin with “In my day…” and end with “hurumph!”.

  • given the above screed, we’d better never hear another rant about Phil Mendelson from Odentex on these boards again. adapt to the gunplay, dude, it’s urban culture. get over it.

  • Odentex

    ad hominem attacks always indicate that you’ve no substantive response to a point. thanks for sharing.

  • There is a teensy difference between violent crime and a dent in a car caused by a stray football. While I understand these “problems” get conflated by those of you who confine all problems in the District to poor child rearing by some black folks, those who can bother to think about these issues recognize that they are not one and the same. The percentage of people who commit serious crimes in this city, especially those with weapons, is small. By drawing a straight line from “responsibility” to things like gun crime you not only show how simplistic your view of many of your neighbors is, you make the rest of us constantly wonder what the fuck you are doing living in a place that you believe is so doomed.

  • Jim, describing the familiar tone of your “point”, as you call it, is not strictly an ad hominem attack since it addresses the tone and content of the “point”, and not you personally, by drawing attention to your argument’s similarity to a speech we have all heard from our grandpa many times before. A more direct ad homenim attack would be something like “you can’t listen to anything Jim says since he doesn’t even know what an ad hominem attack is.” You see, if I were to have said that instead, I would be discrediting your “point” by attacking you personally rather than the tone or content of your remark.

    I understand this is confusing since many distinguished public figures these days, such as Sarah Palin, conflate an attack on anything they say as a personal attack (or an attack on their slutty daughters), but I promise that my dismissive and snarky tone was not directed at you personally, or any personal foibles you might have that cause you to fear capitalization, but merely a thoughtless broadside at the codger-like tone of your “point”.

    Please accept my humble apology if you thought I was saying you WERE a grumpy old man rather than your arguments SOUND like they are from a grumpy old man.

  • Translation from Oden-speak: If I’m concerned about an issue, it’s important. If someone else is concerned about an issue which doesn’t bug me, it isn’t important.

    No one in this thread said that Petworth is doomed, or suggested that race has anything to do with this (except you), or said that everyone in the neighborhood (or even a lot of the neighborhood) is bad. Your propensity to attribute straw man positions to others so you can bravely knock them down is ridiculous.

  • Hahaha — by the time I got to the bottom of these comments, I had forgotten what the original post was about. Had to scroll up to check. I guess I’m getting old.

  • Old and grumpy, I bet.

  • I have a car that’s low to the ground. My bike rack is low, too, and when I went over a tall hump on Fairmont, as my rear wheels cleared the hump, my bike came down hard on the hump, bending (ruining) the wheels and derailleur and the frame’s bottom bracket.

  • Jim: I’d simply allow everyone to assign the relative “importance” of actual crime, such as the auto thefts you bemoan in your earlier comment, versus the shocking capital offense of denting a car with a errant football. Perhaps my judgment that the former is less important isn’t the view in the main, but I doubt it.

    I find Jamie’s concern about his car getting dented to be natural and understandable – but forming the conclusion from this sucky event that his neighbors “broadly” lack fundamental “respect” for others I find hilariously ironic. You may not like that I have drawn this conclusion from your own damn comments, wherein you demonstrate a “broad lack of respect” for those people who have a “particular way of playing” (gee, who could those “particular” people be?). But you’re not liking it isn’t going to change what you wrote about the “attitude all too prevalent in this city” and the volumes such language speaks.

    Linking kids playing to criminality is no “straw man”, brother, that’s your own typewritten position from the last paragraph of your first comment – where you go from disrespect to car theft in record time – so excuse the hell out of me for suggesting you might mean what you type.

  • LOL…thanks for continuing to prove my point.

  • Oh dear – boys – just stop fussing and go to your rooms. Perhaps the real criminals are those who make cars that are so easily dented by an errant football!

  • Victoriam: It’s already forgotten. I’m now worried about this “cornholing” thing PoP started talking about. I fear the blog has taken a turn for the weird.

  • I apologize for being partly responsible for hijacking this thread. I’m heading down to 12th and V for some cornholing myself.

  • “I’m now worried… I fear the blog has taken a turn for the weird.”

    Oh, Odentex?


  • Yeah, I was kind of wondering in an “I’m not really sure I want to know” way what cornholing actually was, so two clicks away and of course, there is a frigging (ridiculously serious) websits://www.playcornhole.org/

    So maybe this is how the world ends, not with a bang but with a beanbag. . .

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