Two residents of Loma Terrace complained to the City Council on July 21 that they returned home from a trip to trip over speed humps and a sign post in front of their home.
The humps were installed while Jan and Ed Barbieri were out of town, based on a petition submitted to the city. Barbieri claimed the residents had been advised of a street project, but the notice did not specify a speed hump, bumps or sign posts.
“I had made it clear earlier that I didn’t want humps in front of our house because of the noise,” Barbieri said. “Please remove them.”
Humps are wider and generally lower than bumps, both installed for the purpose of calming traffic, and require warning signs. The two terms were used as if interchangeable at the council meeting. For the purpose of this story, humps, which are what were installed on Loma Terrace, will be used in all references.
“I’d be perfectly happy to remove the humps and the signs,” City Manager Ken Frank said. “I think the speed humps are useless, and the signs are ugly.”
Frank said the Loma Terrace humps were the result of a lawsuit filed by resident Mark O’Connor before the construction began on the Third Street centers below his property.
The lawsuit had little merit, but the city settled to keep it from impeding the construction of the centers, Frank said.
“There were three provisions: one was to install speed humps if a certain percentage of the residents agreed,” Frank said. “They came in with a petition signed by almost everybody.”
O’Connor said 60% of the neighborhood had signed the petition, including almost all of the Loma Terrace residents. But, he said, they had no idea the humps were going in.
While he favors anything that reduces traffic, O’Connor said, he doesn’t know if speed humps are the solution.
“You guys agree, and we’ll take them out,” Frank said.
Ed Barbieri was supported by Mark Barbieri, who also lives on Loma Terrace.
“When I saw the speed humps my first thought was Ed and Jan are going to have heart attacks,” Mark Barbieri said.
Randy Chapman, who blamed the centers for increased activity on Loma Terrace, asked for restricted parking on the street and a 10 mph speed limit.
Frank opined that increases in traffic, if any, probably are due to the Barbieris’ construction of rental units, which could generate 10 vehicle trips a day.
The Barbieris also want the city to build a retaining wall to replace a pole that was removed when utilities on Loma Terrace were put underground.
They claimed the removal has caused soil to slip.
Dennis Callihan read Ed Barbieri’s written request when his three minutes at the microphone ran out.
According to the letter, the city advised the property owners that the utility company was responsible for stabilizing the hill where the pole had stood. The utility said it was the city’s responsibility. Frank said no way, although he does not oppose some modest city contribution.
“Our position is that that [the pole] was on private property, making it the responsibility of the homeowners,” Frank said.