Question? Problem? Need Help? Dial 3-1-1



 
 
 
SWEEP
Learn how SWEEP keeps Philadelphia clean through education and enforcement.
PMBC
Learn about the Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee (PMBC), and what they are doing to keep our streets clean and safe.
 
 
 
 

Traffic Calming Policy Information

Speed Cushions FAQ

What are Speed Cushions?  

Speed Cushions are carefully shaped asphalt mounds that are placed and marked in a manner to compel drivers to slow down to 25 miles per hour when they ride over them.Speed Cushions are carefully shaped asphalt mounds that are placed and marked in a manner to compel drivers to slow down to 25 miles per hour when they ride over them.

How do they differ from Speed Humps or Speed Tables?  

Speed Humps and Speed Tables span continuously from curb to curb. In contrast, Speed Cushions have narrow cutouts or ‘gaps’ to allow larger vehicles such as fire trucks and buses to travel around them. The gaps also allow the street to drain.

How do they help in reducing speeds?  

Speed Cushions are strategically placed so that passenger cars and other small vehicles are forced to go over them at slow speeds.

What kind of speed reduction should the residents expect?  

Speed Cushions are known to effectively reduce speeds on streets on which they are installed down to 25 mph.

Do they delay emergency responders?  

No. Speed Cushions do not delay emergency vehicles like fire engines and ambulances because their wheel spacings fit into the cutouts allowing them to travel unimpeded.

Will they damage my car?  

No. Speed Cushions are only 3 to 4 inches high and will not damage any car traveling at a reasonable rate of speed.

How will the SEPTA transit vehicles be affected?  

SEPTA buses will not be delayed because their wheel gaps fit the cutouts allowing buses to travel unimpeded.

Do they make excessive noise when vehicles are traveling over them?   

Noise studies conducted in the field have not identified  instances where speed cushions significantly increase  noise  levels.  In  fact,  when compared to control locations, speed cushions appear to reduce noise associated with passing traffic since vehicles are travelling at a lower rate of speed.

Do they create vibrations and damage my house foundation?  

No. Unlike removable rubber speed humps typically found in shopping centers, Speed Cushions are very rigid and are part of the roadway blacktop. They do not move or generate vibrations.

How high are speed cushions? What are their dimensions?  

Speed Cushions are 3 to 4 inches high. They are 12 feet in length with a 4 foot long gentle incline, followed by a 4 foot flat top, and a gentle 4 feet long decline.

How can we request them for our block?  

Requests shall be made via a petition signed by 75% of the residents of the block. The requests should be sent to the elected Councilperson of the area.