Speed Bumps Not Recommended on Gravel Roads

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The problem of vehicles speeding and kicking up dust led some neighbors of Guiones en Nosara to install speed bumps along the gravel road between Giardano Tropical and the Village, near the Frog Pad and Gilded Iguana. However, other neighbors objected to having the street obstructed by the speed bumps and complained to the municipality.

On Tuesday, December 10, representatives of the Municipality of Nicoya traveled to Guiones to oversee the removal of about 12 speed bumps since they were installed without a prior study or permit. Steven Alfaro Arnaez, social promoter for the municipality, said they were unable to identify who installed the speed bumps but they were able to use the gravel material from the speed bumps to fix a section of the road.

In order to install speed bumps in a given area, a technical study must be requested from the Transit Engineering department (Ingeniería de Transito) of the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT) in coordination with the Technical Roadway Unit (Unidad Tecnica Vial) of the municipality.

The request should be made in writing and should be signed by the majority of the neighbors in the area where the speed bumps are being requested, according to Jose Miguel Calvo Espinoza, civil engineer in charge of the transit engineering department in Nicoya.

After receiving a request, the engineering department schedules a field visit to do a technical study, inspecting elements such as curves, distances between driveways and intersections being no less than 25 meters, and whether the road is paved.

Calvo explained that speed bumps generally are not authorized on gravel roads because the speed bumps must be painted to mark them. Speed bumps made of dirt cannot be painted, and speed bumps made of asphalt or concrete on a gravel road tend to get damaged too fast. “The investment is lost,” he said.

Calvo recognized the frustration neighbors may feel when roads are repaired in the summer months, and without potholes to slow them down, cars drive at higher speeds, which is especially worrisome in populated areas. “The solution becomes a problem,” he acknowledged.