Drivers say hidden speed humps in Somerville are damaging their cars

Speed humps have been installed to increase safety on the roads of Somerville, Massachusetts, but drivers have complained of being caught off-guard by some of the structures

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City officials in Somerville, Massachusetts, are responding to complaints that some of the speed humps they installed are catching drivers off-guard.

The city first started installing the structures in 2019 after a fatal crash on Powderhouse Boulevard. Officials said they have been hugely successful in improving traffic safety, but some drivers said the structures are so hidden, they are causing damage to their cars.



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Michelle Aguiar said she recently hit one in Somerville that was not marked at all.

"There was no sign that said 'raised structure' or anything. It didn't have any signs, so I just didn't know it was there," Aguiar said.

Grace Priolisi, who lives next to one, said she hears cars bottom out on the speed humps at least 20 times a day.

"There will be a grind when they get to the ground because they're not realizing it's a bump," Priolisi said.

Brian Postlewaite, the city's director of engineering, said speeding has gone way down since the structures have been in place.

"From a traffic safety perspective, which is the point, it's been amazingly successful," Postlewaite said.

Postlewaite admits it has been a bumpy rollout since the pandemic due to supply chain and labor shortages.

"Striping contractors have been really short staffed," he said. "It's still a challenge to find them."

The city has started putting signs up before the speed humps go up. They have also started using temporary tape in places where they are still waiting for contractors to paint.

"We try to learn from any incidents, and because traffic safety is so important. We're not going to let challenges with the construction and markings slow down important safety issues," Postlewaite said.

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