Opinion: Uproar Over Speed Bumps At BGC

There is a rumbling among motorists about the installation of speed bumps at the Megaworld area of Forbestown in Bonifacio Global City. The loudest noise is coming from owners of supercars that hang around the area during Sundays and holidays.

Apparently, the speed bumps are large and high enough to scrape the bottom of even an SUV sized vehicle. This has caused concern and consternation among many of the car owners that pass along this part of BGC.

Sports cars have difficulty crossing these oversized speed bumps. (photo courtesy of Cars and Coffee)

BGC management has released a statement defending their position and even claiming that the speed bumps they installed are of world traffic specifications and are needed to protect the pedestrians in the area.

For clarification, speed bumps are used to make cars come to a complete stop when they reach them. Unlike road humps that allow motor vehicles to do a rolling stop (meaning they can slow down enough as to look like they are stopping but continue onwards past the hump) speed bumps are designed to make cares take a full stop.

The area around Forbestown is one of those areas in BGC with a high pedestrian traffic (meaning many people are walking on the sidewalks and crossing the streets) and also has a high volume of motor vehicle traffic. This means that cars and people are both populating the streets and there is a need to create a situation that allows both automobiles and pedestrian to move forward in cooperation with each other.

Cars will have come to a full stop and then be creative in going over the speed bumps so their undersides are not damaged. (photo courtesy of Cars and Coffee)

The problem is, again, driver discipline.

While the drivers of the supercars, who are mainly those who own these cars, are a very disciplined and educated set of people, they are still only about 1% of the cars that pass through these streets. The other 99% are composed of a mixture of drivers who are either taxi drivers, family drivers, young adults who just got their cars and many others.

And these are the target of the speed bumps. BGC management said this very well when they issued their statement. They said “the installation of the new speed bumps in Bonifacio Global City is a strong effort to protect the safety of our pedestrians. Speed bumps, which are more abrupt than speed humps, are meant for vehicles to come to a near-stop just before a pedestrian lane.”

The speed bumps are for the safety of pedestrians. Why, because there are still many drivers (most of us in fact) who have this mistaken notion that people don’t belong on the road AT ALL! And I see this everyday. Taxis and Jeepneys stop on top of a pedestrian lane, motorcycles run on sidewalks, cars refuse to allow pedestrians to cross even when the traffic is not moving or beating a red light even when pedestrians are crossing the zebra line path.

Even the speed bumps have signs of damage from the underside of cars that scrape over them. (photo courtesy of Cars and Coffee)

I understand the frustration of the supercar owners and other motorists who have difficulty going over these oversized speed bumps. In fact, even an SUV sized vehicle has to approach the speed bumps sideways to avoid scraping the bottom of his car. One supercar owner actually scraped a carbon fiber bottom part of his car on this speed bump (and carbon fiber parts on supercars are sooo expensive).

But I also understand the predicament of BGC. Pedestrian safety is more important, whether under the law or simple decency. 

The thing is, BGC could have consulted with true road experts when designing the speed bumps. Because these speed bumps, I must admit, are (in the words of Olson Camacho, my 4×4 guy) OA or overacting. Too big for comfort.

And now, not only are the speed bumps scraping and damaging the underside of cars, they are causing traffic jams during rush hour because cars do have to stop and take a sidestep approach or even be creative in traversing the bumps so they can cross it without damaging their cars.

The author is a certified motorhead and has been a journalist for the past 30 years. He will be a journalist all his life. He thinks he is famous and his mother agrees. His father has another opinion on that matter.
Email him at irapanganiban@wheelsph.com