Better than speed bumps? South Seminole Heights puts in speed mural

One Tampa Bay neighborhood hope it gets people to slow down!

TAMPA, Fla. -- For years, neighbors in South Seminole Heights complained about speeders at North River Boulevard and West Louisiana Avenue.

It took three years to find a solution -- a mural.

“it took a while because this was new.  They had never done it before,” said Tampa City Councilmember Mike Suarez.

Suarez says you don't need permits, just support from neighborhood associations, funding and approval from Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn's administration.

“Most traffic engineers look at book,” said Suarez.  “If it’s not in the book, they don’t’ like to do it. But we discovered Seattle had booklet that showed it met all regulations through the Department of Transportation.”

It cost about $1,000 -- money the neighborhood association got from a county grant and private donations.  Plus, they had volunteer painters.

“Whether or not it’s more effective is anybody's guess,” said Suarez. “What it’s there for is that you're acknowledging the fact that there's something on the road. People typically slow down when they see something on the road. Not always, but sometimes.”

So why a mural over speed bumps or signs?

“Speed bumps, people either love them or hate them. They’re hard to put in.  They city doesn’t like to use them. Signs have problems, too, in where you going to put them.  Are they uniform?  This is one of the quickest ways to calm a street.”

The quickest way, but some worry it may be too distracting.

“They should be paying attention,” Suarez said. “This is one way to pop out in front of them for them to say, ‘Wait a minute. What's there?  Let me slow down.’”

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