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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

FHC’s new speed bumps have their highs and lows

Saniya Mishra
The pictured speed bump was one of four recently added just outside FHC’s student parking lot.

From sending out public service announcements through FX to giving consequences to those seen speeding on camera, principal Steve Passinault has tried several methods to deter students from speeding through the parking lot. 

Nevertheless, reckless driving continued.

“We’ve had more complaints at the beginning of this school year, parents witnessing some things that are going on, and staff members witnessing driving behavior that’s been dangerous,” Passinault said. “So, we started talking through, ‘What could we do to help prevent this?’”

Passinault spoke with Deputy Jim Svoboda, the school’s administration, as well as the district’s administrative team. They also collaborated with the department on driving safety about the issue and how to tackle it. 

At last, they came to the solution of speed bumps.

“[The speed bumps] were put in because of the speeding,” Svoboda said. “We had several complaints, and I also witnessed several vehicles speeding. One way to cut down on the speed of vehicles is to put speed bumps in.”

So that’s what the administration did; on Sept. 29 and 30, they added four speed bumps going from the student parking lot out to Hall Street in addition to the two closer to the Middle School.  

So far, Svoboda has seen that these new additions have been a success.

“I think the speeds of the vehicles have slowed down,” Svoboda said. “I’ve heard a lot of positive comments from a lot of parents about them. [The speed bumps] definitely do a good job of slowing people down.”

Meanwhile, students have not been so content with the bumps. 

Many student drivers, like senior Maya Sneider, find that it takes significantly longer to move in and out of the parking lot now. 

“The traffic is much slower,” Maya said. “It’s a hassle to stop, wait for another person to go over the speed bumps, and then go again. It’s so slow in the morning.”

In addition to the longer driving times, the bumps themselves are higher than what many students have experienced, and for shorter cars that hang lower to the ground, there’s a risk of the car getting scraped. 

Maya is worried about this for her BMW Convertible, which is why she has to go even slower. While she hasn’t had any damage to her car, she has seen many scratches on the bumps from other cars. Maya also spoke of another student who takes a different route to avoid damage to his car. 

However, while the risk is there, no damage has yet been reported, so the administration has stayed confident in their implementation of the bumps.

“If you have a car that’s a little bit lower riding, then I might be a little concerned about damage to the car,” Passinault said. “But other than that, I usually ask people, ‘Why are you upset about it?’ They say, ‘It makes me go too slow.’ Right, that’s my point, exactly. [The speed bumps] just force the obvious.”

I usually ask people, ‘Why are you upset about it?’ They say, ‘It makes me go too slow.” Right, that’s my point, exactly. [The speed bumps] just force the obvious.

— Steve Passinault

The speed bumps were definitely well-intentioned and have demonstrated some success. All the while, it is not completely effective. 

Senior Class President Ayla Ahmetovic has seen that the speed bumps have not resolved all of the speeding issues. 

“Personally, [the speed bumps] don’t make me feel that much safer,” Ayla said, “and I know for other people, they don’t necessarily as well because people also speed in areas where the speed bumps aren’t there, like the lanes in the parking lot. There are ways to avoid the speed bumps by going through the overflow lot.”

At the same time, Ayla understands the complexities of attempting to work against the amount of speeding. 

She sees that the feasibility of countering the driving behavior limits the possible solutions, which is part of the reason why bumps were chosen. 

“I feel like [the speed bumps] have been somewhat positive because I get why they’re trying to do it,” Ayla said. “People that go to our school do have a speeding problem in the parking lots, but I don’t know if the speed bumps are helping it, but I also don’t know if there is a better way because it’s kind of hard to monitor people speeding in such a small area, like a parking lot.”

While the addition of speed bumps may not be a highly effective or well-liked solution, they have reduced, to some extent, the amount of speeding around the parking lot. 

With young drivers being more prone to accidents, increasing safety is important to the administration and students alike. 

“I think [the speed bumps] prevent a lot of people from speeding through, which could be dangerous if they don’t realize there’s a car coming,” Maya said. “I’ve seen some people speed through, and it’s kind of scary sometimes because you don’t know where they’re going.”

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About the Contributor
Saniya Mishra, Copy-Editing Manager
Saniya Mishra is a senior, writing for her third and final year on staff, busied by her many passions. She is an artist who cares deeply about the world. But there's one love she especially enjoys, loses herself in completely, only to resurface with a newfound perspective and a couple hundred words vomited on a Google Doc. Ever since third grade, she's fallen head over heels for writing. It is her escape. It is her adventure. It is her everything. Favorite writers: Ruta Sepetys, Amanda Gorman Favorite books: 1984 by George Orwell, Salt to the Sea Ruta Sepetys, I'll Give You The Sun Jandy Nelson, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins Favorite colors: maroon, emerald, navy blue, lavender Favorite songs: "hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me" by Lana Del Rey, "Can I Call You Tonight?"  by Dayglow, and "Growing Sideways" by Noah Kahan

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