Speed bumps are an annoyance, or outright hazard for the low rider, but so are reckless speeders mowing down pedestrians. An elegant compromise is being tested in Philadelphia. City officials have begun installing flat pieces of reflective plastic designed to look like a 3 dimensional pyramid. This creates the optical illusion of a car demolishing speed bump for a fraction of the cost and none of the auto damage. At $60-$80 for the faux-bump as compared to the $1000 to $1500 price tag for the real deal, the economic advantage is obvious, but how about efficacy. In a three street trial, the rate of people obeying a 25mph speed limit doubled, but after a few months the effect was minimal as people who regularly drive the street caught on to the trick. This didn’t convince traffic officers to scrap the fake speed bumps; they insist that the images still serve as a reminder to slow down. Perhaps a travelling group of actual speed bumps that resemble the images should be moved around the town and placed where the pseudo bumps are located. The travelling object lesson could be advertised, fair warning, and some extra money could be generated for auto repair shops.

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