Eliot Street is a small local street located in Jamaica Plain. It is a one way suburban residential street that runs from Jamaica Way near Jamaica Pond to Centre Street. Jamaica Way and Centre Street run parallel and have a high volume of traffic. Eliot Street is very narrow and has a quiet neighborhood feeling, surrounded by houses with large yards, gardens, trees, and fences.
The speed humps were installed on Eliot Street as a traffic calming measure. The goal was to reduce the speed and amount of cut-through traffic driving from Jamaica Way to Centre Street. Vehicles would drive fast down Eliot Street in order to avoid going all the way around Arborway to get to Centre Street. Pond Street is also a one way street that feeds into Eliot Street near Jamaica Way.
There are three humps along the roughly 2000 foot stretch of Eliot Street. The humps are centered on the road but do not reach the edges. They are about 6 inches high in the middle and about 6 feet wide.
The humps are relatively high and short which makes them effective in slowing down vehicles, like mine when I drove over it. They may be a little too high, because going only about 5 miles an hour, my car bottom scraped the hump.
The humps seem to be extremely effective at reducing speeds and traffic. Cars were parked on both sides of the road in some places which also helped speeds and traffic as well. When two cars were parked side by side, like the below picture, it was a tight squeeze for my Jetta.
The painted arrows and SLOW signs are a large improvement over the previous treatments, seen below, where they were only striped either on top or around the hump. Originally, only the first hump was marked with a sign that said BUMP. The current markings are a large improvement, especially since the striping was almost completely gone before they were repainted. I would however suggest that they be repainted or remarked on the top in some way to make them more visible than they currently are.
Even though the three humps are spaced about 800' apart, I found it difficult and uncomfortable to speed up significantly between them because of the parking and overall quiet feel of the area. I was on Eliot Street for about 30 minutes and was only passed by one other vehicle that was turning into a driveway. Speed humps are not a common sight along Boston streets, many of which have much higher volumes and speeds of undesirable cut-through traffic. From what I observed, they were a great success on Eliot Street and should be implemented in other areas around Jamaica Plain and Boston in general.