As long as there is a list of neighborhoods that want them, Watson said she would like to see the county fund speed humps for at least three to five communities each year.
County estimates show speed humps cost about $5,000 per hump, and most communities are seeking multiple humps. Depending which projects are chosen, the $50,000 could pay for speed humps in just one neighborhood or up to four neighborhoods.
Furrow Avenue, the neighborhood furthest along in the process, is seeking five humps, which would cost a total of $25,000.
Criteria must be met
To qualify for speed humps, a road must have a minimum of 1,200 vehicles traveling on it per day and 85 percent of the traffic must be traveling 10 mph or more over the speed limit.
Furrow Avenue, according to a traffic study of the area conducted in December, has a daily load of more than 1,500 vehicles. The traffic study found the average speed of those vehicles was more than 12 mph over the speed limit, Albert said.
"Some of these speeds are over 50 mph," he said.
The county conducts the traffic study, Schwarzman said, noting that all 12 roads in the county's pipeline qualify for speed humps. Roads that do not qualify, she said, often get put on the list to receive the county's "Keep kids alive, drive 25" signs, which are moved to different neighborhoods every six months.
When a neighborhood qualifies for speed humps, a handful of residents form a Traffic Action Committee to work with the county to design the layout, which is presented to the community at a public meeting. Then, the community takes a vote, in which two-thirds have to vote in favor of the humps before they are installed.
Furrow Avenue is the only community of the 12 in the pipeline that has already voted. The 65 homes on Furrow Avenue between Carrie Way and Mt. Hebron Drive voted 85 percent in favor of speed humps — only 3 percent voted no; the other 12 percent abstained or did not return ballots, Albert said.
The community, he said, is hoping the humps will help slow down vehicles and reduce accidents. Late last year, Albert said, there were two accidents, just two months apart, in the same location. In one, he said, an adult driver driving too fast to navigate a turn and his car flipped on its side.
"It took Howard County Fire and Rescue 45 minutes to extricate him from the vehicle," Albert recalled.
Font Hill's Traffic Action Committee is scheduled to meet with county traffic engineer Buck Bohmer this week, Dennison said. He said he hopes a public meeting will be scheduled soon and the community can vote within the next month.
'A little better'
In one neighborhood where speed humps were installed a few years ago to slow speeding drivers near a school, the humps, while they appear to have helped, have not cured the problem entirely, said one of the residents who sought them.
In 2006, Elkridge residents who live near Mayfield Woods Middle School approached the county about installing speed humps following a string of incidents in which children were hit by cars while walking to or from school.
"After the second or third kid (who was hit), that was the last straw," Red Barn Way resident Karen Carter, who was among those who lobbied for speed humps, said in a recent interview.
Since the speed humps were installed five years ago — five speed humps along Mayfield Avenue and one on Red Barn Way, which leads to the middle school — Carter said there have not been any more incidents of children being hit.
However, she said, the humps have not stopped all drivers from speeding.
"I think it's a little better than it was," Carter said. "But sometimes, they just fly over them."