SAN ANTONIO -- New safety measures will soon slow down drivers on a northwest side street, where a six-year-old boy was killed by a suspected drunk driver who may have been speeding. Getting speed humps on your street is not cheap, however, costing upwards of $14,200 per set. Brandon Abrams' father Troy wants to know why they cost so much and why it takes so long to get them.
Brandon was riding his bike on the sidewalk on Autumn Sunrise two weeks ago when he was hit by a suspected drunk driver who may have been speeding. Neighbors said they have been complaining about speeders and have been wanting speed humps for years.
News 4 asked the city why the speed humps cost so much. A public works spokesperson says the cost includes labor and materials and the speed humps have to be heavy duty to withstand heavy traffic. The city previously used asphalt to make the speed humps, which cost less. However, the asphalt was causing problems for emergency crews so the city now uses the more expensive rubber cushions. Each council district has about $250,000 to be spent on things like sidewalks, curbs or traffic measures like speed humps. District 7 Councilman Cris Medina said with a limited budget, they have to take additional circumstances into consideration, like proximity to a school or if the road is used as a cut through to a major thoroughfare.
A 2008 study by the city found not enough traffic volume was passing through Autumn Sunrise so speed humps were not warranted. A spokesperson for Cris Medina said in 2012, the city gave someone in the neighborhood a study request packet. However, it was never returned to the city, so the city did not ever do a new study.
Public works will do a study on your neighborhood to find out what kind of "traffic calming" measures may be needed to increase safety. You can request one by calling 311 or your council member's office. It takes a few weeks for city crews to do a traffic count and determine what measures would work best, then make recommendations to your council district. Funding then has to be identified and the city will begin the design phase. You can check out a detailed step by step process by clicking here
Troy Abrams says he now wants a new law in Brandon's name to protect other children.
"I think if we had a law stated that developers need to put in safety measures, just like they have to make sure the streets drain properly. They need to have proper traffic control of the development," Abrams said.
Abrams said he is in the beginning stages of launching a website and has not yet contacted local legislators or city leaders about his idea. If you'd like to help, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Councilman Medina is proposing changes which would give residents more "local control" and a direct say in what safety measures should be installed. The changes he is proposing could make it easier to lower speed limits or install stop signs, for example. The council could approve changes in a few months.