Speed bumps on private road / easement?

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Old Jun 10th, 2009, 09:26 AM   #1
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Default Speed bumps on private road / easement?

Neighbor From Hell routinely crosses my property at speeds dangerous to neighborhood kids and pets. Cops tell us we're on our own but cannot tell me whether or not I have the right to install a pair of mild speed bumps on my portion of the road. Planning and zoning also had no input.

When speedbumps were mentioned, Neighbor From Hell offered to sue me for impeding his access which is silly because I, too, would have to drive over them to access my own house. This person refuses to be reasoned with and has been terrorizing the neighborhood for years.

In what case does a person NOT have the right to make improvements such as adding speed control devices to their own section of a private road? Which agency has jurisdiction over matters such as this? Not seeking "legal advice," just a lead to where I can find whatever regs or laws apply. Thanks in advance!
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Old Jun 10th, 2009, 10:01 AM   #2
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Default Re: Speed bumps on private road / easement?

A private road is owned and maintained by the residents. I live on one myself. When it comes to repairs, we are on the hook and meet up once a year to discuss the condition and if we want to pool monies and repair a spot here and there.

As for a speed bump... get a petition started and ensure you contact all the residence on the street pertaining to installing speed bump(s). Anyone that has children will be on board quickly. Some may waffle because they also wish to "hurry" home.

Bottom line, you could put one out and he could push it up into your driveway if you do not get the majority of approval from the neighborhood. Just follow guidelines like signs announcing “Speed Bumps Ahead” if you do install one/some.

Also, if the bad neighbor is truly driving that fast, borrow a speed gun from a baseball coach and video the speeding driver and show the speed gun results on the video. Get as many clips of this speeding as you can and then you have a small claims suit. At that point you can show the judge the video and the petition for speed bump(s). Driving too fast on a residential street is a nuisance and is subject to civil litigation.
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Old Jun 11th, 2009, 06:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Speed bumps on private road / easement?

Thanks so much for your prompt reply. Your post was more informative than the responses from my local authorities taken together.

3 out of 5 residents of our street did take it upon ourselves to install these 2 mild speed bumps and, we did it as late as daylight would allow so that they'd have half a chance to set up overnight. We also installed prominent signs in each direction warning of the speed bumps the same evening.

The NFH (Neighbor From Hell) gleefully and deliberately "spun them out" in front of us early the next morning, to which we responded by filing a complaint with the local Sheriff's office, whose deputy ignored the fact that we had all majority committee members meeting with him right there and then, on the spot and told us we were in the wrong to install them "BECAUSE the speed bumps would annoy NFH." WTF? The convenience of one outweighs the safety of all, even in the eyes of the law?

Our little speed bumps were NOTHING compared to the series of potholes further down the road, about which NFH has done nothing (our little committee fixed the worst ones the same day we installed the speed bumps).

I'm thinking this time we'll get a couple of 6' sections of 8" PVC culvert, fill them with concrete and almost bury them so that just enough of a bump (2-3") is sticking up and, if he still thinks we're impeding his access, HE can go to the expense and trouble of filing his own civil suit!

Or, since there is no law against potholes and, we're not made of money, the quickest/easiest/cheapest thing to do would be to "encourage" a few of them - on my portion of the road only, of course.

Thanks again. I really appreciate the input.
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 09:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: Speed bumps on private road / easement?

Don't feel bad my family is going through the same mess. We live on a shared driveway and we had first started to ask the man and his costumers to please slow down we have kids. They would speed up. Then we put up signs like children playing and so on. They speed up even more. We have a gravel driveway there are 4 residents liveing on it 3 of the 4 houses have kids. Except for the mean old man at the end who has to drive through all of our properties just to get to his. He runs a lawn mower business so we get alot of his costumers comming in and out alot of them are mad at him and take it out on our driveway. So we put speed bumps in and put up signs warning of them. All our deads tell us is that we have to do is alow him to come in and out freely. Now he wants to sue us because we are hurting his business and damaging his vehicle from the speed bumps. We all have to drive over them we did it that way so we wasn't to be singleing him out. We also made so our riding mower could make it over them without damaging it and we have it on video. We have so much video of people speeding down our driveway it would keep a judge busy looking at it for at least a month. All we want is some respect and to keep our kids safe i think my kids are more important and more valuable than any nasty old man could ever be. and yes he tore up our speed bumps as well by peeling out on them so we put concrete ones in. Now we are going to put in motion cameras as well as getting a speed gun. Unlike your situation my husband and my neighbor that helped put the bumps in was struck by a truck that was flying down our driveway. The man then turned around and stopped in the driveway to argue with us we told him he was being video taped and he said he didnt care and we got him on tape admitting to hitting my husband and neighbor.
The cops tell us they can not do anything about what is going on about our driveway they said well we didn't need to worry about that man no more because he was dieing of cancer. However it still doesn't take care of the old man on our lane. So basicaly we have no rights none at all not to protect our kids our animals or each other and it is ok for people that is dieing to run other people off the road. WTF is this country comming to? Sorry so long I just wanted to let you know your not the only one.
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Old Aug 17th, 2009, 02:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: Speed bumps on private road / easement?

Very similar to you guys,
We have a wreckless driver who cuts through our street which is not maintained by the city, rather by the people who live on the street.
When we ask him to slow down by either making hand movements indicating slow down or yell loud enough for him to hear us, he guns it and drives as fast as he can to the end of the road spins around charges back at us slams on his brakes to a screeching halt, gets out of his vehicle and yells saying that we have no right to ask him to slow down, then jumps back into his vehicle and peels rubber and takes off.

This incident has happened once to me, once to my wife and once to my neighbor. We are concerned for our safety and the safety of our neighborhood.
We have reported this man multiple times, with his license plates, description of vehicle. The police have been non-responsive and say that there is nothing they can do. I have offered to pay for the officers salary to monitor the street at the time of day this driver runs through our street.

I have had enough and I am ready to take things into my own hands! Sooner or later he will strike an animal, child, or adult - then what? What is it going to take for government to engage?

My neighbors and I are willing to install speedbumps and sign a petition, but it sounds like it's not always the answer.
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Old Aug 28th, 2009, 12:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: Speed bumps on private road / easement?

Isn't it awful adults can be so self absorbed and childish that simply taking heed to a concerned neighbor's plea to slow down (something that should come naturally to a normally working mind) results in such foolishness?

Private roads, unfortunately, are not maintained by police and they cannot take action. It's not that they don't want to, it's that their hands are tied.
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Old Sep 6th, 2009, 03:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Speed bumps on private road / easement?

I'm in the same boat. Some advice for you is to sue although that is very expensive to do. Most states have laws that imply reasonable use of an easement and what these people are doing is not reasonable if there are kids playing there. Go to your state's law site and search on easements for all laws pertaining to them in your state. A jury full of parents is likely to side with you.

Here are some other things to look into. Read your easement agreement and make sure he really is allowed to use it at all. See if it specifies a speed limit or a manner of use. It may not allow certain activities on the easement. Many times commercial activity is not allowed if the easement is for a residential home. Also, can you put up a gate or even several gates? You can't lock them (at least without giving him a key) but it would maybe slow him down or even get him to trade driving slow for you reopening the gates. I know you would have to open and close the gates too, so it's a tradeoff. You may be able to get a temporary restraining order to get him to slow down and if he violates it then he's in contempt of court and that IS enforceable by a fine or jail time. You would have to have it on video. Good luck!
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Old Nov 10th, 2009, 06:55 PM   #8
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Confused Re: Speed bumps on private road / easement?

Hey I want to thank ya'll for putting up this post, I have been worried about this for so long and everytime I go to call the sheriff's office my mom (ex-officer) keeps telling me there is no use due to it being an easement.

Our road isn't a full dirt road its just like a "trail" back to our house... I have a three year old and several animals. We live not far from each other and there is only two family's that use this easement. Us and the neighbor of course family comes to visit sometimes, but no heavy traffic and for a long time till I grew up they were fine no problems with speeding or any thing. Here within the last year the neighbor has just been flying. Tonight he actually sped up to hit my moms dog which was following my son home. Luckily my son made it home and Molly (the dog/bloodhound) was headed back home after following him here. I have been for a while scared of letting my son out to play because you never know when he comes in and out. My mom was after him tonight because she didn't realize my son had made it to my steps yet and thought what she heard was my son...... he stradled the dog while running her over so she is fine no broken parts just a little limp. But I have been wondering about putting up something like speed bumps for a little while but have been having problems finding information.

Thank Ya'll....
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Old Nov 11th, 2009, 10:21 AM   #9
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Default Re: Speed bumps on private road / easement?

Thanks!!!
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Old Apr 5th, 2010, 10:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: Speed bumps on private road / easement?

Our civic club board members voted to install speed bumps on our private road. They installed 6" steel pipe that was cut in half at 4 locations along the main access road. The speed bumps were installed to protect our investment in crushed asphalt, to reduce the dust from our previous crushed rock road, and to improve general safety. In our recent annual meeting there was a 50/50 split in eligible voters for a motion to remove them. The primary argument was that the design of the speed bumps was too "bumpy". Most were OK with speed bumps for the obvious reasons they serve but just didn't like the first result. Does anyone have any suggestions for an alternative speed bump design for a crushed asphalt road surface (not solid pavement) that is less intrusive to traffic?
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