Memphis man installs DIY speed bump to stop dangerous drivers

Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 9:52 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The City of Memphis said it has to go, but one East Memphis neighborhood is ready to fight for its speed bump.

The reason officials want it gone? It’s illegal.

Homeowners on Perkins Terrace in Colonial Acres said they tried to do it the right way by putting in a speed bump application with the city. Those requests are handled in the order they’re received, and with hundreds of requests, it’s taking time.

One neighbor got tired of waiting.

Fed up with speeders terrorizing his street, Steve Starrett installed his own speed bump, which he ordered online.

“It’s 7 feet long, 10 inches wide, 2 inches thick,” Starrett told WMC Action News 5. “That’s not going to tear a car up. We got pot holes bigger than that.”

Frustrated by what he calls the city’s slow review process on speed bump applications, Starrett told one official he’d handle it himself.

“I told him I’d put them in and I’ll pay for them,” said Starrett. “And it won’t cost the city a dime, won’t cost any of the neighbors a dime. He said ‘oh, no, you can’t do that. You can’t.’ Ok. So, I just did it myself.”

Neighbor Christ Steinmetz welcomed Starrett’s DIY speed bump, anything to protect six-year-old daughter Posie.

“It’s pretty bad, especially this loud green car that comes flying down,” he said. “It scared her half to death.” Neighbor Nick Fotopoulous also submitted a speed bump application in an effort to keep his three-year-old son Andrew safe from dangerous drivers.

“It’s crazy how fast people will drive down here,” he said. “And literally, the kid will be right there on his tricycle and you try to tell drivers to slow down and they just start burning out.”

Starrett said Code Enforcement told him this week that his speed bump is illegal and must be removed.

“It’s disappointing on a street filled with kids biking and families walking,” said Starrett.

He’s lived here for 69 years and said the speeding has never been this bad. He and his neighbors just want peace, and peace of mind.

“I’m just trying to slow them down,” Starrett said.

“I wish you didn’t have to have speed bumps,” Fotopoulous added, “but people just don’t care. And it’s sad.”

A City of Memphis spokesperson told WMC Action News 5:

“We are currently preparing to remove the illegally installed Speed Humps from this location. Our records indicate that the Speed Hump request submitted by Mr. Starrett is still active and working its way through our review process.” No word how long the process will take.

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