City officials eye speed bumps for City Park area

Deidre Cruse

Plaquemine city officials are planning to install portable speed bumps on Sherburne Street to slow down traffic near City Park, the city’s most heavily used recreational facility.

The park’s ball field, playground and picnic facilities get regular use. The city recently added a skateboard park, and plans to install a water park facility.

A representative from Brahman Systems LLC brought a sample of the portable units for Mayor Mark A. “Tony” Gulotta and the Plaquemine Board of Selectmen to see first hand before their committee meeting last week.

The bumps would slow traffic to 15 miles an hour, the posted, but often violated, speed limit near City Park.

“We don’t have to change those [speed limit] signs,” said Police Chief Orian Gulotta. “We’re not going to block anybody’s driveway or lose a parking space.”

Mayor Gulotta said the city would need two of the 12-foot, 1,200-pound sections, which the company is offering for rent at $10 a day.

“We like what we saw the other night,” the mayor said. “We have to decide whether to buy or rent them, see which is to our advantage.”

Orian Gulotta said the speed bumps could be anchored in place permanently, but were heavy enough to stay in place.

City officials suggested they would have been handy to have during the recent train derailment, when police had trouble blocking off traffic on La. 1 through the city.

The speed bumps have flaps on their edges that can be lifted and secured into place to prevent traffic from rolling over them.

The mayor said he did not want to see the speed bumps used as the primary way to control speeding.

“We cannot put a speed bump on every road in Plaquemine, he said. The one the city put down in Nat’s Alley to slow traffic was a “special situation,” he said. “We need some type of criteria to have the police department certify that there is a problem.”

“I think we to try it just on one spot first,” said Selectman Lindon A. “Lin” Rivet Jr.

Mayor Gulotta said officials haven’t set a date for a grand opening for the skateboard park, which has been in use for some weeks.

“I don’t think the kids care if we have a grand opening,” he said. “It’s almost in constant play.”

The configuration of the skating ramps are changed periodically, he said.

Getting the water park built in time for summer “is not looking good,” the mayor said. In a meeting on the project last week, he said.

“There’s a six to eight week delivery date on components,” he said. “It doesn’t look like we can put out for a contract until the end of June. PEC [the city’s engineers] is checking with manufacturers about why there is a big delay.”

In the meantime, however, the piping for the project can be installed, the mayor said.