LEWISTON — A College Street speed bump will be replaced by narrower painted lanes and road stripes to encourage slower traffic.

Councilors voted to do away with the speed table in front of the former Pettingill Elementary School at 410 College St.

“The facts are that speed bumps do not reduce speed,” Councilor John Butler said. “The current bump does nothing now but irritate people.”

The bump has been in place since 2005 when it was installed to slow down traffic in front of the school, but the school has been closed since 2009.

Removing the bump would allow the city to repave the street past the old school.

Neighbor Judy Andrucki urged councilors to keep the bump in place. It does slow traffic immediately around it.

“Yes, it’s irritating, but it does work,” she said.

Other neighbors said the bump is a problem for drivers, especially commercial vehicles.

“I understand that it’s a neighborhood for some of you, but it’s a business for some of us,” said Doug Boyd of Manning Avenue. “We have to have commercial traffic. We have 10 to 15 semi trailers, and you can ask each of those drives what they think.”

Others were concerned about the bump slowing emergency vehicles such as firetrucks and ambulances.

“God forbid if there’s an emergency,” said Chris Dube of Windsor Place. “If the Fire Department is inconvenienced because they have to slow down, I think we’d all be sorry.”

City Administrator Ed Barrett said the city plans to narrow the travel lane to about 10½ feet wide, which should slow traffic.

The city will also paint stripes across the road that get closer together as drivers get closer to the neighborhood or to an intersection, creating the illusion of speed.

“We’ll be trying something new,” Barrett said. “The idea is that it gives you the perception you are going faster than you are.”

Lewiston police also intend to increase traffic details in the area, Chief Michael Bussiere said.

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