TACOMA, Wash. — Complaints from drivers led to a few renovations at the newly reopened Owen Beach. Some people said the new speed bumps in the parking lot were actually doing more harm than good.
Rosemary Ponnekanti, of Metro Parks Tacoma, said that the vehicle entrance to the beach was shut down earlier this week to fix a few things to make the drive safer.
The popular Tacoma park originally reopened in May after 16 months of renovations. But soon after the reopening, complaints began to come in about a new addition to the roads - newly installed speed bumps meant to slow drivers down.
“We definitely got some feedback from the community that they seemed a little steep,” she said. “So we took that feedback on board and we decided to smooth off the tops of them to make them a little more comfortable.”
Tacoma resident Phil Lord remembers coming out and watching people navigate the bumps.
“The first weekend they opened, when I came out, I did see a classic car bottom out, going over the first speed bump coming down the hill,” Lord said. “I thought maybe if he was going a bit fast, but obviously he didn’t see it coming. I did not feel bad going over it with the trailer today.”
But some with lower cars, like Vince Bellisle, feel differently.
“I have a fairly new car, a 2020 KIA, and we’re almost bottoming out. So they’re pretty high,” he said.
Some drivers appreciate and understand the decision, but others said it’s still too high.
“It’s OK to make people feel a little uncomfortable to lower the speed, I think. I’m all for it,” said Lord.
“I might not be coming down here again,” Bellisle said. “It’s too high, it’s going to ruin my car.”
Ponnekanti is encouraging people to come out and enjoy the beach, despite the bumpy entrance. But she also warns that even though it’s getting hotter, the water is still pretty cold. So make sure you have a life jacket on if you’re going out into the water.