Gallaudet had a speed bump before speed bumps were a thing.  

It even had a name: “The Bump.” 

“The Bump,” you say?  

Ah, yes. For decades – we are talking at least 50 years, because your author remembers “The Bump” from his undergraduate days – when you entered the campus, whether coming from the right, the left, or straight across Florida Avenue from Eighth Street NE, those of us in the know instinctively slowed down so as not to damage their suspensions, or worse, pop a tire. Several people even reported severe undercarriage damage. Low riders entered campus at their own risk. 

The lip, or apron, between Florida Avenue and the steep incline leading to the security kiosk had a pronounced depression, likely caused by years and years of heavy traffic on Florida Avenue, which made the road surface settle. The result for people not in the know was a bone-rattling, teeth-jarring experience – not the “welcome to Gallaudet” anyone wanted. 

“The Bump” was the stuff of legend. Alumna Kaori Takeuchi, G-’12, a renowned anime artist, memorialized it in one of her pieces. Earlier this year, when the “of course” meme was all the rage, the Office of Alumni Engagement made a in which they parodied “The Bump.” Said Alumni Engagement director Rebecca Rydstrom, ’02, while driving to campus: “We’re Gallaudet alumni, of course we know we’re home when we hit the infamous bump!” <<<BUMP>>> “T󲹳!” 

The story line was that there was nothing that could be done about it.  

Enter the District of Columbia Department of Transportation. For the last month, DDOT has been improving the — the roadway and pedestrian sidewalks on Florida Avenue NE between Sixth Street and Eighth Street. Last week, the Eighth Street entrance was closed for several days so that the apron could be replaced. It reopened on Thursday, March 14, and TRU-BIZ, “The Bump” was gone.  

“Ahhhh, bliss,” said one amazed commuter. 

According to DDOT, the purpose of replacing the driveway apron was to improve pedestrian safety as well as accessibility. 

With “The Bump” gone, we now need another way to know that we’re home. 

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