Tried the hop approach on my morning commute -- the sidewalks are wicked uneven but if I can use them they're safer than the road. It worked pretty well, but it takes some practice to scale the size of hop to the size of bump. Of course I was approaching the discontinuities at a 90 degree angle because swerving all over the sidewalk isn't neighborly.
I found that losing contact with the board was a much bigger concern than the board not mounting the step. The hop gets noticeably easier and smoother at speed -- approach fast, brake hard, and hop seems to be a good recipe.
I'm definitely strapping on pads before I practice higher speeds and bigger bumps, but this feels promising.