Traffic calming device installation

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"Traffic Calming" is the combination of mainly physical measures that reduce the negative effects of motor vehicle use, alter driver behavior and improve conditions for non-motorized street users.Developed in Europe, traffic calming is a system of design and management strategies that aim to balance traffic on streets with other uses.The tools of traffic calming take a different approach from treating the street only as a conduit for vehicles passing through at the greatest possible speed. They include techniques designed to lessen the impact of motor vehicle traffic by slowing it down, or literally “calming” it. Besides its power to improve the livability of a place, the beauty of traffic calming is that it can be applied inexpensively and flexibly.


Traffic calming has many potential applications, especially in residential neighborhoods and small commercial centers. Traffic–calming devices can be grouped within the general categories of Bumps, humps, and other raised pavement areas, Reduced street areas (where motor traffic is given priority), Street closures, Traffic diversions,Surface texture and visual devices,Parking treatments etc.

CONCEPT


Goals
Example

A residential neighborhood has been expressing concerns about speeding vehicles and heavy traffic. This is leading to excessive traffic noise, difficulties for pedestrians and bicyclists and an overall perception that the streets are not as safe as they used to be. So they submit their concerns to the city and planning/engineering division of the city conducts a field study and collect traffic speed and volume data in order to assess the severity of the problem. If any obvious safety problems are discovered the City will take immediate corrective action, part of which is installing traffic calming devices.

Tradeoffs

All traffic calming devices have both benefits and disadvantages. It's important to consider the trade offs before implementing any traffic calming strategy.

  1. A device that effectively slows traffic may also have a negative impact on emergency vehicle response time, or on public service vehicles such as sanitation trucks, street sweeping equipment or school buses.
  2. Traffic calming devices occasionally (and unintentionally) divert traffic away from the project street onto an adjacent neighborhood street, moving rather than solving the problem.
  3. Some devices simply can not be used on particular streets because of the physical geometry, or conditions of the roadway and the surrounding area.
  4. Specific neighborhood characteristics must be taken into account. Residents might want to consider how traffic calming devices might affect visual aesthetics, driveway access, parking needs, or other issues important to the neighborhood.
  5. Liability concerns of engineers and public entities associated with the implementation of traffic calming measures.
Compatibility Assessment

If answered yes, the following questions indicate superior conditions under which the policy is more likely to be appropriate:

  1. Is there a concern about speeding from a certain neighborhood?
  2. Is it a low-speed and low-volume road?
  3. Are the findings of a traffic assessment study on the neighborhood indicated potential safety issues?
  4. Is the street heavily traveled by pedestrians and bicyclists seeking access to educational or recreational facilities?
  5. Is it discouraging people to use public transit/bike/walk?
  6. Does the streets lack a wide shoulder, sidewalk, or other means of separating pedestrian and bicycle traffic from vehicular traffic?
  7. Is there enough funding available?
Design

The following questions should be considered when determining how to implement this policy:

  1. What is the speed limit of the street?
  2. What is the observed speed of vehicles in this street? (through speed radar other measures over a period of time)
  3. What is the volume of traffic in peak and non-peak conditions?
  4. Is there any school/hospital/senior center on this street?
  5. Is there any traffic issues on the adjacent arterial leading to detour of traffic in this street?
  6. Are the residents in favor of traffic calming?
  7. Are the local business owners on this street in favor of traffic calming?
  8. What type of traffic calming devices the residents want?
  9. Does the proposed traffic calming device meets all standards, criteria and guidelines?
  10. Is adopting traffic calming on this street will affect the traffic flow in adjacent streets?

ADOPTION


PolicyGraphics
  • Has adoption of: Common. Traffic calming devices are widely adopted throughout United States and also in other countries.
Adopters

Notable entities who have implemented or adopted this policy include:


STAKEHOLDERS


Supporters


Opponents


REFERENCES


Research


Resources
Footnotes
  1. http://cityofsparks.us/sites/default/files/assets/documents/traffic/Traffic%20Calming.pdf
  2. http://mydelraybeach.com/environmental-services/traffic-calming
  3. http://ncmooresville.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/1289
  4. http://www.dot.state.pa.us/public/PubsForms/Publications/PUB%20383.pdf
  5. http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/speedmgt/ref_mats/fhwasa09028/resources/SCDOT%20Traffic%20calming%20guidelines.pdf
  6. http://www.virginiadot.org/business/resources/TrafficCalmingGuideOct2002.pdf
  7. https://www.dot.ny.gov/divisions/engineering/design/dqab/hdm/hdm-repository/chapt_25.pdf
  8. https://www.deldot.gov/information/pubs_forms/manuals/traffic_calming/pdf/deldotfinal.pdf
  9. http://www.transalt.org/sites/default/files/resources/blueprint/chapter4/chapter4f.html
  10. http://www.sfbetterstreets.org/find-project-types/pedestrian-safety-and-traffic-calming/traffic-calming-overview/
  11. http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/documents/cs/policy/cs-nh-dover-policy.pdf
  12. http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/home-thoughts/stop-drivers-from-speeding-in-your-neighborhood/
  13. https://www.motorists.org/issues/traffic-calming/build-opposition/
  14. https://www.usfa.fema.gov/pdf/efop/efo42774.pdf]
  15. http://library.ite.org/pub/e26cbed8-2354-d714-5120-bcef2440bc49
  16. http://nacto.org/docs/usdg/investigating_effectiveness_of_traffic_calming_strategies_corkle.pdf
  17. http://www.dot.ca.gov/newtech/researchreports/preliminary_investigations/docs/traffic_calming_preliminary_investigation_9-28-11.pdf
  18. http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/collateral/PSAP%20Training/gettraining_references_EffectsofTrafficCalming.pdf
  19. http://www.cheviot.org/streetdocs/Eval%20of%20traffic%20calming%20techniques%20in%20residential%20areas%207F4F4AFBd01.pdf
  20. http://www.vtpi.org/calming.pdf
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