By Mike Spack, PE, PTOE
For a quick three-minute overview of traffic calming techniques, check out my post Techniques and Devices for Slowing Down Traffic (Traffic Calming Explained).
The Institute of Transportation Engineers has the most complete website on traffic calming devices (click here) I know of including four types of measures (vertical deflections, closures, horizontal shifts, and roadway narrowings) The site gives the following information for each type of traffic calming device:
- Photos and Diagrams
- Design and Installation Issues
- Potential Impacts
- Emergency Response Issues
- Typical Cost
I have worked on some retrofit projects, but traffic calming is something that should be thought through during the design phase of subdivisions. The overall environment is the best way to slow people down vs. trying to add in a traffic circle or speed hump after the road is built.
If you’re a resident considering traffic calming, my favorite traffic calming device is a bike, tricycle, or ball on the side of the road in the grass. This type of temporary, unofficial traffic calming device does a great job of letting motorists know kids are present and they should drive cautiously.
Are you interested in learning how to respond to citizen traffic concerns, including how traffic calming? Check out the Engineer’s Guide to Citizen Traffic Requests. We’ve compiled a collection of tried and true processes and templates to respond to common citizen traffic requests. This go-to manual will shave hours off the time it takes to respond to traffic-related inquiries from the public, and help create consistent correspondence throughout your department. Download a free preview today.