Traffic-calming tools

To begin creating better public spaces for people, communities can start with traffic-calming techniques that begin to change the physical design of streets — moderating the flow of traffic and making streets less hazardous. In the following Tools section are a selection of traffic-calming techniques that can be applied in communities in Northeast Ohio.

The descriptions and diagrams of the techniques are excerpted from Streets and Sidewalks, People and Cars: The Citizens' Guide to Traffic Calming by Dan Burden and published by the Local Government Commission Center for Livable Communities. For a more complete discussion on how to implement traffic calming, order a copy of this guide from the center at 1414 K St., Suite 250, Sacramento, CA 95814, tel. 916-448-1198.

What traffic calming is NOT

While traffic-calming techniques aim to moderate the flow of traffic, they do not include stop signs or speed limit signs.

Installing speed limit signs may seem like a logical way to remind drivers not to speed. But speed is dictated by environmental and human factors. Speed limit signs and the threat of enforcement do little to set the speed of most vehicles.

Stop signs are often not a good traffic calming device because, after stopping, drivers tend to accelerate faster and then slow down more quickly as they approach the next stop sign. Engineers call this phenomenon "speed spiking."


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EcoCity Cleveland
3500 Lorain Avenue, Suite 301, Cleveland OH 44113
Cuyahoga Bioregion
(216) 961-5020
Copyright 2002-2003

Reclaiming the streets
Principles for traffic calming
Traffic-calming tools
Sharing the road
Mayfield Road - Narrow and wide
European Charter of Pedestrian Rights
Traffic-calming resources

Back to main Traffic Calming

Bulbout or curb extension
Choker or neckdown
Landscaping treatments
Reducing the number of lanes
Pedestrian refuge island
Speed humps and speed tables
Raised intersection
Roadway narrowing

More tools for great streets

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