How Does Traffic Calming Work?

The city’s traffic calming program’s goals are: 

■ Achieve lower vehicular speeds.  

■ Improve real and perceived safety for all users. 

■ Promote pedestrian, bicycle and transit use. 

■ Reduce cut-through traffic. 

■ Increase access for all modes of transportation while preserving emergency vehicle access. 

■ Enhance the street environment. 

Typical Traffic Calming Measures  

Our city’s typical traffic calming measures include speed humps, speed cushions (pictured), raised intersections/crosswalks, traffic islands, curb extensions, medians, traffic circles/roundabouts, roadway striping, and recently, speed display signs.  

How Does the Traffic Calming Program Work?   

The first step to installing traffic calming devices on a roadway is to submit a written request to the city traffic engineer, who will determine eligibility of the requested location for traffic calming. Eligibility criteria include: speeding, cut-through traffic, and that the location is not a primary emergency route.  

If the project is determined to be eligible and 51 percent of project area residents are documented as supporting the project, the project will be placed on a ranking list with the highest-ranked projects each year selected. Ranking criteria include speeding, high traffic volume, accident history, presence of sidewalks, proximity to school, and significant pedestrian activity.  

Next, the city will conduct a series of neighborhood meetings and open houses (virtual or in person) with residents, relevant emergency agencies, nearby business owners and other parties of interest to develop traffic calming plans and selection of traffic calming devices for the requested location. Once the plans are developed, the city will conduct a support survey of which 51 percent of residents and business owners in the project area have to be in support of the selected plan and traffic calming devices (a nonreturned survey is considered and counted as a no, counting against the 51 percent support required).   

If the project exceeds this support threshold, the city will hold a public hearing at the city’s Traffic Commission and upon the commission’s approval, the city will construct the traffic calming project at the earliest opportunity and monitor the selected devices for effectiveness.  

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Improved mobility is one of the goals highlighted in the award-winning Community Vision plan. An update of the plan is underway. Find out how you can take part at