Traffic Calming Initiatives in the USA - A Critical Review



Traffic Calming Initiatives in the USA - A Critical Review

Authors

DATTA T K, Wayne State University and DATTA S, Goodell-Grivas Inc, USA

Description

Providing efficient and fast movement of automob'fle traffic through our highway network is a desirable goal for traffic engineers. A similar philosophy may have influenced city planners in their design of residential streets. In the 1950's and 1960's, mo

Abstract

Providing efficient and fast movement of automob'fle traffic through our highway network is a desirable goal for traffic engineers. A similar philosophy may have influenced city planners in their design of residential streets. In the 1950's and 1960's, most residential area street systems were designed as a grid network in the USA. This is evident from our residential areas built in this time period in most large metropolitan areas.

Then in the 1970's and 1980's, residential area developments recognizexl the downside of such grid network designs in terms of promoting fast, cut-through traffic, especially when the adjacent arterial streets became saturated. Taking this into consideration, most of the planned residential developments in this time period followed a curvilinear road system with cul-de-sacs and offset intersections which reduced fast Waffle movements. In the meantime, the traffic volumes increased to the point that the residents in most of the older neighborhoods started becoming coEni7ant of that and started complaining about speeding and cut-through traffic. It became a safety concern to residents, officials, motorists, pedestrians and other non-motorized street users.

Traditionally, selective traffic enforcement by the police depadment was the technique chosen to counteract speeding and cut-through traffic in residential locations. Some communities demonstrated that the installation of unwarranted stop signs do not necessarily mitigate speeding and cut-through traffic problems in their neighborhoods. In order to alleviate these residential area traffic problems, traffic calming measures are being widely implemented. They have been accepted well and are operating successfully in Europe and the western and southern regions of the United States, and are increasingly being evaluated for use around the country.

The purpose of this paper is to present a critical review of lagfic calming initiatives in the USA.

Publisher

Association for European Transport